Rapid Review: Bored and Brilliant

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Bored and Brilliant

Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi is about “what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all” and how to take advantage of the hidden benefits of being bored (Zomorodi).

The Science Behind Being Bored

Here’s how it works: boredom leads to mind wandering which ignites the imagination, creating a boost in creativity and aiding in problem solving (Zomorodi). Even when you are engaged in some activity which feels monotonous, your brain is engaging in hard-core thinking.

Seven Steps

…to “creative more curiosity, creativity, and joy in your life.”

  1. Observe yourself.
  2. Keep your devices out of reach while in motion.
  3. Photo-free day.
  4. Delete that app.
  5. Take a Fakecation.
  6. Observe something else.
  7. Use all the above exercises to set goals.

These tips involve things like tracking your digital habits, keeping your phone out of sight while you’re in transit, deleting the apps you think you can’t live without, and staying out of touch while you’re out of the office (Zamorodi).

For people who struggle with any of the above, these tips could be a real make-or-break and you might have to start slow. I personally don’t have an issue with putting down my devices and checking out of work/apps at any time – I actually love doing that. But it was a good reminder for me to stay mindful of how my mood and mindset change when I do (or don’t do) these kinds of activities.

“When we let ourselves space out and our minds wander, we do our most original thinking and problem solving; without distraction, your mind can go to some interesting and unexpected places. Creativity – no matter how you define or apply it – needs a push, and boredom, which allows new and different connections to form in our brains, is a most effective muse.”

-Manoush Zomorodi

I can personally attest to the fact that when I do so-called “boring” tasks, such as driving long distances, cleaning the house or walking my dog, those tend to the be the days when I get the most clarity on things that have been bugging me, and often my best ideas for creative projects I am working on.

This was a great book to provide insight as to why being bored is not a bad thing by any means, and will likely convince those who think otherwise.

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