It's Summer - it's time to get bored
3rd August 2015
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But when summer does get here, I still find myself thinking back to those long, leisurely days I used to have as a kid.  The schools in Italy break up at the beginning of June and three months of sun, fun and… boredom lay ahead of very child.  Boredom was part of the summer holidays, those hours spent not knowing what to do but wanting to have something to do.  In those days (it sounds like I’m talking about many years ago; well I am, but not that many) there were no gadgets, no computers, at least not in my family, and the television only started transmitting half way through the day and even then, if there was something on sooner, watching telly in the morning was a real no no.  It’s not that my parents wouldn’t allow it, it just wasn’t something people did.

So, in those long summer days, I would find myself with my friends moping and grumbling.  Eventually though, we would find something that would inspire us and we would conjure up the best games and greatest adventures, or misadventures as sometimes turned out to be, and that over the years have become the subject of many get togethers; do you remember when….?  Those few hours of boredom turned out to be the hours that created the most memorable times.

So, what is wrong with boredom? Why are we spending so much time in our days trying to avoid it, filling up every moment with some kind of mental stimulation or other?  We all seem scared of being bored.  Every single minute of our life has to be filled and when we do have a free moment we mindlessly reach for the gadgets, newspapers or whatever else is to hand to distract ourselves.  We feel as if that, in such a busy world, we should not have time for boredom, we must always have to have something to do.

And of course, if it wasn’t for this innate yearning for wanting to have something to do, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  It is in our genes, and wanting to better ourselves has always been what defines us as humans: from migrating across the continents to the advances we are achieving today.  Yet I think that if it wasn’t for the hours spent “getting bored” those early humans might have never invented the wheel, and that leisure time was the resource that inspired inventions, new skills and grand adventures. One cannot exist without the other.  

Studies suggest we become more creative in our work when we are bored because we tend to daydream and therefore discover new possibilities as a result.  We might start to notice around us things we’d never noticed before.  Being bored turns our minds inward and encourages reflection: when we are always busy, rushing around, there is no time to think.  We do things the way we have always done them and have no time at all to think of alternatives or better ways of doing them.

I run my own business, and I seldom have the chance to sit and think, and at times I feel I’m in a bit of a rut, not dissimilar to the feelings I used to have when working for someone else.  So, will spending some time getting bored, like I used to do in those summers many years ago, help me find creative ways to grow my business and try something new?  All the studies I have read recently on the subject are unanimous: boredom is essential to creativity!

So, I think I will get bored at some point… as soon as I can find the time.

Have a great, and boring, Summer.

About the Author

Lia Parkinson

Member since: 8th February 2012

I became a VA eight years ago after working as a legal secretary and then a personal assistant at golf resort and conference centre, Brocket Hall.

I love nothing better than making sure deadlines are...

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