Yesterday at work I was confronted with a situation that I have not experienced for quite some time. I was staring at the ceiling, waiting patiently for the caffeine to kick in so I could stop suffering from droopy eyes in front of my customers, and I realized: I was bored. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I was horribly and fantastically bored. I tried to consider more about the interesting situation I had found myself in. Helpless, I looked for work to do, and found none. I tried to help my co-workers with their work, yet they were as bored and aimless as I was.
Resigned to my fate, I ate a few bread-sticks.
In life we don’t have very many opportunities to be bored any more. At least for me, I always have something that I’m able to focus on if I have some free time. If I even have an ounce of time where I’m not focused on something I could just pop open my phone and have a world of information and entertainment available to me.
As a culture, we are constantly filling up our schedules with stuff in order to avoid a dull moment. We make ourselves rush and hurry from work to play again and again in the subtle avoidance of the horror of having a moment alone with our own thoughts. I can attest that on my busiest days, where I didn’t bother to give myself some time to breath, my brain didn’t really wake up until I was getting ready to go to bed. In that brief moment of time where I rested my head on my pillow, my brain finally got some time to explode in thought.
I hate it when that happens. It keeps me from sleep.
I am an advocate of boredom.
Let’s talk about your brain for a second. Your brain is a greedy information consuming monster. It will ingest as much as you possibly have the desire to give it. It loves entertainment. That’s what it wants. If your heart craves blood, your brain craves information. In the modern world your brain can be entertained for years on end; till your bones become weak and your skin melts into a blubbery mass. As long as your brain consumes, it’s happy letting your teeth turn to dust in your mouth as you swallow bread-sticks whole.
Okay I feel like I got a bit dark there. What I mean is that every day it’s important to let yourself be, well, bored. Just because your brain is entertained, and you may be a “busy bee” doesn’t mean that you’re growing. It just means you’re busy. I can be busy taking tables and watching Marvel movies constantly till Endgame hits in my free time.
Doesn’t mean it’s good for me.
Boredom is a catalyst for deeper thought. Having time where you are able to just focus on thinking whatever your brain wants to think about is what boredom is for. Being able to entertain yourself by just thinking, or by focusing on something you’ve been brushing aside, that’s what boredom is for. Some of your greatest moments of inspiration will probably come from a moment where you are utterly, helplessly, fantastically bored.
I’m not saying that it’s good to be bored all the time. Or to be bored at your job. I think that if you’re bored all the time, you probably need to tighten up your schedule a bit. And if you are bored at your job all the time, maybe you need to reconsider why you’re at your job. Is it a means to an end? Or are you wasting your time doing something that isn’t beneficial to your life?
Make sure you get yourself good and bored sometimes. Have an old fashioned date with your brain. Sit back and relax, think about nothing, and see where it takes you.