One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

Hey there!

I saw a recent study about creativity and how to spark it, that pointed to something wholly unexpected.


Apparently, being bored out of your skull is a good thing if you want to be creative in the future.

But there’s a twist.

Hope this helps!


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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
I just got back from the doctors a
couple days ago I woke up with a sore
throat and congestion and it’s gotten
bad enough in the last couple of days
that I thought I should go to the doctor
and find out what it is and
unfortunately it’s nothing that can be
treated it’s a virus they did something
called the rapid strep test to make sure
that I didn’t have strep throat
no that was negative so and I listened
back to my video that I did a couple
days ago and you could hear it in my
voice so I apologize next couple of days
may be a little bit rough in terms of my
voice but just got to wait it out do a
lot of resting wait it out so I’m
spending my time doing work on project X
because I don’t have to talk for that
which is great but today what I wanted
to talk to you about was this whole idea
of creativity and I’d read an article
recently that was really interesting on
one of the biggest ways to spark
creativity and it’s crazy it’s it’s not
something that you would think and what
it is is pure unadulterated boredom yeah
being bored helps you be creative so
when you’re sitting there trying to come
up with things and furiously
brainstorming with yourself and all that
just know that if you go do something
that is mind-numbing ly boring taking a
shower you know that’s why we get an
awful lot of ideas when we’re in the
shower cause it’s really routine boring
stuff we usually tend to wash ourselves
the same way every time so it’s a
process that’s pretty familiar to us and
pretty boring to us taking a walk
watching something mind-numbing on
television you know just hanging around
playing a casual video game these are
the things that spark creativity for me
and what it is according to dr. sue
Varma who wrote about this
she says boredom is our brains way of
searching for interesting stimuli
activity and if we can’t find it in the
external environment we’re going to
create it which is great what it is is
removing all of those things that get
you anxious and excited and stimulated
to allow there to be a vacuum so that
creativity can actually happen our human
lives are built around creating and
doing and being and progressing and all
that sort of thing and when there’s no
emphasis to do that we start to wonder
what else can we do to be that way
so next time you’re worried about being
creative or you want to be creative just
be bored play some tic-tac-toe draw some
doodles take a shower you know um I did
want to find out what you had to think
about that I don’t know what you do to
be creative but I’d love to know I’d
love to know what it is that you’ve
identified as those times in your life
when you have been struck by the muse
that you’ve you become creative but what
are you doing when that happens I had a
lot of people in one of the other videos
that I say talked about taking a shower
which makes sense but I wonder what
other things happen leave me a comment
below especially on vo to go go because
I would love to have a sane and and
polite conversation and that’s where
that happens on the website
coming up Project X is going to be
moving these videos to another location
and will give you more details as time
goes on I’m just sort of like planting
the seed and letting you know that
there’s big changes
if you’d like to join my list I’d love
to have you on that I’ll keep you posted
on Project X and I will keep you posted
on these videos and other ways to make
your voiceover practice you’re
performing practice in general nice and
joyous and if you’d like to see the
latest video I’ve done the one that I’ve
just released in case this is just one
that you’re sort of looking at out of
out of sequence just go ahead and click
on that frame there and it’ll take you
to youtube and they’ll play it for you
I’m David H Lawrence the seventeenth I
thank you so much for watching and I
will talk to you tomorrow.

7 Responses to One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

  1. Deborah Geffner July 19, 2019 at 9:55 pm #

    Clean out a drawer! Clean out two!!

  2. Mike Russo July 20, 2019 at 6:41 am #

    These are from Chuck Jones’ book “Chuck Amuck”, where he talks about where he gets ideas from:

    “Where did you find the motif of your divine Ninth Symphony?” Anton Bruckner was once asked. ” I was on a tramp through the hills,” he reportedly replied, “and climbed a crag to enjoy the view and eat my lunch. As I unfolded the greasy paper around a piece of rather strong cheese, the damned thing popped into my mind.”

    “All the good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.”-Grant Wood

  3. Jamie Werner July 20, 2019 at 7:02 am #

    Creativity comes to me in that sleep phase where I wake up and can’t really fall back to sleep, yet I am clearly relaxed, and maybe even in some limbo between sleep and awake. Ideas and solutions to problems that have been rolling around in the back of my mind, like a sock in a dryer, come to light. It’s a wonderful thing. However, I have also come to know that having paper and pencil handy to write it down is very important, so that when I fully wake up in the morning, these thoughts, ideas, and solutions don’t slip away back into the abyss.

  4. Paula Faye Leinweber July 20, 2019 at 8:37 am #

    Many times my creativity comes from times when I am poor, no money, so I need to think in a new way to do what I need or want to do. That does involve a measure of boredom at times too, as it is very boring to be poor! But then I get very excited about my creativity that comes out of it.

  5. Chris Buckner July 20, 2019 at 10:05 am #

    I’ve never tried to use boredom to inspire creativity, at least I haven’t thought of it that way. I usually just try coming up with ideas, regardless of what I’m doing. Although I imagine it’s possible that if I’m not doing much then I’m kind of bored, which may help the creative juices flow. Thanks for the video David.

  6. Jim Thomas July 20, 2019 at 11:41 am #

    Hi David,
    I’ve used boredom for some time, but I never thought of it as “boredom.” The creative times for me are when I’m lying in bed just “wool gathering” before I have to get up. OR when I wake up in the middle of the night. The trick is remembering what I thought of in the morning light!

  7. Blair July 20, 2019 at 1:03 pm #

    This is going to age me but when I was in architecture school I used to listen to a Gino Vannelli mixed tape. It was incredible at putting me in a relaxed state to be creative. Since it’s been hard getting digital versions of his work I don’t listen to anything when I’m really trying to be creative now. Complete silence is key for me to get into that total relaxation “flow” state.

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