Embracing Moments of Boredom
Have you ever found yourself starting the day with a fresh mindset, only to notice your focus waning in the afternoon, mindlessly scrolling through social media? According to research from the University of California, this phenomenon is due to the excessive amount of information we process on screens. To maintain concentration and enhance productivity, it’s crucial to embrace periods of free time, often referred to as “boredom,” throughout the day.
But what exactly is meant by “boredom”? Some describe it as time spent on mundane tasks that don’t require much cognitive engagement, which serves to refresh the brain. Activities like cleaning or going for a walk give the brain a break and increase our overall productivity.
One effective way to create these moments is through digital detox. While engaged with the internet, the brain constantly processes information, leaving it with no downtime. By deliberately disconnecting from the internet, we can more easily create periods of boredom.
Interestingly, during moments of digital detox and boredom, the brain remains active, particularly in neural pathways related to organizing information and self-reflection. This mechanism helps to clear mental clutter and sharpen our minds.
In today’s chaotic digital lives, we’ve come to realize the importance of carving out time for boredom to achieve optimal performance at work. Perhaps it’s time to power down that smartphone and embrace moments of leisure.
Learning the Art of "Doing Nothing"
Lawrence University in the U.S. has incorporated a course titled “Doing Nothing” since 2022. During this class, students engage in introspection without the distraction of smartphones. Some students have reported reducing their smartphone usage in daily life, hinting at the potential spread of enforced digital detox in various forms.
How to do Nothing
The book “How to do Nothing” by contemporary artist and Stanford University lecturer Jenny Odell suggests that “doing nothing,” while lacking economic productivity, is essential for realizing oneself as part of a community. The book emphasizes the value of connecting with neighbors and fellow community members. In our capitalist society, finding moments of “doing nothing” in the midst of daily hustle might prove more challenging than we think.
Creating More Time in Your Day
Ever feel like there’s not enough time in a day due to an overwhelming to-do list? Wondering how to make the most of your time? This article introduces 10 strategies, such as identifying your most productive hours. As individuals have varying times of peak activity, recognizing your own peak productivity hours can be a starting point. Other tips include decluttering, saying “no,” and minimizing interruptions.
Niksen: The Dutch Art of Doing Nothing
“Niksen” is a Dutch term referring to “doing nothing purposefully,” allowing oneself to simply be. This word has gained attention as a wellness trend, offering a way to recover from stress and burnout. While mindfulness emphasizes being present in the moment, Niksen encourages embracing the passage of time and being present in the moment as it is. Psychologist Thijs Launspach describes Niksen as “finding delight in unproductive things as a way to enjoy your time.”