In Life

Why are we bored?

Being bored always has such a negative connotation to it, but perhaps we’re not looking at it in the right way.

We’re dissatisfied with being bored, because we think that we should be doing something else and be totally productive 100% of our time awake.

Why the heck are we always trying to do stuff when we should just .. do nothing?

Like hamsters on a wheel, we’re pedaling furiously but going nowhere, fast.

From young, we complain about being bored  — “Mom, there’s nothing to do!!!

Then we get a snappy reply of: “Nothing to do? There are dirty dishes to wish if you’re interested!”, at which point it was wisest to shut your trap and run away.

I soon learned not to say there was nothing to do, and occupied myself with finishing homework ahead of time, playing the piano or reading.

Photography-Piano-Keys

Photograph I took of my family piano

Now as an adult, tasks like doing the dishes, vacuuming and cleaning, doesn’t bother me.


I’m not in love with it (except cleaning my wardrobe), but I don’t think it’s the end of the world.

It’s something that occupies my hands in a menial but physical task, so that my brain is tricked into thinking I’m being productive.

It satisfies that desire in me to be useful all the time, so as I wash dishes, my brain lets my mind wander and relax.

As I relax, I dream and sometimes come up with the best solutions to my problems at work or in life.

Other times, I start reviewing back over things I have to get done to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

More often than not, that boredom helps me process everything and to help organize and plan what will happen in the future.

Sure, that sounds more like putting a burden on yourself than enjoying the boredom, but it’s a way to stress and worry over things, and then let it go instead of letting it build up, unresolved in our psyche.

Being bored is not a bad thing, it’s only bad if we don’t know how to use it productively.

Or worse that we try to cram it full with playing with our smartphones, watching TV, or doing stuff that makes us FEEL productive when we aren’t doing much at all.

(My brother is the King of pretending to be productive.

We can be in the same room, having a conversation and he’ll feel this impulsive need to whip out his smartphone to check… whatever he’s checking in the middle of a conversation.

It’s like we can’t stand or sit still for more than 15 minutes without checking what everyone else is doing.)

So lie down, stare at the ceiling, keep a notepad and paper beside you and let 15 minutes do its work (if you happen to nap, 10 minutes is the optimal time for the most relaxed and recharged nap you could take).

We should learn how to be alone, be bored, let our mind wander and stop trying to search for connections with others for no reason other than to check in to see if they remembered that you’re alive….. every 15 minutes.

I mean, what did cavepeople do before smartphones? NOTHING.

That’s exactly my point — it’s that’s how they discovered fire and invented the wheel.

(I’m sure it was out of sheer boredom.)

Instead of waiting for life to happen, and forcing it out of your smartphone or TV, why don’t we let life happen?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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12 Comments

  1. Corianne

    Boring meetings or seminars where I am not actively participating are sometimes the places where I get my best ideas. Long train rides as well. Once or twice a month I travel from Brussels to the Netherlands, takes 2 hours and 45 minutes, only 1 change of trains. Perfect for reading or just staring out of the window and letting your mind wander.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Boring meetings, no. I just work on other stuff but I don’t get anything done. Long train rides, yes.. or just driving on the highway.

      Reply
  2. Abigail @ipickuppennies

    I’m exhausted and stressed. Working, blogging, managing health problems and scheduling my and my husband’s doctors appointments and… ugh.

    So day with nothing to do are wonderful. It drives my ADD husband crazy that I don’t want to go out and do more on my days off. I’m just excited to see what’s left on Netflix and maybe read a book.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Ditto. I’m so tired from Baby Bun & LIFE that blogging is my relaxing outlet.

      Reply
  3. ArianaAuburn

    I’d rather be bored than be stressed out of my mind. Boredom is an opportunity to find something to do for pure enjoyment, instead of finding something to do because your job or earnings depend on it. Do those who complain about being bored, I remind them that they are missing a lot due to lack of imagination.

    Reply
  4. suzi

    Thanks for the Cardi info! xo

    Reply
  5. suzi

    DONT shoot me! This is off topic (but many of the capsule wardrobe posts are very old now). Who has an idea where, what brand, makes a great cashmere (or similar) cardi, or wrap sweater – that would travel well AND go with just about anything; dress, skirt, jeans? I know this is a biggie, but please advise! Thanks, because I love this blog and all the comments too! I have learned SO much. ;-))

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Duly noted!

      Great cashmere can be found at: White & Warren (confirmed, their Pashminas are ultra soft) & Black Goat Cashmere (Haven’t bought anything from them yet but readers have said they rock).

      For Travel wraps, you might want to check out Cuyana. It isn’t cashmere but the wool capes seem to be very popular. I don’t own one yet, but I have been eying them.

      Otherwise, unless I go and touch all the cashmere myself I cannot recommend any other brands!

      Reply
  6. suzi

    I agree about the internet and using our phones to kill time instead of standing,sitting or?, just in the moment or just in quiet reflection once in awhile. Even at the bus stop, waiting room, grocery store lines, etc, no one makes eye contact or speaks; nor do you even see people just gazing off in the distance. Everyone is glued to a screen of some sort. Personally I’d rather just stand out in the yard with my dog… in silence, just pondering life. Boredom? No, THAT’S awesomeness!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Letting your mind wander can be a good thing. Being structured all the time can be exhausting…

      Reply
  7. Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents

    I haven’t been good and bored in a while. Too much stress. Having a clear head is nice.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Oh yeah for sure!

      Reply

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