Can the Simple Pursuit of Total Boredom Make You Smarter?

Can the Simple Pursuit of Total Boredom Make You Smarter?

Can the Simple Pursuit of Total Boredom Make You Smarter?

When I was a kid, around six million years ago, we had lots of time to be bored. There were no play dates, our parents didn’t drive us to ballet lessons, and our play was mostly unstructured. Sitting or lying around with nothing to do was a common occurrence. We didn’t have all the distractions that not just children, but adults have now. And by the way, I count myself in this group of people who now have no time to be bored.

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Too Busy to Be Bored?

Think about it. When was the last time someone said: “I’m bored.” At least, someone who’s not a teenager. People saying they’re bored have been replaced by people who say they’re too busy. Everyone’s too busy! And it’s usually followed by, “that’s a good thing, right?” But is it a good thing really? After all, we have YouTube, podcasts, online gaming, social media, and a million other things to entertain us now.

What If You Had Time to Be Bored?

How different would your life be if you had time to pursue boredom? By that, I mean having breaks in your day and in your life. Recently, I was at a friend’s house, knitting (a hobby I’ve taken up recently). There was no music and no background noise at all. And there were some long silences. Maybe it’s because we’re all introverts, but everyone seemed really comfortable with the lack of distractions and yes, the boredom. By the way, you might enjoy this article about introverts: Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends. But those long silences made me realize how unusual it is to have long silences at all anymore.

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The Focus on Mindfulness

Over the past few years, there’s been a real focus on mindfulness. Meditation and yoga classes have been sprouting up all over the place. So now we’ve scheduled the time to just sit, or to sit and stretch, or to meditate. Is it any coincidence that the focus on mindfulness comes when we’re so very busy all the time? Did you know that the number of people doing yoga grew by 50% between 2012 and 2016? That’s quite a staggering increase and maybe we should all be investing in yoga stock!

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The Question of the Day

The really important question is whether the pursuit of boredom can make you smarter. Many studies have shown that taking time out to meditate can make you smarter. Perhaps there is a correlation. According to Robert Puff, Ph.D, in this article in Psychology Today, Meditation Can Make You Smarter (and Happier). His article is a summary of articles about the subject.

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Work-Life Balance

What things do you do to achieve work-life balance? Is work-life balance really the unicorn of the working world? And do you ever add in some unstructured time to your schedule? Or just not stuff it to the gills all the time? It might be worth the peace of mind.

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