One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

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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  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.