Out of Ideas? Make Yourself BORED!

27 replies
Ever feel like your brain is shutting off? Or, do you ever struggle to find great ideas?
Studies have shown that our brain is optimally creative while it's bored. Long story short, when you're bored your brain doesn't "go to sleep", but rather it makes new connections (aka produces ideas). Some of your best ideas will come when you're in the car, at your in-laws house, or anywhere else you may become bored.

In college, I purposefully started making myself bored immediately before exams by reading the index of the text books. My text scores improved by an average of 10%, by doing nothing else. Quite exciting, to me.

So the next time you're fresh out of ideas, go ahead and do something that will BORE YOU, and stop thinking so hard! The ideas will come
#bored #ideas #make #success
  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    Good tip.. Sounds logical.

    Thinking about it, i get tons of good ideas when i'm waiting in queue or during boring meetings.

    Cheers,

    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author dash0205
    Just when you give your brain cells a break! .. ideas will just pop up!

    I experience this all the time and I find it really amazing!
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  • Many times I have been accused of being boring, but I have a heck of a time "getting bored".

    However, I can see how the mind will try to "make new stuff up" if it feels the dull neglect of streams of numbers or names for credit given. That would be pretty boring stuff in my book and perhaps that would be a window to creativity. I will give this a try one day.

    Thanks for a new way of looking at the mind and how it likes to trick and be tricked by us.

    LLS
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  • Profile picture of the author derricks4
    Originally Posted by Art of Marketing View Post

    Wow Derricks,

    You just made me realize that I am never bored! I can not afford to be.

    IM I love but if it keeps me from other passions then it forces me to become more time management focused.

    Love, working out and being active, exploring culture I love those things too.

    The creative side of me never turns off...in any endeavor I am trying to figure out the best way or optimum way to do things.

    -Art
    Art,

    Get bored! Even when you're working out or doing things outside and being active, those are fantastic times for your brain to create new ideas!

    If that comes naturally for you, then you're very lucky!
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  • Profile picture of the author NoobSensei
    I really like this idea, and wholeheartedly agree with it. I would propose a corollary to it: Don't be afraid of boredom. This means don't check your phone every time you have a few seconds of downtime, don't check Facebook in between every activity, don't have the television on in the background when you aren't actually watching, etc. Embrace the boredom.
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  • Profile picture of the author Japles
    I live by the quote "Only boring people get bored."

    However, there have been those rare occurrences when I have turned into a "boring person." Maybe next time i'll use that to my advantage

    Cool post! Thanks for sharing.
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    YOU are awesome :)

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  • Profile picture of the author curly sue
    Great ideas come to me when am talking a walk, so i always carry a pen and notepad so i don't forget...
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    • Profile picture of the author derricks4
      Originally Posted by Japles View Post

      I live by the quote "Only boring people get bored."

      However, there have been those rare occurrences when I have turned into a "boring person." Maybe next time i'll use that to my advantage

      Cool post! Thanks for sharing.
      Yes, embrace the "boring" times! You're welcome

      Originally Posted by curly sue View Post

      Great ideas come to me when am talking a walk, so i always carry a pen and notepad so i don't forget...
      Great! I think we can all learn a little more about ourselves, and really become more efficient with our ideas. Think about the best times you come up with your greatest ideas. For me, it's when I'm at the gym on the bike, in the car, or listening to a boring lecture. Then, block out some time to ACTUALLY PURPOSEFULLY do that! Get bored, embrace it, and let the ideas flood in
      Don't forget, bring a pen and notepad (or technology) to write everything down, just as curly sue does!
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  • Profile picture of the author JosephMai
    It sounds interesting. I sometimes play game (DOTA) for whole weeks to boredom, then I come back to work, it's more efficient and effective.
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    • Profile picture of the author derricks4
      Originally Posted by JosephMai View Post

      It sounds interesting. I sometimes play game (DOTA) for whole weeks to boredom, then I come back to work, it's more efficient and effective.
      Yes! When I had employees, I made sure that they blocked out time to do "Brain-embowering" games!
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
        I understand rest, but the concept of boredom is beyond my comprehension.

        There is way too much to do in life to be stuck for something to do.


        Daniel
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        • Profile picture of the author derricks4
          Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

          I understand rest, but the concept of boredom is beyond my comprehension.

          There is way too much to do in life to be stuck for something to do.


          Daniel
          Well, that comes with a bit of an understanding about how the brain itself works. Without going into too much detail, when your brain is in a state of high use (i.e. working) it is constant making new connections within the neurons with the new information it's processing.
          Now, on the flip-side, when the brain is at a point of rest but not exhuastion (i.e. boredom) it is no longer making new connections within the neurons with new information but, rather, it makes new connections with old information that's already been processed and stored. These are called ideas.

          To put it in real life terms, think about the last time you couldn't think of somebody's name or remember something you were going to tell somebody else. Did it come to you while you were trying so hard to think of it? Probably not. Did it come to you eventually? Probably well after you had moved on and were onto the next subject.

          It's the same sort of concept, here, with idea generating.
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  • Profile picture of the author vkrose
    I'm usually too busy to get bored, but a lot of times when I lay down to go to sleep, I start thinking of ideas. Now I keep a notebook & pen by my bed so I can write them down and then I can fall asleep.
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    • Profile picture of the author derricks4
      I've heard that quite a bit from people, but I think overall people aren't even aware of when they are bored. Trust me, I'm as busy as they come, but I know when and where to expect to be bored.

      GREAT "Hotspots" for being bored and generating ideas:
      • In the car
      • In bed before you go to sleep
      • Sitting through an un-interesting lecture
      • At the gym/while exercising
      • Cleaning
      • Doing errands
      • The list goes on
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Fridrihs
    The idea is good, thanks. If I need to solve anything I am trying to relax my brain or just stop thinking about problem and it works well.
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  • Great tip! When I'm bored I go day dreaming, in which all good ideas pop!
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  • Profile picture of the author wlasikiewicz
    I have been bored most of today and noting has come to mind yet..
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    • Profile picture of the author derricks4
      Originally Posted by Servicy View Post

      The idea is good, thanks. If I need to solve anything I am trying to relax my brain or just stop thinking about problem and it works well.
      Exactly! That's when your brain goes into "creative" mode.

      Originally Posted by affilorama-portal View Post

      Great tip! When I'm bored I go day dreaming, in which all good ideas pop!
      There you go!

      Originally Posted by swords View Post

      I've noticed this as well in some instances, just never thought about it before. Thanks!
      No problem. Go ahead and start planning for it!
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  • Profile picture of the author rhoula
    I admit that I have never thought of this before. Your post makes a lot of Sense. I work 50 miles from where I live on my way to work. I always think of great ways to do things, projects that I never think of while I'm busy browsing the net.

    I will try to utilize this Technic next time and see what I could get accomplished.

    Thank you so much for the great tip.
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    • Profile picture of the author derricks4
      Originally Posted by rhoula View Post

      I admit that I have never thought of this before. Your post makes a lot of Sense. I work 50 miles from where I live on my way to work. I always think of great ways to do things, projects that I never think of while I'm busy browsing the net.

      I will try to utilize this Technic next time and see what I could get accomplished.

      Thank you so much for the great tip.
      You're welcome. Don't write while you drive, but keep a notepad close by! Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author webcosmo
    It`s logical, our mind always works, and if we don`t feed it with activity, it fills itself with creative ideas !
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  • Profile picture of the author katherineolga
    I never believed in the "pre test study panic" that people would do before college exams. I used to relax my mind by reading a novel. I remember reading Stephen King's It the day before a history exam while watching my classmates panic while going through their notes. Heck, most of the test was essay - you can get away with a heck of a lot more through good writing. So I got into "writer" mode by reading one of my favorite authors.

    Your brain definitely needs to rest. But I make the connections by doing something other than the task - so walking, cleaning, relaxing, watching a movie - it all works for me.

    Great post! It really made me think.
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  • Profile picture of the author RockNRolla
    When I was younger I used to sit on a swing in the park for hours and just swing back and forward. The amount of ideas and focus I could generate from doing this was unreal. It's just a shame that now at 27 I'm a bit old to be sitting on the swings in a play park
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  • Profile picture of the author jay walters
    This thread is funny because I can still remember back when I was in my freshmen in college, I used to sleep at the library coz I get bored at reading my books. When I took my prelim examinations I get pretty good scores. But I did go to class and listen to my professors even though I sleep over my books...... I did change when I was in my higher years... Yeah, I believe this thread seems to be a logical explanation for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author gortz
    My best and most creative ideas tend to come when I'm driving alone in my car. It's the only time of day when my mind is bored and allowed to wander.
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