Jan 10, 2013

Office boredom can boost creativity

A study has found your creativity can be boosted by being bored at work.

Whilst many think sitting bored at a desk is far from ideal, research from the University of Central Lancashire has shown it encourages the mind to wander, which can aid creativity.

The research suggests the more boring a task is, the more creative an individual might feel afterwards.

It involved a comparison between volunteers who completed a dull task (copying phone numbers from a phone book) followed by a creative exercise and others who were only presented with the more creative activity.

Results showed people who completed the initial task performed better when they attempted the creative exercise than those who only completed the latter.

Dr Sandi Mann, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, suggested we could potentially benefit from embracing boredom at work in a way we haven’t in the past.

She said: “Boredom at work has always been seen as something to be eliminated, but perhaps we should be embracing it in order to enhance our creativity.

“What we want to do next is to see what the practical implications of this finding are. Do people who are bored at work become more creative in other areas of their work – or do they go home and write novels?”


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