A colleague at work just sent me a link to Scott Adams’ latest post entitled “The Heady Thrill of Having Nothing to Do“. Dilbert always seems to be experiencing the same insanity at work as I experience, so it’s hardly surprising this article from Dilbert’s creator has got me thinking.
Adams comments that “experts say our brains need boredom so we can process thoughts and be creative”. Well, it was certainly boredom at work that inspired me to create my first podcast, way back in January 2006, and again just last month to launch my own netlabel. But am I actually getting enough boredom?
I mostly work from home. It makes sense, because most of the people I work with are based in the US, Germany, Finland, India, or even Singapore. What’s the point in driving 62 miles (each way) to sit with people I rarely work with, when I can commute to my home office in 30 seconds. I still go into the office about once per week, for some face-to-face conversation, some mutual piss-taking and the occasional meeting, but that’s all. Oh and breakfast. Don’t forget the appeal of a “Full English”.
Whilst this is great for the work/life balance and all, I wonder if I’m actually missing something. I used to listen to way more podcasts when I drove the 70+ miles (each way) each day to my previous job, and now I don’t find quite so much time to indulge. There’s something about travelling the same stretch of those monotonous motorways day-in, day-out, that gives you time to contemplate another person’s poiunt of view: either musically, politically or emotionally. It was boring.
That said, I do tend to jack-in to the iPod when I take my evening constitutional walk around the village. And no, I’m not hyped up on the “sickest” dubstep beats when I’m cruising down the high street: I’m probably catching up with The Archers.
But is that a sensible thing to do? Adams goes on to talk about fast-forwarding through his favourite TV programs, checking his email when he’s waiting in a queue, or making sure he’s blogging about blogs (D’Oh, just like I’m doing here). He’s filling up his day with stuff my making sure he’s not listening or watching other stuff. I’m just the same.
So, when was the last time I just did nothing? Without falling asleep that is. I’m pretty good at falling asleep when I’m doing nothing. I guess it was a long time ago.
This evening I shall not be doing stuff. I shall not be reading my emails. I shall not be checking the feeds to see if there’s a new release from one of my favourite netlabels. Instead I shall take a walk without my iPod and I shall look and listen to this amazing planet.
Who knows: I maye even get bored!