The mind is a taskmaster, not a task manager
A task manager is a software program that enables computer users to monitor the processes at work on their device. A taskmaster, on the other hand, is a person who imposes tasks, especially tiresome or burdensome ones.
Our mind is meant to function somewhat like a task manager. It is the subtle material element that serves as the interface between us souls and the gross matter that comprises our physical body and the world around us. The mind integrates information from the outer world and makes it available for the soul for evaluation and response. And it conveys the intentions of the soul to the body for implementation. So structurally the mind is indispensable for our functioning in the material world.
But it is the mind that often makes our workload unmanageable. Why? Because it doesn’t just manage necessary tasks; it also comes up with its own tasks based on its past scripts, its notions of what needs to be done for getting pleasure or avoiding problems. Unfortunately, most of these notions are concocted, with little or no basis in reality.
The mind imagines pleasures where there are none or exaggerates insignificant pleasures till they seem irresistible. And it imagines problems where there are none or exaggerates inconsequential problems till they seem insurmountable. By thus distracting our attention from important tasks to unimportant or even unnecessary ones, the mind depletes and drains our energy, thereby acting like a taskmaster.
That’s why we can’t just outsource our tasks to the mind and expect them to be done. We need to act as hands-on monitors, terminating those thought processes that take our consciousness in unwanted directions. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (06.26) urges us to use our intelligence to restrain and refocus the mind whenever it wanders.