Bored and Brilliant, by Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s podcast, Note to Self, is not technically a career book. But if like me, you’re concerned about how technology is impacting your focus at work, you’re going to love it.
Zomorodi pulls together cutting-edge research, neuroscience and real-life stories to make the somewhat counterintuitive argument that we need boredom to spark productivity in our lives. Her subtitle: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self.
Yet, in today’s 24/7 wireless world, we’re rarely idle: we tweet walking down the street, scroll Facebook and Instagram while watching TV and check texts before going to sleep. All that busyness makes us feel productive, but in reality, it erodes our creativity and problem solving abilities.
Fortunately, Zomorodi serves up a slew of practical solutions, most of which were crowdsourced from her 2015 Bored and Brilliant challenge that helped her podcast listeners gain control over their tech-taskmasters. She discovered that even small tweaks to daily routines —taking a 15-minute phone-free walk or declaring the bedroom a screen-free zone — led to healthier digital habits and more free time for productive brainstorming.