The Crisis of Creativity

September 26, 2021by Editorial Team
Sunk in boredom? Or awakening in creativity?

Boredom induces Imagination, leading to Creativity, catalyzed by Curiosity. But do we get a serious opportunity to get bored? Read on to explore some insightful questionings

The goodness in boredom

We often talk of ‘boredom’, but in reality we do not allow our minds to get bored. There is always a tendency to seek an escape route to engage our minds, be it mobile phones, Social media, YouTube or Netflix. But just as even land needs a fallow period to increase its productivity, a period of time when nothing is made to grow there, so do humans. But we never allow a fallow period for our minds. Boredom is actually the default mode for our brain when it starts working at its creative best.

Humans are the only living species who have been proved to have the power of Imagination. Even employers consider creativity as one of the most important qualities of leadership in a potential candidate. The twist lies in the fact that we actually become most creative when are bored. When we feel bored, we often try to find something to stimulate our minds and fill that void. During a study that was published by the journal Academy of Management Discoveries, it was found that “…people who had gone through a boredom-inducing task — methodically sorting a bowl of beans by colour, one by one — later performed better on an idea-generating task than peers who first completed an interesting craft activity” (Ducharme, 2019)

The younger generation have their minds with a constant overload of information that can result in stress and even depression. Attention uses one’s limited cognitive resources for productive activities. So taking a break can be a valuable opportunity to help our overloaded brains relax and alleviate stress.

From boredom to creativity

Today the world faces a major crisis in creativity. However we can take a moment to step away from our screens and allow us to calm that busy noise in our brain, making us stop, focus, and think. We can try to solve this creativity crisis if we

Keep the phone aside
Have phone-free hours at work
Work in unfamiliar environments
Take a walk
Go through new experiences
Encourage Weird ideas.

Get curious

Curiosity, Imagination, Critical thinking and Problem-solving are key human skills for the current and the coming decades, also called 21st Century skills. But the core shared component is Curiosity. Curiosity that fuels Imagination is one of few remaining human skills that is most difficult to automate. We should perhaps focus on Imagination more than Creativity. Even if one is creative in solving present problems, if we do not imagine something new, he remains stuck at the current situation. It is a baffling process in developing any innovation, which Joseph Schumpeter famously terms as ‘Creative destruction’.

However this spirit of curiosity does not get sufficiently fuelled as one falls prey to distraction. This is habitual in life and becomes a hindrance to our goals. Mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for hours makes us realize that we could not do the work that we were meant to do. Mobile phones were initially a huge distraction during the online classes. But it was realized that one could actually keep himself away from the mobile if no notification popped up. So turning off the WiFi and Internet on the phone and studying on the laptop actually turned out more productive that helped improved concentration. Boredom induces creative ideas. Curiosity can bring forth multiple solutions and possible explanations.

A personal experience

A study conducted by Microsoft in 2015 on 112 people says that the average attention span of a human being is 8 seconds against 9 seconds for a Goldfish.
I had recently gone for a 6-day trek to Sandakphu, the best part of which was the inaccessibility of network on my phone. The loss of hyperconnected city-life got me better insights. We saw beautiful views, connected well with others and came back a different person, a much more calm person inside.


About the author/s

The article has been contributed by the following students of St. Joseph’s High School, Matigara, Darjeeling: Pooja Saha, Sneha Agarwal, Khushi Pradhan and Sanvi Pradhan

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