Be Bored: How to Tap into Your Most Brilliant Thinking Manoush Zomorodi BigThink

December 30, 2017 by Laura Gomez

Are cell phones destroying creativity? Podcast host, author, and relentless examiner of the modern human condition Manoush Zomorodi believes that they are. When we are bored, the brain enters what is called “default mode”—think about the way your mind wanders when you’re in the shower or doing the dishes. This might not seem like valuable time but our creativity really kicks into high gear. We now use up a lot of that boredom-time by poking at our phones, and in doing so are starving ourselves of a main source of inspiration. This boredom issue goes beyond simple creativity: boredom is also useful for autobiographical planning and being able to solve big problems. Manoush posits that maybe we should put down the phones and start being bored more often. Her latest book is Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self .

Manoush Zomorodi is a podcast host, author, and relentless examiner of the modern human condition. As host of Note to Self, the podcast from WNYC Studios, she unpacks the forces shaping our accelerating world and guides listeners through its challenges. Her book, Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self (St. Martin’s Press; Sept 2017), is based on her 2015 interactive project with tens of thousands of listeners. It empowers the reader to transform their digital anxiety into self-knowledge, autonomy, and action.

In spare moments, Manoush tweets @manoushz and takes deep cleansing breaths.

Manoush’s goal, as the New York Times wrote, is to “embrace the ridiculousness” of modern life, even when that means downloading dozens of apps to fight the feeling of digital overload (see Lifehacker’s profile on her). She often speaks on creativity in the digital age, kids and technology, and non-fiction storytelling…she was also the “Z” in Vice’s recent list: “An A-Z of Women Pushing Boundaries in Science and Tech.”

Manoush has won numerous awards including 4 from the New York Press Club. In 2014, the Alliance for Women in Media named her Outstanding Host. She has appeared on NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, WNBC, and The Dr. Oz Show and contributes to NPR, Quartz, Inc. and Radiolab. When she can, Manoush fills in as host for WNYC shows including The Brian Lehrer Show, The Leonard Lopate Show, and On The Media.

Prior to New York Public Radio, Manoush reported and produced around the world for BBC News and Thomson Reuters. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey and went to Georgetown University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, NY1 reporter and anchor Josh Robin, and their two kids.

Manoush Zomorodi
Podcast Host and Author, ‘Bored and Brilliant’

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