How to be productive while bored
Updated: May 2, 2021
Okay, this post is more than likely not what you think it is. Every day I see posts about how to be productive instead of bored, how to defeat boredom, and things to do when there is nothing to do this weekend. I am a firm believer that we need to lean into boredom. We are not meant to constantly have stimulation from all of our screens. A lot of us, myself included, are guilty of 'relaxing' while having the computer open, phone in hand, and movie playing in the background.
This is not relaxing, it is actually an overload of information and we have this happening to us every day all day. We feel like we need to be doing something even when what we need to be doing is nothing. When doing mundane tasks, we feel the need to introduce other stimuli into the environment. This is not great in itself but today I wanted to talk about why we should steer away from those behaviors and really think about what it means to be bored and explore the benefits of it.
So what can boredom do for you?
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Boredom can make you more creative:
Have you ever noticed your best ideas come to you in the shower? Yeah, me too. There have been studies that show when you are bored or doing a repetitive (i.e. boring) task, you actually have some of your most original thoughts and ideas! Embrace the quiet, embrace the route, and let your mind wander a little.
For me, I like to try to live stimulus free in the morning during breakfast and while showering at night. This gives my brain time to process any problems I have and help give it time to solve them. While it is tempting to make the most out of your time, have music, podcasts, movies, etc, on all the time - I challenge you to try some of your everyday tasks distraction-free - really be 'bored'.
Boredom is a sign that you might need change
Being bored in your everyday life might signify that you are not where you want to be or who you want to be. With boredom often comes being by yourself. Maybe you are not comfortable being alone with yourself or your thoughts. Take this as a warning sign, listen to your intuition, and reflect on your situation. Instead of trying to fix your boredom by adding more stuff, maybe try to listen instead. Lean into it.
Make a list of what you don't like and what you might like instead. Make goals and an action plan to get there. Check-in regularly and see how you are feeling with your new changes in life!
Boredom can relieve stress
Take time to smell the roses, take a nap, and really relax. When I start to feel bored, I try to shift my mind to be grateful for a time to rest. Rest is essential for our wellbeing both physically and mentally. If we are constantly on the go and ALWAYS need stimulation, that in itself can be exhausting even if you don't realize the root cause.
Even without seeking it out, we are experiencing constant stimulation all around us. Boredom helps give our brains a much-needed rest from the information overload which is now life in this technology-driven world.
I recommend turning off your technology, reading a book, going for a walk without music or a podcast, and just being present in the moment with yourself and your thoughts.
Boredom defines the highs in life
Without boredom, we would not search for adventure, seeks answers for our curiosities, or live our fullest lives. Be grateful for the low moments that help define the highs! In the long run, taking time to be bored might just make you more productive in the long run as a happy, healthy individual.
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