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When was the last time you were bored? I mean really, well and truly, staring at the patterns in the wallpaper bored? 

Statistics suggest that you’re probably listening to this show on a smartphone. Which means you own a smartphone. Which means it’s probably always close at hand, full of apps and podcasts to distract you the instant that uncomfortable feeling of boredom creeps in. Which means your brain almost never gets the chance to sit with that restlessness and come up with creative alternatives, from daydreaming to doing something brilliant (or at least less boring) in real life. If that’s not you, awesome. But it’s a lot of us these days. 

My guest today, Manoush Zomorodi, is the host of Note to Self - a popular radio show and podcast on how we live with technology. An experiment she did on the show with the eager help of 20,000 fans became the subject of her new book Bored and Brilliant: how spacing out can unlock your most productive and creative self.

Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode

Tim Ferriss on mastering any skill quickly and efficiently, starting with cookingBryan Cranston on working together across generations 

Manoush Zomorodi Quote: Somewhere along the line, we were sold this idea  that being a parent meant keeping those little minds  engaged as much as possible. And that if your kids said  they were bored, it meant that you were failing as a parent.  I don’t know where that narrative came from.   When your kid says “I’m bored” you should say:  “That’s good. I’m actually teaching you the capacity to  problem-solve. To think unusual thoughts.”

 

About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.

You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.