Bored and Brilliant Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Bored and Brilliant explores the idea of how just doing nothing, daydreaming and spacing out can improve our cognitive functions, enhance creativity and original thinking overall while also helping us relieve stress.

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Bored and Brilliant Summary

Many of us struggle with procrastination. This never ending loop of non productivity, wandering around, daydreaming and blankly staring at walls it’s killing our efficiency and eats us alive. Why can’t we become better, more focused, and more original in our work?

Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi explores how by doing nothing at all and taking time off tasks completely at times can help you improve all those traits you so badly desire. By zooming out and spending some unstructured, white time by yourself your brain essentially gets a break from all the constant flow of information, which helps it regenerate and come back stronger.

Although this concept is backed up by neurology and psychology, it made much more sense for the author once she conducted her own public challenge of doing nothing for a week and seeing how the brain behaves. As people joined her, it became an interesting point of research that can help us improve our own cognitive functions today.

Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:

  1. Boredom activates imagination and fosters creativity in the brain. 
  2. Learn to practice positive-constructive daydreaming, instead of letting your mind wander around uselessly. 
  3. Digital distractions stay in the way between you, boredom, and a genius idea.

If you want to learn more about becoming brilliant while embracing boredom, stick around as we’ll explore every lesson one by one.

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Lesson 1: Being bored leaves room for your brain to rest, innovate, and come up with new ideas

If you’re one of those people who associates boredom with laziness, you’ll have to think again! According to the science behind psychology and neurology, boredom fosters creativity. Just look at the masterminds of some of the world, such as Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, or J. R. R. Tolkien, the writer of The Hobbit.

Both came up with their brilliant ideas through boredom. Letting their mind do nothing and get creative led them to incredible disruptions. Indeed, boredom and white space leave room for your brain to rest, reset, and start wandering around, when it does that, great ideas emerge and brainstorming occurs. 

Not only is it a natural process, but it also engances cognitive functions. Boredom is a part of our evolution as humans too. It allowed us to think about more than just survival and come up with great creations. Therefore, instead of taming boredom by trying to be efficient, it’s best to just let yourself go through it.

Lesson 2: There are three types of daydreaming, among which only one is productive

Being bored doesn’t always imply that your mind will come up with some ingenious ideas about the world and how to change it. Nor will it help you relieve stress and feel more productive after. Mind-wandering can happen in three ways, yet only one of those can actually help you achieve better mind outputs. 

Here are the three types of daydreaming:

  • Poor attention control
  • Guilty-dysphoric
  • Positive-constructive

You’ve probably guessed by now – the last one is the type of mind wandering you’ll want to practice. Poor attention control refers to that time when you just can’t focus on anything. That implies great ideas or a narrative of any kind.

Then, there’s the guilty-dysphoric type, which happens when your mind wander into a negative space. Here yoru critique is self-destructive, you delve into pessimistic thoughts, and end up diminishing your joy and increasing stress. Obviously, you don’t want that either.

Therefore, it’s best to practice positive-consgtructive daydreaming when you’re bored. Think about where you are in life, what you want to do, what you’d like to create, or find constructive thoughts to run on the back of your mind. This default mode is healthy both for your brain and for your emotional side.

Lesson 3: Quitting our phone addiction andembracing boredom will help you uncover the genius within

The author stresses the importance of embracing boredom as it is: a non-complex state of mind where your brain does literally nothing..until it does! In that moment, you’ll drift it towards positive-constructive daydreaming, and voila – great ideas emerge.

Now, to embrace boredom implies banning distractions from your life. The author took its readers on a quest to quit social media, keeping their phone in the hand at all times, and ultimately deleting the most addicting app on their phone. 

How? It all starts by simple observation. Try to actively notice how you spend most of your time online. How much time are you actually wasting on your phone, and is it productive? Are you checking TikToks, Instagram stories, and finding no value in your online activities? 

Chances are the answer to these questions is yes, so here’s what you’ll have to do: keep moving. Why? Because there’s a new rule in place if you want to quit your social media addiction: you can’t use your phone while moving. 

The second rule is to stop taking meaningless photos and snaps of everything you do. Then, delete the app that’s consuming all your time. Once you’ve done all of these, you’ll be able to embrace boredom and become brilliant.

Bored and Brilliant Review

Bored and Brilliant takes the reader on a scientific journey about the impotence of boredom in the human life, then a psychological one which proves how boredom leads to genius, and ultimately a challenge to all its readers. Although difficult, those who want to embrace boredom and achieve positive output from their mind will have to quit distractions, including social media and their phones. The digital distraction is a real addiction, but quitting it can prove to be the best thing you’ll ever do. If you’re ready to step into this challenge with both feet, this book is a must-read for you.

Who would I recommend the Bored and Brilliant summary to?

The 21-year-old gen Z who wants to spend less time on their phone and work more on their career, the 35-year-old person who feels close to burnout and wants to learn to relax while still creating useful output with their mind, or the 40-year-old person who doesn’t know how to take a break anymore yet finds themselves facing the negative consequences of being overworked.

Last Updated on October 6, 2022

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.