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Remember when you were a kid and you’d always be complaining how bored you were? You had so much free time after school or in the summer and, after complaining, you’d build a castle with Legos or head outside and create a make-believe game?
Sometimes we need to be bored to become more creative and productive.
Our world today runs at a nonstop pace. We are constantly connected to millions upon millions of people with the simple touch of our finger. We can check in with everyone we know just by swiping up on our Facebook feed or scrolling through Instagram. We can read article after article, order things in seconds, and listen to music or podcasts instantly. But where does all of this connectedness get us? Of course there are tons of great benefits but, at the same time, it’s so easy to avoid being productive because you always have something else to distract yourself with.
Along with being a great distraction, all of the noise in our lives can make it really difficult to hear what’s actually going on in your head. Have you ever gone on a walk without music or taken a shower and realized you were able to work through some things that have been running through your mind? Those moments of silence are key to sorting through your thoughts, rather than pushing them to the back. Even calming music isn’t as helpful as actual silence. One scientific study found that two-minute intervals of silence between music actually calmed the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
So what does this mean for you?
Try shutting down from time to time, especially when you’re working on an important project.
First and foremost, shut down your electronics. Turn off your computer, put your phone in airplane mode, and breathe into the silence. If you find yourself constantly surrounded by noise, whether it’s chatty co-workers or rambunctious children, try to step away for a little bit or close the door and let people know that you need a few minutes to focus.
Other options to find some quiet time are taking a walk outside, waking up earlier than everyone else, not listening to music or podcasts while commuting to work, doing a short meditation, booking a meeting room at your office just for yourself, or working from your local library or a university library. If you make having quiet time with your thoughts a priority, you’ll find you’re able to work through more of your problems, address things you’ve been ignoring, and perhaps come up with some creative ideas.
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