Does boredom spark creativity?

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Lockdowns have gave us plenty of time to be bored! Do you think that being bored is a bad thing? Having nothing to do can lead you to make bad decisions just for the sake of having something to do. Those who are boredom prone can turn to drugs, alcohol or excessive technology use such as gaming or social media. Some people would argue that getting bored should be embraced as an opportunity to discover and nurture untapped creativity. Others may argue that you could cultivate this without having to get bored first. Let’s take a look at both side of the argument.

Does being bored make me more creative? 🥱

A bored mind can be a great launch pad for new, creative ideas. Research shows that doing a passive activity that allows you to daydream can lead to more creative ideas. In her TED Talk, podcast host and writer Manoush Zomorodi discusses how taking the time to get bored can lead to brilliant ideas:

If watching Manoush’s TED Talk has inspired you, take the Bored and Brilliant challenge. Try each of the challenges each day for 6 days and see how much more creative you are.

Do I need to get bored to be creative? 🧑‍🎨

In a way, these steps are about removing distractions; the sorts of activities you’d indulge in to diminish the discomfort that comes from being bored, such as scrolling through social media or playing a game on your phone. Even if you don’t believe in getting bored, removing distractions by deleting addictive games from your smartphone is a good place to start if you want to cultivate creativity.

If you want to avoid forming bad habits around boredom, have a list of good things to do and things to avoid. Fun Palace’s Tiny Revolutions of Connection provides a fantastic range of creative activities you could try out (you can find our own contributions on our Tiny Revolutions page). Being stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’ trying to find the ‘perfect’ activity to do can bolster an existing sense of boredom. Jump straight into an activity – trick your brain by saying you’ll just try it for 5 minutes; you may find that after those 5 minutes you’ve started to enjoy the activity and don’t want to stop.

If we’ve got you interested in trying out getting bored, remember to start by making a list of creative activities to try out. Also think of what you want to avoid; you don’t want to do anything that would harm your wellbeing. Following the ‘Bored and Brilliant challenge’ is a great next step.

Good luck in finding untapped creative potential! ✨

 

Sources & further reading:

How to Be Bored by Shayla Love on Vice

Does Boredom Bring Out Our Creative Flair? by Dr Sandi Mann on The Huffington Post

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