Boredem Makes you More Creative (Ten Ways to use Brain Based Research in Training #6)

Most of us try to eliminate boredom at work and probably our managers don’t usually want to think we’re getting bored but a new study confirms what my highly creative sister has always said – that sometimes you need to be bored in order to be creative.

The study from the University of Central Lancaster seems to imply that being bored gives us time to daydream which in turn gives us time to be creative.

They conducted two studies where they found that 40 people asked to do a boring task (copying out telephone numbers) were more creative than a control group of 40 when asked to come up with creative uses for polystyrene cups.

In a 2nd experiment people asked to just read names rather than copy them were even more creative than those asked to write them out.  The hypothesis is more boring, passive activities may lead to more creativity because of the opportunity they present for daydreaming.   Asking people to write may decrease their opportunity for daydreaming.

Whilst I’m not advocating you make your training boring in order to encourage people to be creative there is scope for encouraging day dreaming before asking people to be creative.

Perhaps it’s a case of carefully assessing what it is you want people to do next and considering your current activity in the light of that.  Before you ask people to be creative give them some time to drift and daydream.

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