Boredom is often seen as a negative emotion. It goes against the norms of how we’ve conditioned ourselves in the rat race of life. In many situations today, if we’re bored, it means we aren’t working toward a goal. If we are bored, it means we aren’t that important because our diary isn’t full. If we’re bored, we feel guilty because we are not ticking off our to-do list.
But being bored can actually be the catalyst for creativity and innovation. And from that, business ideas and entrepreneurial projects. Many great business ideas have been born out of moments of boredom. When we are bored, our minds are free to wander, and we may find ourselves thinking outside the box and coming up with new and unique ideas.
In this post, we will explore what boredom is, and how it can actually be positive from time to time – particularly in leading to great business ideas.
What is boredom?
We’ve all experienced boredom. Sitting in a class where a teacher is droning on about some uninteresting topic (that doesn’t happen here at The Global College with our innovative IB curriculum!), waiting at an airport for your delayed flight to depart, sitting in a traffic jam – there are many situations where we may experience boredom.
There are different variations of the definition of boredom, but it is generally agreed that it is a state of “feeling weary and impatient because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity” (Lexico).
On face value, it may not appear more than a fleeting feeling once in a while. However, if not taken seriously, boredom can lead to serious issues such as depression, or problems with physical health. It’s not all bad though! Humans don’t like to be unoccupied, and we use boredom as motivation to move onto bigger things. Being bored can also help us slow down – an important aspect in a world in which there seem to be ever more demands on our time – and indeed can be linked with increased mindfulness.
The advantages of boredom
As we’ve mentioned, what you do when you are bored is the key. You can use the feeling of boredom in a negative way and procrastinate your time away. Or you can use it to your benefit. These are just some examples of the advantages of being bored:
- Boredom sparks creativity: When we are bored, we are more likely to daydream and let our minds wander. This can lead to new and creative ideas that we may not have thought of otherwise. Our brains are wired to seek novelty, and when we are bored, we may be more open to exploring new ideas and taking risks.
- Boredom provides space for reflection: Boredom can also give us space to reflect on our lives and our goals. When we are constantly busy and distracted, we may not take the time to think deeply about what we want out of life. Boredom can provide us with a break from the constant stimulation of our daily lives and allow us to reflect on our priorities and values. This reflection can lead to new business ideas that align with our goals and values.
- Boredom encourages experimentation: When we are bored, we may be more willing to try new things and take risks. This willingness to experiment can lead to new business ideas that we may not have considered otherwise. By trying new things and taking risks, we may discover new and innovative ways of doing things.
- Boredom fosters curiosity: Boredom can also foster a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around us. When we are bored, we may be more inclined to explore new topics and areas of interest. This curiosity can lead to new business ideas that are based on a deep understanding of a particular topic or area of interest.
- Boredom leads to problem-solving: When we are bored, we may be more likely to seek out new challenges and problems to solve. This problem-solving mindset can lead to new business ideas that address real-world problems and challenges.
In conclusion, boredom can be a powerful catalyst for creativity and innovation. By providing space for reflection, experimentation, and problem-solving, boredom can lead to new and unique business ideas that have the potential to change the world.
So the next time you find yourself feeling bored, embrace it as an opportunity to explore new ideas and possibilities. Who knows, it may just be the start of your next great business idea.