Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self

Image of Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self
Release Date: 
September 4, 2017
St. Martin's Press
Reviewed by: 

Rediscover the joy of daydreaming and awaken your creative self through Manoush Zomorodi’s guide to unleash from digital demons. Zamorodi uses the book to illustrate her social experiment in getting people to “unhook” from their digital dependencies. She postulates that the plethora of self-imposed distractions has decreased reading comprehension by creating a population of skimmers and nonlinear reading methods. Additionally, a University of California-Irvine lab showed that the more people switch their attention span the greater the stress level. So multitasking is truly a brain draining stress exacerbated by smart phones, computers, games, and other digital menaces.

Focusing on taking pictures of everything actually reduces the ability to remember details of the scene photographed. It turns out creating a mental image is not the same as snapping a pic on your phone. To really remember something, you are better off writing notes, sketching a picture, or just observing.

Today’s focus on site hits or number of hovers creates an endless focus on volume and reduces the emphasis on quality or customer experience. Driving people to a site is not the same as helping them find that which they seek. Just for giggles, tripling the time a customer spends on your site may imply that it is not that accessible. People are more than their digits.

The results on gamers and the impact on brain activity are mixed, but for those who spend inordinate amounts of time playing games are interfering with other life activities, such as getting off the couch and away from the console. Apparently seventy neuroscientists have signed a letter criticizing the brain training industry. One catches a whiff of market manipulation here, as in the Attention Deficit Disorder phenomenon.

Zomorodi does offer insights from participants in her study, with clever ideas to interfere with digital habits. A favorite digital kibosh was a gamer who used a long password, which was stored in parts, in separate physical locations, so it could not easily be discovered.

Theoretically this book is 208 pages, but the content is only 180 pages, so it can be read in one sitting. Even someone with ADD can finish this easy read.