The power of boredom

Some of my friends find it absurd that I don’t have internet at home. Maybe it’s not just that, but coupled with the facts that I have never owned a smartphone other than the company phones that my jobs have required me to carry, and my occupation being a software engineer at Google. The questions I often hear are along the lines of “You don’t have internet? But you work for the internet!”

While I am in no way advocating that everybody else do the same and live like me, it turns out that the internet, for all its upsides of giving you constant access to any information you might need at anytime, can also be a detriment and a source of distraction that prevents you from producing your best work. There are huge advantages that come from disconnecting yourself and incorporating moments of boredom to your life.

While boredom may sound like a negative thing, it has actually been a very important part of my life and my work both as a musician and an engineer. It is precisely in these moments of doing nothing that I am the most creative. Many of my musical melodies were born of these moments. So were the solutions to many of the difficult engineering problems I have faced. And it turns out that life without the internet is actually not “boring” at all, because these creative bursts also happen to be the moments when my brain works the hardest, and I end up experiencing my deepest sense of satisfaction.

If you don’t believe it, just try it and you’ll see for yourself. No, I don’t mean you have to go cancel your internet and phone plans right this moment, although you totally could and maybe you should in the near future, but for now, just unplug your wireless router and turn off your phone for an extended period of time. You’ll discover that you’re actually not depriving yourself at all by cutting yourself off from the digital world. It is rather liberating and satisfying that you can totally be at peace even in moments of boredom. And who knows, you might even produce your best work that you never knew you had within you.

Published by

Shin Adachi

I am a pianist and composer. I am also a software engineer at Google, and some people call that my "real job". I am originally from Tokyo, and now based in Los Angeles. Check out my music on iTunes/Spotify! Just search for my name.