Roz’s Musings – Boredom and Creativity
Is it possible that boredom can really help our creativity?
Jonathan Field’s book on Uncertainty points out from his research that most successful and creative people have a different attitude to boredom. In fact they embrace it and ritualise many of their banal activities.
I was immediately reminded of Steve Jobs whose clothing was always so boring and predictable. As most people are aware, Steve Jobs’ wardrobe since 1998, after he returned to Apple, was Levi’s, New Balances and black sweaters. In the 70s and 80s his wardrobe used to be a mix of clothing. Could it be that Job’s simple and uniform clothing allowed greater space for his creativity to blossom.
Similarly other successful people for example, eat the same breakfast each day, buy the same items from laundry needs to underwear. They monitor and manage their time making as many items from the minutiae of their lives as predictable as possible. They master banal/boring certainty over the things that would inhibit them from being truly creative!
It might be a timely challenge to consider where the creative time goes in our own lives. Would it work to add rituals and certainty in areas that are not where we truly want to put our creative energy?
I know that I was at my creative best when my children were younger, I was writing books and working full-time. I had to really monitor my time and ritualise many of my activities to get everything done. I had to get to an early morning gym class or I would not have time during the rest of the day, breakfast was a simple boiled egg and toast, similarly lunch was basic.
Now however with more time on my hands, deciding on the type of breakfast that takes my fancy and then cooking it is a far greater energy user than in days gone by. Spanish omelettes, pancakes bircher muesli all take a much greater time to prepare.
Evidently simple rituals become anchors. They allow successful people to prioritise the more important areas of uncertainty, creativity and productivity.
Imagine if we could recontextualise routines. Consider that there is paradox: ‘boring’ routines allow our more creative energies to flow.
So dear reader, where in your life can you develop routines to add space? What would it be like if you had more time to be creative in the important areas of your life?
Live! Love! Laugh!