Embrace boredom All of a sudden, the overwhelming need for activity hits you

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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Picture this scenario: You’re sitting at your desk, trying to come up with an idea, design or even just the right word to say, then the ever-dreaded creative block enters. All of a sudden, this overwhelming need for activity hits you! A need to stimulate your brain in the hopes of coming up with a solution.

In a world where multi-tasking and productivity is praised, and the idea of getting it all done as quick as possible is ideal, it has become hard to appreciate and allow ourselves to take that break we need. When we are taking those breaks, most of the time we are filling it with an activity that really doesn’t allow us to give our minds a rest.

It’s become so easy to pull out our phones to keep us occupied during every free moment, but do our brains actually process this as downtime? Are our brains actually resting, or are we continuing to let the gears turn, never allowing our brains a break? Have we replaced daydreaming with technology-engaging devices? How much do smartphones and the Internet actually hinder our creative process?

According to Andrew Smart in his book, The Art & Science of Doing Nothing, true boredom (or idleness) is a necessity to making your brain function better, and is essential to tap into our creativity. Not only that, but “idleness, unplugging and disconnecting from the machine is our absolute human right and one of the best ways to be true to our special instincts.”

When we are scrolling on our phones or computers, on social media, or checking emails constantly, we are not giving our brains a rest. We are spending so much time focused “inside-the-box” that we aren’t allowing ourselves to enjoy the bigger picture of life around us--to truly allow ourselves to take a break.

Brian S. Hall from ReadWrite says that “spending so much time texting and updating, tweeting and watching, calling and playing at every free moment, from every location, never alone with our thoughts, never allowing our thoughts to drift, impacts our creativity, which in turn can limit our full potential.”

So rather than giving into that gestural itch and opening up Pinterest or Facebook, give your mind a break and take some time to daydream and just do nothing. Remember, just on the other side of boredom is creativity! Here are three things to challenge you to give your mind that much needed break!

Listen to Your Brain

Our brains need rest. When you can’t focus or you are tired, listen to your body. Your brain is communicating to you that it needs time to recover. Do this so you can tap into your brain’s full potential.

Prepare Yourself to be Bored and Don’t Resist It

Sit there and experience it. What thoughts and temptations come to mind, and how does this make you feel? Get to know your mind, and see how you can embrace your downtime differently!

Single-Task rather than Multi-Task

Try focusing on one thing at a time. While this may not be ideal from a productivity standpoint, when we train our brains to work through one thing at a time, our brains become quicker and more efficient. We can assure quality and that things are well thought through.

What are some ways you break away and embrace boredom? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter via @IntrinzicSays.