Get bored to get creative

Boredom is important for creativity. The mind at rest can create new ideas this way. This is the importance of Niksen or [[ Doing nothing ]]. Austin Kleon calls this “productive procrastination.”1

!Boredom, for me, is a very good sign

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.

!Avoiding work is the way to focus my mind

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.

!It turns out that bliss … lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom.

Find ways to relax into boredom or the monotony of creative work.5 [[ Take boredom as an invitation to rest ]]. 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.

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