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Forbes: Why You Should Test The Power Of Boredom As A Weapon For Productivity

14 Oct 2019
AOM Scholars studied boredom and identified the benefits for creativity of being bored.

Originally found at Forbes, by Barnaby Lashbrooke

Remember boredom? That sensation experienced frequently before smartphones, infinite podcast libraries and seamless access to almost every movie and TV show ever made.

Intellectuals have lined up to decry it: Soren Kierkegaard called boredom the root of all evil, Bertrand Russell said the fear of boredom was responsible for half of mankind’s sins, and Arthur Schopenhauer named boredom–along with pain–as an enemy of human happiness.

But perhaps we have forgotten its virtues. In March 2019, the Academy of Management published three experimental studies that manipulated boredom and identified the benefits for creativity of being bored. It found boredom could increase the productivity of individuals performing idea generation tasks.

The problem may be that we think of boredom as the epitome of lost productivity, as well as a rather unpleasant experience, so we search for something to engage us (often our phones) rather than exploring the sensation of being bored.

Violette De Ayala, founder of FemCity, believes boredom can have a transformative effect on a business. On a recent flight, she deliberately chose not to take a book, watch movies or connect to the WiFi.

De Ayala says: “It gave me three hours of boredom which, in turn, gave me a very productive flight to think about strategy, campaigns and business development for my organization.”

Continue reading this article at Forbes.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Discoveries


This research was also highlighted in AOM Insights

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