#12: The Bright Side of Boredom

Feeling bored lately?

#12: The Bright Side of Boredom
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Recently, I’ve been a lot like Gaby from the show Desperate Housewives—so bored that I sometimes just pick up the broom and clean. The things that used to light me up don’t spark excitement anymore—crocheting, singing, writing, nothing was working!

Worse, boredom feels unproductive. A total waste of time.

“…we live in a culture that seems obsessed with eradicating boredom, as if it were Ebola or global poverty, and replacing it with a peculiar modern form of active idleness oozing from our glowing screens.”
— Maria Popova, Kierkegaard on Boredom, Why Cat Listicles Fail to Answer the Soul’s Cry, and the Only True Cure for Existential Emptiness

But there’s a bright side to boredom.

Researchers Sandi Mann and Rebekah Cadman at the University of Central Lancashire explored the relationship between boredom and creativity. And guess what.

Boring activities can increase individual productivity and creativity. ✨

Other benefits of boredom include motivation for change, enhanced creative quality of our work, and better mental health.

There’s a right (and wrong) way to be bored, though. So instead of scrolling the boredom away, experts recommend embracing it.

Sit still, bask in the boredom, and daydream if you must.

A moment of boredom may just spark your next big idea.

“In this media-drenched, data-rich, channel-surfing, computer-gaming age, we have lost the art of doing nothing, of shutting out the background noise and distractions, of slowing down and simply being alone with our thoughts. Boredom—the word itself hardly existed 150 years ago—is a modern invention. Remove all stimulation, and we fidget, panic and look for something, anything, to do to make use of the time. When did you last see someone just gazing out the window on a train? Everyone is too busy reading the paper, playing video games, listening to iPods, working on the laptop, yammering into mobile phones.”  — In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore

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