Hmm…we were not enamoured with this book…ironically we found it a little boring! The audible version didn’t seem to work as well as the book version, so I’m glad I read the paperback for once!
Sandi focussed a lot on the negative effects of boredom. For example, in the workplace boredom leads to us drinking more coffee and eating more; neither of which are great for our health.
An increase in boredom in recent years may have been brought about by the increase in the availability of devices to fill our down time up with passive entertainment. Often, we don’t allow ourselves to think of creative ways to fill downtime, reaching instead for our smartphones or remote controls, neither of which are guaranteed to provide us with something interesting every time we pick them up, and thus we often remain unfulfilled.
We agreed at the book club that downtime is necessary – it gives us time to reflect on ourselves, time to do creative things, time to rest, time to work through things. It is when we are forced to use our time to do things we deem boring (and that in itself is subjective) that it becomes a problem. We then seek stimulation we’re allowed in that moment; food, drink, a chat, etc…(or in some cases drugs, alcohol and even crime!)
Since reading the book I have made a concerted effort to check my phone less, and it feels good to give myself space to just be.
And on that note…I’m off to spend some time in the garden, and will leave you with a quote 🙂
We’ve chosen a classic for our next book club, on 25th July 7-9pm…come and join in!
20th June 2017 7pm-9pm at The Fountain Harvester, London Road, Milton Keynes
To join, click here (link opens in Meetup.com)
Available in paperback, kindle and audiobook
I can definitely relate to wanting ‘entertainment’ all the time. This book, available on Kindle, Paperback and Audible, might just change my thinking on that.
Come and discuss the book with friendly like-minded people. It seems like an easy read on first glance, but don’t worry if you don’t get through the whole thing – we’ll have a summary, and would be more interested in your thoughts about the ideas in the book.
Are we living in an age where we are more boredom-prone?
Or are other people boring us?
Or could we be that boring person?!
In our current information age, we are constantly connected to technology, and have so many varied ways to spend our leisure time that we should all surely never know what boredom feels like. Yet, boredom appears to be on the rise; it seems that the more we have to stimulate us, the more stimulation we crave.
In a quest to relieve our boredom, we engage in dangerous risk-taking – from extreme sports to drugs to gambling to anti-social behaviour, or we overindulge in shopping or eating.
The Upside of Downtime
explores the causes and consequences of boredom in the fast-paced twenty-first century. Parents are desperate to keep their children entertained during every waking moment, the education system is geared towards interactivity, and attention spans are dropping as we use multiple devices at all times. But the world of work can be increasingly repetitive and routine, and we are losing the ability to tolerate this everyday tedium.
Using Sandi Mann’s own ground-breaking research into boredom, this book tells the story of how we act, react and cope when we are bored, and argues that there is a positive side to boredom. It can be a catalyst for humour, fun, reflection, creativity and inspiration. The radical solution to the ‘boredom problem’ is to harness it rather than try to avoid it. Allowing yourself time away from constant stimuli can enrich your life. We should all embrace our boredom and see the upside of our downtime.