Studies have shown that a little boredom is good for the brain. It can actually spark productivity.
“Boredom, like many other emotional states that we have, plays an important role in our lives,” explains Andreas Elpidorou, an author and associate professor at the University of Louisville. “We don’t want to be left without boredom.
We just want to know what boredom can do for us and how we can best react to it.”
Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire found that when participants were tasked with a boring activity followed by a creative one, they came up with more imaginative and often better solutions.
The findings suggest that by first undertaking boring tasks that send your mind into a daydreaming state - which is how a lot of us cope with boredom, by dreaming of doing something better or improving the situation - you will prepare your mind for more creative thinking in the ensuing task. The more passive the boredom, the more creative participants were afterwards.
So before your next big brainstorming session, answer some emails, shuffle papers. Get bored.
Good things are sure to follow.
This article originally appeared on InStyle.