Tasks too hard or too easy? Attention straying from the movie you are watching, the book you’re reading or the brief you should be studying? Why is being bored a good thing though? These are the classic signs of boredom and, if you feel bored, that could be a good thing!
Toronto teacher Margaret Fong helps her students learn how to be bored!
In an interview Fong did with EducationWeek, she discusses how she gives her students 10 minutes a day to be bored and do nothing. From her observations, some students will draw, make up their own games, or just simply put their heads down to rest. She even noticed that some of them look forward to their ‘let’s do nothing’ time.
Fong’s observations are not unique.
A study published in the Academy of Management Discoveries Journal in March 2019 found that being bored can help to boost an individual’s productivity later in an idea-generating task. In another scenario, the researchers found that boredom doesn’t increase creativity in everyone, but it does for those with a high internal locus of control, high openness to experience and high goal orientation.
In other words, creativity resolves boredom in those who respond to the feeling by seeking to learn some new, or other kinds of mental stimulations. Edusity courses exist to fill that role, BTW. Edusity has a variety of language courses bundles including American Sign Language, English for Beginners, and Urdu. Check out the bundles at this link: https://edusity.com/bundles.
Boredom also benefits us by creating time for relaxation, which is important for mental health. Engaging in activities that do not need active mental energy such as going for a walk, sitting with our eyes closed, reading, and other meditative tasks help us embrace boredom. This is where we learn to let ourselves be bored and try to get rid of the constant barrage of thoughts about what to do next! Boredom also teaches us to sit with our thoughts in silence. Most of us cannot do it without feeling the need to do something, talk to someone or scroll on our phones. While scrolling through socials might be the first response to feeling bored, the activity eventually becomes as mundane and only adds to boredom. So next time you’re feeling bored, try not to reach for your phone. Just embrace the feeling and be in the moment with your boredom.