It’s the same old scenario. You have a to-do list a mile long and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to tackle it. And you’re not alone.
Everywhere you turn, people are busy.
What happens when you call your family members? Busy.
When you call your friends? Busy. Or maybe you don’t call them because you’re busy.
People tend to take some sort of secret pride in “busy-ness.” But what’s wrong with NOT being busy?
Plan to be bored sometimes instead. Sound crazy? Well, actually being bored could be a good thing.
Why do people hate to be bored?
First, what exactly does it mean to be bored? Well, while boredom can mean many things to many people, the most basic of definitions is not being able to find an activity you enjoy — regardless of how much you want to. This is typically a result of routine. People are so used to going to their go-to method of entertainment, that when it’s out of reach — cell phones, tablets, watching tv, etc., — they feel boredom coming on. And they don’t like it.
Take a cue from a kid
You know why kids hate time out? Because they feel it’s boring! And the worse thing in life for a child is to be bored. But if you watch kids for a while, they’ll figure out how to entertain themselves just sitting in a corner. Magically, that string on their shirt becomes the greatest thing ever. Who knew?
As adults, wouldn’t you love a scheduled time out? What was a nightmare as a kid can be a dream come true for an adult. Taking the time NOT to think about the seven million things on your to-do list can actually do you some good.
Stop being busy and embrace boredom
Ever notice we are really “busy” but aren’t necessarily doing anything extremely productive.
We click, scroll, snap, like — you name it, and then get annoyed when half the day has gone by and that big project for work isn’t finished. Being “busy” and having constant distractions can really stifle imagination.
You know what happens when you put down the devices? You get creative, just like a kid. You tend to do things you wouldn’t normally do. That book that’s been collecting dust starts to look really good. Or you may not even have any physical books in the house, but you have butter, flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, milk — let the baking begin! You may find that you’re a really good writer, artist, beaded-necklace maker and more.
Whatever the case, there’s something to be said about on-purpose boredom. Forcing the brain to work outside its comfort zone not only enhances creativity but can also improve problem-solving skills.
Boost your mood even when you are faced with boredom
Do you know you can actually find out how bored you are? Yes, there are online quizzes that actually help you determine your boredom. If you’re really that bored, pass some more time and take a quiz. But once you find out, then what? You will still be bored. And while being bored means you aren’t able to do the things you’d like to do, you will soon find out there are lots of other things you can do. Before you know it, you could increase productivity and even boost your mood.
- Get outside – Are you a slave to the latest technology? Unplug and get retro! Fly a kite, toss a frisbee or roller skate.
- Clean up – Stop tripping over that pile of shoes for the last time and take the time to get things cleaned up. While you may not want to do it, you’ll feel so much better once you’re done.
- Tackle a puzzle – You know you’ve been tempted to pull out the 1000-piece puzzle from the attic. Here’s your chance.
- Journal your thoughts – While it may be tempting to share what you ate on social media, take the time to journal your day.
- Enjoy your kids – For those of you with little ones, spend some quality time just watching them wobble to the door, pull your nose or learn peek-a-boo. You just can’t get that from a cell phone.
- Volunteer – Get your mind off your boredom and go help someone else. Your idle time can be life-changing for someone in need.
- Get some sleep – It’s amazing how much better you will sleep without all the distractions. You’re not doing anything else — go to bed early tonight!
So instead of being “on” all the time, let the mind take a break from the norm and enjoy a diversion from your typical means of entertainment. Explore being bored!