2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
It would seem that humanity has once and for all defeated boredom. When you have a smartphone or tablet connected to high-speed Internet in your hands, it automatically turns into a source of information and entertainment. But maybe we sometimes need to get a little bored? What if boredom is a core component of creativity?
Even if we don't get bored in our free time, we still have to fight that feeling at work. “We rarely admit to our colleagues that we sometimes get bored in the office. On the other hand, a certain level of boredom leads to increased creative thinking,”writes David Burkus, columnist for the Harvard Business Review.
David cites the example of a famous scientific experiment in which volunteers were asked to complete a task on creativity. For example, come up with a second use for a pair of plastic cups. Participants who were initially asked to do a tedious job, such as copying numbers from the phone book, did better on the task. It turned out that monotonous work makes us dream of creativity. The more boredom we feel, the more we start to dream and the more creative the ideas generated by the brain.
Barkus also talks about other work that documented the effectiveness of boredom for creativity. The subjects were shown a video sequence and then asked to take an association test. Those who had previously watched uninteresting clips approached the test more creatively. Experimenters hypothesized that boredom motivates people to try new things and find rewarding activities.
Andreas Elpidorou, a researcher at the University of Louisville, believes that "boredom helps to restore the perception of their actions as such." He describes it as a regulatory function that helps to stay active at all times and to deal with their projects, tasks and problems.
If we didn’t get bored, we wouldn’t feel satisfied with what we did. And the experience of the pleasure of being rewarded for completing a task - emotional or social - would be separate from us.
Boredom is a warning: you are not doing what you want to do. It makes us move towards the set goal and take on relevant projects and tasks.
“Boredom is a fascinating emotion that is commonly viewed as a negative feeling. However, it is a motivating force,”said Dr. Sandi Mann of the University of Central Lancashire. She says it's good to be bored. For example, if it takes you a long time to get home from work, you can use it to think about new ideas. It is hardly fun for you to ride a trolleybus or metro. But you can use this moment to come up with the next project or desired goal.
How to use boredom? Barkus believes that boredom must be experienced in order to do a better job. Therefore, you may want to have a few uninteresting meetings, send emails, keep your hands busy with monotonous and simple work to nudge your brain into active creative activity. Boredom in the workplace is usually viewed as something that needs to be addressed urgently. But maybe we should go a little with this feeling in order to then give out creative ideas one after another.
David Foster Wallace also talked about the connection between boredom and creativity. He wrote down his reflections on this topic, and this note was found among the drafts of his book The Pale King.
It turns out that bliss - the lasting joy and happiness of living - lies on the other side of the destructive feeling of boredom. Pay attention to the most tedious things you can imagine (filing tax returns, watching golf on TV), and boredom will hit you in one wave, then another, until it ends you. Get out of this state, taking a step from black and white reality to bright and colorful. Like a sip of water after a few days in the desert. Bliss in every atom.
David Foster Wallace
You should try doing boring daily tasks first, and then tackle the ones that require creativity. Apparently, this method of action is somewhat similar to the ancient practices of meditation.
If humankind has really practically overcome boredom, perhaps it has developed a much more pernicious state in which we are constantly looking for excuses to distract ourselves from work. Maybe we need to work on ourselves even more actively and artificially immerse ourselves in a state of boredom in order to make the brain work in a creative way.