A Little Happier: An Important Lesson from a Sticky Note on a Friend’s Computer.

A note on a friend’s computer taught me a giant lesson about writing — and about life. Down with boredom. Whenever possible, skip the boring parts!

In writing all my books, if there’s an aspect of my subject that bores me, I figure out a way to write around it. And no one has ever seemed to notice.

I try to do the same thing in all aspects of my life. Down with boredom. It’s not always easy, but it’s often more possible than you might imagine.

Have you ever figured out a way to skip a boring part?

Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:


 Happier listening!

  • Sherri Williams

    I’m a Business English trainer for adults – my rule of thumb is that if I’m bored, so are my course participants. I tend to get bored easily, but I view that as a positive thing because it means my participants won’t have time to lose interest before I change things up and try something new. This is important because unlike children, you can’t always tell when adults are bored during a course. They just bear it patiently for a few weeks and then stop coming, most often without giving feedback as to the reason why. So whenever I feel like I’m starting to drag myself to work or planning the sessions is becoming a chore, I try to switch it up and do something new. Down with boredom!

  • Gillian

    I’ve recently heard a couple of discussions on the radio saying that the latest research shows that boredom is extremely important for creativity. It is when we are bored and have nothing to do that our mind goes to work to solve problems and come up with ideas. The urge today to never be bored, and to make sure our kids are never bored, is actually harmful. There is at least one book on the subject (sorry, I don’t remember the name of the book or the author). One recommendation is that when you are bored, for example waiting in line, you should NOT pull out your smart phone but let your mind wander.

    • gretchenrubin

      I think this is a very different kind of boredom – which are really the OPPOSITE of each other, it occurs to me. One is the possible boredom of unoccupied time, which can be filled with thought. The other is the boredom of trudging through dull material. That is the opposite of unoccupied time; it’s being forced to occupy your mind with material that isn’t interesting.
      Interesting point–

      • Gillian

        Interesting distinction!

  • gladys

    Boredom is the reason why I finished writing my book. It depends how every person uses unoccupied time and for me, it works well!

  • Toun

    As for me boreness is the sign of that something is not going right.
    I have to writea lot for my work and I noticed that if I write something boring, it means that it’s not so clear, it might be too long, I might say the same thing with fewer and better words.
    If I’m bored while driving, I should probably rest. If i’m bored while commuting, I should change the book I’m reading or simply rest.