The value of being bored

Posted Friday, April 3rd, 2015. Filed Under My Daily Dose

The National Post had an article written by Ishmael N. Daro titled, LET’S BE BORED Moments of brilliance are harder to come by when distracted, that I wanted to share with you.

In this article Daro brings to light a big problem: our inability to just do nothing and ‘get bored’. It is often in these meditative and/or quiet moments that inspiration and creativity comes to us. Some of my greatest ideas have come when I am in the shower or bath or just relaxing. Yesterday morning as I was coming out of my sleep I had this great business idea. I got up and wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget.

One issue Daro brings to light is the fact that by having entertainment and distraction always at hand has its costs: loss of creativity and self-reflection.

According to cognitive scientists in this new field of study, boredom may explain why our eureka moments often come to us in moments of inactivity. In one experiment conducted by researchers at the University of Central Lancashire in England, participants were asked to do mundane tasks like reading the phone book. Afterwards they were asked to come up with interesting uses for a pair of standard Styrofoam cups, and it turns out the more bored the participants were, the more creative they tended to be with their inventions.

What does this tell us? There is a place for boredom. We are not meant to be entertained 24 hours a day.
Many think that they are more creative when they are constantly being stimulated. In fact, it is quite the reverse. Downtime and boredom opens up our creativity.

Do a little test with yourself. Take one hour a day and put away all electronics, tv, ipad, etc. and just relax and do nothing. Allow yourself to be in the moment and let your mind be blank. Let your mind wander. You may find solutions to things your never thought possible.


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