A sign of great parenting is when Moms and Dads hear their kids say, “I’m bored.” Too often, kids are over stimulated with screen time and constant engagement. It’s as if boredom is wrong. In actuality, boredom is a gift because it provides margin for kids to think, play and learn how to be creative.
That’s not just true for kids. It’s true for you and me. I once heard an alarming stat that we touch our phones over 2,617 times a day. 2,617!
I wonder how often we reach for our phones in moments of “boredom.” You know the ones such as sitting at a stop light, waiting in the drive-thru, standing in line or downtime at home. In those moments it’s easy to reach for our phones to distract us from our thoughts. This year, I want you to fight against this tendency to reach toward technology and simply embrace the moment.
Take it in.
Be more observant.
One of the key characteristics of comedians is they are more observant than the rest of us. As a result, they point out things in a way that we don’t see. This isn’t just true for comedy. It’s true for all creative endeavors. Boredom allows you the opportunity to observe, think and reflect.
Let’s put this to the test this week. First, I want you to select one issue in your work life that needs help. It could be hiring, increasing revenue, reducing costs or figuring out what to do next in your career.
Second, write it down.
Third, this week, when you arrive at one of the “boredom locations” don’t reach for your phone. Use these few moments to think. Look around. Look around to see if there’s an idea you can build on.
Steve Jobs said, “Creativity is connecting things.” Too often, we don’t create margin for things to connect. This week, stop the reach. Embrace the boredom, and look around.