Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.



  • Think about all the brilliant ideas you’ve had so far, where did you get them?





  • baby colic – a  condition seen in infants less than three months old, marked by periods of inconsolable crying lasting for hours at a time for at least three weeks
  • wander – wander
  • tenfold – ten times
  • unearth – discover (something hidden, lost, or kept secret) by investigation or searching
  • vicious circle – a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation
  • in one fell swoop – all in one go
  • withdrawal – the action of withdrawing something / the process of ceasing to take an addictive drug


Think about it

  • What does Manoush say about the first three months of her motherhood? (1:13)
  • What does Manoush say about boredom? (3:50)
  • What does dr. Daniel Levitin say about multitasking? (5:00)
  • What do people say about their relationship with the phone? How would you describe your relationship with your phone? (6:56)
  • What did people discover about their smartphone habits? (8:55)
  • Which day of the challenge was the hardest? What did the people have to do? How did they react? (12:45)
  • What were the results of the challenge? What can we take away from it for ourselves?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the words in CAPITAL LETTERS used in correct forms.

 I found what the young people said most ________ INTRIGUE. Some of them told me that they didn’t ________ RECOGNITION some of the emotions that they felt during challenge week, because, if you think about it, if you have never known life without ________ CONNECT, you may never have experienced ________ BORING. And there could be consequences. ________ RESEARCH at USC have found — they’re studying teenagers who are on social media while they’re talking to their friends or they’re doing homework, and two years down the road, they are less ________ CREATE and ________ IMAGINE about their own personal futures and about solving ________ SOCIETY problems, like ________ VIOLENT in their ________ NEIGHBOR. And we really need this next ________ GENERATE to be able to focus on some big problems: climate change, ________ ECONOMY disparity, massive cultural ________ DIFFERENT. No wonder CEOs in an IBM survey ________ IDENTITY creativity as the number one ________ LEADER competency.


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