Oh, Beautiful Boredom!

Ever wonder why so many people get amazing ideas while in the shower? Or while walking alone, driving, or even brushing their teeth. Basically — when they’re bored.

bored typography nothing to do
warishussain.com

Human beings are not created to work 24 hours a day. That’s why a typical work week consists of 40 hours ( 8 hours a day x 5 days a week). that’s why we even feel burnt out if we work for too long without any breaks.

In our childhood when we had no devices and lots of free time, we played so many games, we invented so many stories for our toys, we were just so creative all the time.

We were so creative because we were bored.

When we allow ourselves to get bored, when we give our brain much needed time and space, our brains take seemingly unrelated ideas and joins them, it comes up with some of our most innovative ideas.

We have to create an un-distracted space, with no clear objective — just being bored. We have to allow ourselves to get bored.

Now you may wonder “Waris, this seems so exciting! But I’m confused, how to do this, how to harness Boredom??”

My friend, here’s the 4-step process-

Step 1

Turn off all the stimuli. Turn of the notifications ( even hide your phone), get as far away from digital distractions as possible.

Step 2

Be bored.

Go sit in a park or your living room, or go have lunch, just go out there and do something that doesn’t involve stimulus from your device.

Step 3

Let your mind wander wherever it may.

Wherever you’re at — be it a living room or a park, just be observant. Don’t have any particular goal as to what you want to achieve from this.

Let your mind connect dots and think of anything it wants. you’ll be surprised how creative your mind can be when you adopt a child-like wonder again.

Step 4

Document

Keep a notepad and pen nearby.

When something enters your mind, write it down, sketch it out, Then let your mind wander and drift off again!

How Kyle used boredom to earn $100k

Artist Kyle T Webster shared his stories about invention while being bored.

Specifically, his stories about peaches. One afternoon, he has finished his lunch and was staring at his plate, completely bored. He looked at the unusual pattern left behind from his peach salad.

He thought to himself, “hmm, that’s an interesting texture”

He took a photo of it and turned that texture into a Photoshop Brush, which he sold online and sold worth A Hundred Thousand dollars of that digital brush!

It’s absolutely crazy to think that If Kyle was like me, i.e., if he watched Youtube videos while having his lunch, he would have missed a $100k opportunity

Conclusion

This was a huge lesson for me, I genuinely thank Matthew Encina for teaching me this. I remember Matthew’s words-

“Whenever I feel the urge to fill my free time with screen time, I keep my phone in my pocket and just remain present”

I’ve been trying to apply this in my daily routine, appreciating boredom more and more, and get as much away from distractions as possible and be more intentional with my time.

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Waris Hussain

I'm a User Experience Designer, a curious soul always keen to learn as much as possible. Here to share what I've learnt and get better at life.