Get bored to get creative
In a study, people who first did a boring task later performed better at an idea-generating task than those who first did a craft activity.2 Doing a familiar, or boring, activity allows the mind to space out.3 Ruut Veenhoven says, “Even when we niks our brain is still processing information and can use the available processing power to solve pending problems.”4
Paul Simon throws a ball at the wall. Monastics use prayer beads. Mix engineers Listen to an 80%-finished mix with a “soft gaze”. Doris Lessing takes breaks to do chores.3 For many, Walking is creative exercise.
When I notice myself wanting to do something but not wanting to do any of the things that are on offer, or when I need some stimulation for my brain, that is a sign that I’m bored.3 Boredom and depression and neurodivergence seem interconnected then.
Find ways to relax into boredom or the monotony of creative work.5 . For me, that may be drinking tea, lighting incense, listening to music or a podcast. Alternatively, Take boredom as an invitation to try something new.