The Key to Creativity: Boredom?

In this digital age, it’s overwhelmingly difficult to be bored.

The never-ending scroll, that tantalising notification, the ‘not-another-one’ email – all contribute to an inescapable backdrop of stimulation. This, of course we know, can have a detrimental impact on our mental health, wellbeing and stress levels. However, a less discussed, but equally important result is how this level of distraction can affect creative performance.

For those working in the more artistic industries, original thought and invention is at the heart of everything we do. Beyond this, creativity can help solve problems, improve services and envision goals. Perhaps then, more attention is needed on how to enhance this valuable skill that lies within our minds.

As the backlash against screen-time for children continues to grow, there are increasing calls for a return to simpler times, when imagination was the ultimate source of a child’s amusement. The benefit of taking a break from this digital stimulation is clear: if we can’t find entertainment, we create it ourselves. It is then also true for adults, that time spent without those endless distractions on your phone screen can allow the mind to wander to other thoughts.

Here in lies the power of boredom. In this stagnant state we are forced to use our own resources by letting our thoughts and ideas take control. The space allows the mind time to reflect, process and daydream, and consequently sparks creative thinking.

Putting this theory into action can start with three simple steps:

  • Turn to mute:
    Switch off non-essential notifications on your devices, both at home and at work, so you are in control of when apps & emails demand your attention.
  • Stop the scrolling: 
    Try to limit when and where you use social media. Whether it’s in your lunch-break, before bed or on the commute home – schedule in time to think.
  • Choose quality over quantity:
    Cut down and refine the apps you use and the profiles you follow. With less to keep up with, it’ll be easier to step back from your screen.

And finally, next time you’re on the bus or in a waiting room and your phone dies… why not sit back, relax, let the tedium take over and see what eureka moment it brings!

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