Working papers

Doing Nothing and Nothing to Do: The Hidden Value of Empty Time and Boredom (2014)

Manfred Kets de Vries

"In search of introspection and reflection"

In our present networked society, introspection and reflection have become lost arts. Instead, we are at risk of becoming victims of informational overload. The balance between activity and inactivity has become seriously out of sync. However, doing nothing is a great way to induce states of mind that nurture our imagination. Slacking off may be the best thing we can do for our mental health. Seemingly inactive states of mind can be an incubation period for future bursts of creativity. In this working paper, the author argues that doing nothing and being bored can be invaluable to the creative process.

INSEAD Working Paper, 2014

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