Written by: Paulina Segarra Pedraza
Illustration by Roberts Rurans
This sudden change in our lives has taken us on a journey back to our childhoods. Before
smartphones, laptop computers, and other forms of instant gratification, creativity was the only
solution to boredom. We would pretend that the floor is lava and that couches are serene and
safe islands. Your closest friends would turn into a dangerous predator in the pool. Forts made
out of pillows and sheets were castles only fit for a queen. It turns out that our childish
shenanigans were healthy habits in disguise!
Multiple studies have shown a link between creativity and boredom. One study by Shane
Bench and Heather Lench shares that the “emotional state of boredom will encourage
people to pursue other goals and experiences.” “By motivating desire for change
from the current state, boredom increases opportunities to attain social, cognitive,
emotional and experiential stimulation that could have been missed.”
However, many people find it challenging to inspire that creativity. Author Manoush
Zomorodi explains that our brains are always occupied, but your mind isn’t necessarily
doing anything with the information coming in. Long bus rides to work changed into your
daily dose of Twitter. Waiting for your coffee to be prepared is your chance to play a
quick round of Candy Crush. In light of all of that, she asked herself, “Can my lack of
ideas have to do with never being bored?” She shortly discovered that letting ourselves
space out and our minds wander stimulates the most original thinking and problem-solving.
Her book “Bored and Brilliant” goes into further detail on how to carve out time for
creative reflection. Although the world’s current situation is forcing us into our own creative reflection time, let us
take it as a challenge: to see what we can create with the cards we have been dealt with. After this
subsides, we can emerge stronger and more creative than ever and ready to tackle what has
been thrown at us.
Bench, S. W., & Lench, H. C. (2013, August 15). On the Function of Boredom. Retrieved March
18, 2020, from https://www.mdpi.com/2076-328X/3/3/459/htm
Zomorodi, M. (2018). Bored and brilliant: how spacing out can unlock your most productive and
creative self. New York: Picador.