Think of the most repetitive, monotonous, physical tasks or skills you have had to complete or learn throughout your life. It may be mindlessly cleaning stacks of dishes, cutting vegetables, untangling a nest of wires, or even learning how to type. While you may feel burdened by them at the time, Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn told Boston Public Radio Tuesday, that these types of mind-numbing, hands-on activities can actually greatly benefit your ability to focus and concentrate.

Koehn said that by spending time working with our hands “we learn a sense a discipline that we can use in all kinds of different realms in our life.”

Koehn explained that competency with hands on tasks can increase your confidence level as well as your ability to focus.

“Being able to do that, and knowing your are able to do that, enables you to approach other kinds of challenges in an away that is very powerful for knocking them down or mastering them,” she said.