Boring Entertainment

Cartoon by ‘Hugh MacLeod’ at

I used to chat to people before I had an iPhone about spells of ‘writers block’, usually describing a period of time when my musical or lyrical creativity was practically non-existent. It was always a frustrating time but it always passed eventually, sometimes giving way to lots of new melodies and lyrics.

This morning I read a superb article by ‘Fast Company’, which discusses why our phones are causing the deterioration of creativity and it inspired this blog post. It got me thinking about ‘waiting’. For example, waiting in a doctors surgery, waiting on a friend to meet you for a chat, waiting on the washing machine to finish the cycle so you can put the clothes on the line etc, etc, etc.. there are millions of examples! Well, the truth is, ‘waiting’ for me has now become ‘iphoning’.

In those moments, minutes or hours that I find myself potentially ‘bored’ from ‘waiting’, I reach automatically for my phone and read updates, listen to music, search for offers, comment on status updates and pretty much log in to the virtual world most of us live in, not missing out on anything that might be remotely important.

The fact is, I am missing out on ‘being bored’. Whilst that might seem like a ridiculous statement, the benefits of ‘being bored’ are incredibly important if not vital for any of us who depend on creativity as an income or even as an outlet. A lot of children and adults nowadays have no idea what it means to be bored and possibly explains why my improvised storytelling to distract a group of children from running around a fountain last week worked incredibly well. They were engrossed in the story I made up as we walked around in circles, imagining the characters, their clothes, the events. I was gobsmacked that this entertained them so much that they barely left me alone for the remainder of the day! But it proves a point that getting lost in imaginary events, daydreaming, reflecting and just doing nothing gives your mind a new sort of space that most of us are not used to anymore.

I have made the decision to consciously put away my ‘iPhone CK’ (CK:Creativity Killer) from now on whenever I am in a ‘waiting’ situation and let boredom entertain me!