2 April 2020

Embrace boredom: unleashing creativity during lockdown

Our Creative Director Olly Whitman encourages us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

— my mum 

This ‘quote’ has stayed with me since childhood. It always hits me if I get frustrated with having nothing to do – which isn’t that often.

What if being locked down isn’t an opportunity to do more with our time? What if the real opportunity we have is to allow ourselves to be bored? 

Being bored doesn’t have to be scary or uncomfortable. 

In fact, boredom may make us more creative and productive. Studies show that people who spend time being ‘bored’ before completing cognitive tasks outperformed those who were ‘entertained’ prior. This suggests that letting your mind wander can spark creativity and improve problem-solving skills.

Embracing boredom is one of life’s small pleasures and an unbelievably hard skill to master in our always-on, instant-gratification, fear of missing out lives.

Just stop.

Go where your thoughts take you. The key to unlocking your creativity through boredom is to allow yourself to be led rather than forcing things to happen.

Doodle aimlessly. Daydream. Listen to or play music. Before you know it a thought could strike. It might not be what you were expecting. So what. Go with it. As I’ve said, being bored doesn’t have to be scary or uncomfortable – but it might be, just a little bit. You don’t have all the answers.

But they’re in there, somewhere.

 – Olly Whitman, Creative Director at McCann Synergy

Looking for inspiration? Contact Olly to find out how our bespoke creative workshops can unleash your team’s potential, via olly@mccannsynergy.com

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