As I write this, I am sitting on a beach with my toes in the sand on the island of St. Barth. I’ve been here for nearly two weeks, and while it’s nice…..I have no plans to move here! It happens that two events with two different groups were scheduled nearly back-to-back with each other in St. Barth. The first week was with my EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) Forum, aka my tribe, and the second is with a set of very good friends. To avoid traveling twice, I sacrificed and decided to bridge the day between the two events here in St Barth with some vacation time. Gotta do what you gotta do, right?! 😊
When I signed up for 2 weeks on a small island with little to do but go to the beach, sit by the pool, and eat amazing meals, I knew I was going to get bored. Most of you know me well enough by now to know that I just can’t sit still! I don’t know how people do it! So, while I have been sitting here with my toes in the sand and the requisite rum in hand, I read a few articles about how boredom can lead to mastery. That seems counterintuitive; I think boredom leads to procrastination, busywork, and usually to dissatisfaction. It may also cause us to overdo things like eating, drinking and/or binge-watching TV to pass the time.
Boredom, though, can lead to improving our craft because it gives us time to practice. The articles I read helped me gain that perspective. Consider the example of elite athletes consistently repeating their practice routines, repeating the same motions over and over again. They even watch video of themselves doing these motions at the end of practice (how boring is that?!), but that is what makes them elite. They put in the work, repeating motions until they get it right and continuing to do so even after to stay on top of their field.
The trick is to take control over and use boredom to our advantage. So, next time you are bored, instead of complaining about it, puttering around doing nothing or reaching for the remote control, think about what you would like to improve. In times of boredom, working on the basics, mastering your craft, and making it second nature will get you past the boredom and will set you up for success in busy times. Your future selves will thank you!
“Boredom has an important function, because pushing through it can unleash creativity.” – Amy Dickinson
With the record cold temperatures many of us are expecting this weekend, why not think about what you want to master and get bored doing it. 😊
Have a great weekend.