In the age where smartphones provide constant stimulation, many of us have forgotten what it feels like to experience the monotony of boredom. And while on the surface that might seem like a good thing, my guest today highlights research that not being bored can actually make us dumber and less creative.
Her name is Manoush Zomorodi, she’s the host of the podcast Note to Self and the author of the book Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self. Today on the show, Manoush shares her experience of how feeling scattered and less creative led her to create an experiment that tested whether her lack of boredom in recent years was to blame. We then dig into the philosophy of boredom and why we dread it so much. Manoush then goes into what the latest research says about the benefits of boredom, like increased creativity, better productivity, and improved mental well-being. Finally, she walks us through some exercises you can use to help inject more boredom in your life. (Yes, you read that right.)
- The moment Manoush realized her best ideas came when she was bored
- Manoush’s boredom experiment with her audience
- The philosophy of boredom
- What does modern research say about boredom? How is boredom even defined?
- The lengths people go to avoid being bored
- How smartphones hinder our conversations
- The effect of boredom, or lack thereof, on kids
- Why we have to teach kids what it means to be bored and to daydream
- What smartphone cameras are doing to our memories
- Why the key to capitalizing on boredom is not abolishing tech, but self-regulating it
- Learning from the smartphone habits of monks
- Are apps actually addictive?
- The summer camp in New England that allows smartphone use, and why
- Manoush’s 7-day challenge for getting your smartphone use under control
- How games and apps can actually help productivity and anxiety in certain cases
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- Note to Self podcast
- Decluttering Your Digital Life
- The Complete Guide to Breaking Your Smartphone Habit
- 4 Questions That Will Kill FOMO
- Podcast: The Joy of Missing Out
- Podcast: How to Beat Distraction and Stay Focused
- What Every Man Ought to Know About Focus
- People would rather shock themselves than be bored
- Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle
- Podcast: Reclaiming Conversation
- The Presence of Your Smartphone Reduces Brain Power
- Smartphone Cameras Could Be Washing Out Our Memories
- Snapchat Streaks
- Dopamine Labs
- Longacre Leadership Camp
- Bored and Brilliant Boot Camp
- Jane McGonigal
Bored and Brilliant is filled with great insights on the usefulness of boredom, but, more importantly, has actionable advice on how you can get those benefits. Also be sure to participate in the Bored and Brilliant Boot Camp, and check out Manoush’s podcast, Note to Self.
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Last updated: September 28, 2017