The Key to Creativity: Boredom?

Published on 24th October 2019

Image of young man writing on a dry erase board.

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In this digital age, it’s overwhelmingly difficult to be bored. The never-ending scroll, that tantalizing notification, the not-another-one email all contribute to an inescapable backdrop of stimulation.

This, of course we know, can have a detrimental impact on our mental health, wellbeing and stress levels. However, a less discussed but equally important result is how this level of distraction can affect creative performance.

For those working in the more artistic industries, original thought and invention is at the heart of everything we do. Beyond this, creativity can help solve problems, improve services and envision goals. Perhaps then, more attention is needed on how to enhance the valuable skill of creative problem solving that lies within our minds.

As the backlash against screen-time for children continues to grow, there are increasing calls for a return to simpler times, when imagination was the ultimate source of a child’s amusement. The benefit of taking a break from this digital stimulation is clear – if we can’t find entertainment, we create it ourselves. It is, then, also true for adults that time spent without those endless distractions on your phone screen can allow the mind to wander to other thoughts.

Herein lies the power of boredom. In this stagnant state, we are forced to use our own resources by letting our thoughts and ideas take control. The space allows the mind time to reflect, process and daydream, and consequently sparks creative thinking.

Putting this theory into action, JBP PR & Parliamentary Affairs recommends starting with three simple steps to help with creative thinking and creative problem solving:

  1. Turn to mute

Switch off non-essential notifications on your devices, both at home and at work, so you are in control of when apps and emails demand your attention.

  1. Stop the scrolling

Try to limit when and where you use social media. Whether it’s in your lunch-break, before bed or on the commute home – schedule in time to think.

  1. Choose quality over quantity

Cut down and refine the apps you use and the profiles you follow. With less to keep up with, it’ll be easier to step back from your screen.

And finally, next time you’re on the bus or in a waiting room and your phone dies… why not sit back, relax, let the tedium take over and see what eureka moment it brings!

Get more insights on creativity with our other insight post about the Role of Creativity in Business Success.

JBP PR & Parliamentary Affairs is one of the leading strategic communications consultancies in the United Kingdom dedicated to providing a highly informed, targeted and outcome-driven communications strategy for all its clients. Their approach is a three-step process: discover, define, deliver. This model allows the consultancy to provide ‘business-class’ service to support its client’s goals.


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