December 7, 2019

How to be more creative: get bored

When you are in a boredom state you are in a "seeking" mode. You are seeking something new, something exciting. And if you cannot find it? You create it, you invent it.

How to be more creative: get bored

Mobile phones have revolutionized our everyday life. There is no doubt about this.

Like with most medicines that solve a medical issue, we sometimes forget that mobile phone usage in our everyday life has side effects.

Smartphones have sold myriad problems. They have eliminated many difficulties of everyday modern life, but along they have eliminated something that humans experience every day since the beginning of the species: boredom.

Think about it. Think about all the moments that you are doing something that does not require your attention. I am talking about waiting in a queue in a supermarket. Or riding a bus to your destination.

I am pretty sure that the moment you join a queue, the moment you sit on a bus, you automatically pull your phone off your pocket and start "killing" some time.

This didn't use to happen for all the previous human generations.

We are talking about a huge behavioral change that happened in just a single generation.

People used to be familiar with the feeling of boredom and experienced it almost daily.

It seems that this is not just a cosmetic behavioral change.

Recent studies have shown that bored minds produce more creative answers.

And it kind of makes sense, to be honest. When you are in a boredom state you are in a "seeking" mode. What you are doing currently does not satisfy you. You are seeking something new, something exciting. And if you cannot find it? You create it, you invent it.

There is no better example than kids. Kids experience a lot of boredom. And when they do, and there is no Playstation or tablet around, they create something weird. A house made of sticks. Or a card game with their own rules.

This what used to happen to adults as well - in some form. But now we've eliminated the bored state. We don't enter the "seeking" mode as often, maybe at all, therefore we are way less creative.

We might get rid of the temporary discomfort of boredom, but we lose the deep think state as well, the daydreaming state.

Of course, I am not saying that we should get rid of smartphones, or even social media (which is the most addictive thing that people usually do to "kill" their time).

They have their place in our life.

And of course, there is the bad kind of boredom. The one that takes away all of life's joy.

So I am not proposing extreme actions.

Rather just to realize the side-effect of this constant interaction with our smartphones might have.

And next time that we feel that boredom when taking the train, maybe to give in and daydream for a bit. Who knows? Your next big thing might come out of nowhere.

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