The other day I left home without my cell phone. That shouldn’t have been a problem. After all, I spent the majority of my life without a cell phone. But I also get my e-mail and social media on that phone. I check the time with that phone. What was I going to do?
And I decided that this would be my artist’s date. I was going to be gone all day without my phone. Those moments when I would check my e-mail I would be more aware of my surroundings. I wasn’t sure if that would help with inspiration or creativity, but it wasn’t like I had a choice in the matter!
So what did I do without my phone?
*I people watched.
*I listened to conversations while I was standing in line.
*I studied how people interact with each other.
*I got bored.
Boredom is supposed to be an important step to creativity. Mark McGuinness, a coach for creative professionals, says “on the other side of boredom is the most exciting experience you can have as a creator–the state of being fired up and discovering new possibilities beyond anything you could have imagined before you sat down to work.”
Boredom is the most exciting experience? Uhh.. I wouldn’t go that far. And isn’t that an oxymoron?
Martin Lindstrom, the author of Brandwashed, believes that we push our creative boundaries when we are at our most bored. He actually schedules “a regular dose of boredom” in his daily life and views it an important meeting with himself.
I’m not about to schedule boredom into my day. However, this experiment has taught me not to fight boredom when it comes. Instead I will welcome it and see what happens.