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Bored into Creativity

Boredom can inspire. But in today’s rush-everywhere, book-every-last-minute-of-the-day world, when do we have time to get bored?

We seem to believe that someone will think less of us if we have spare time in our days. And that having idle time is a bad thing. Our smart phones keep us from daydreaming or even giving our minds the opportunity to concentrate on nothing.

Even when we’re vacationing, we pack our schedules with jet-skiing, wine tasting and sand castle building. Our no glare screens allow for working while at the pool, so we don’t even “hang out” while the kids are playing Marco Polo.

If you can’t remember the last time to relaxed and let your mind wander or just spaced out for a few minutes while waiting in the doctor’s office, then consider trying to allow yourself to do so.

Researchers (such as Sandi Mann of the University of Central Lancashire of the U.K. who specializes in boredom research) tell us that we’re robbing ourselves of the opportunity to get our creative juices flowing. And that could be preventing us from coming up with new ideas that can help us to be better at what we do.

You can’t schedule creativity. A creativity session you plan from 4:30-5:15 on Wednesday afternoon before your advanced pointe class begins will fail miserably. Our minds just don’t work that way. That’s why we need to give ourselves the gift of time on a regular basis. Time when we don’t watch TV, we don’t check our email or see what friends said about the spring recital on Facebook while we’re waiting for creativity to come over us. If you’re “idly” doing these things, your mind is darting about and too crowded to allow creativity in.BLOG_BoredintoCreativity1

You have to relax, get quiet and let everything go. Look up at the stars or into the clouds over the mountains and daydream. Imagine – like you did when you were a child – without placing limitations and parameters on what your mind comes up with. After all, creativity is all about stepping outside the box of reasonability to imagine what would be awesome. When you actually put a plan to your creative ideas, you may have to draw them back into the realm of possibility, but that just means you’re stretching boundaries to grow to a level you’ve not reached before.

Read the Dance Magazine post by Madeline Schrock “The Surprising Link Between Creativity and Boredom.” There are links to other interesting articles (like “The Case for Boredom” on and you’ll soon be convinced that inserting some boredom into your like it totally worthwhile.


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