Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self

Manoush Zomorodi

The benefits of boredom.

Author's website

Information from the publisher
In 2015 Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s popular podcast and radio show Note to Self, led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Bored and Brilliant builds on that experiment to show us how to rethink our gadget use to live better and smarter in this new digital ecosystem. Manoush explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, exploring how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering” what our brains do when we're doing nothing at all—Manoush includes practical steps you can take to ease the nonstop busyness and enhance your ability to dream, wonder, and gain clarity in your work and life. The outcome is mind-blowing. Unplug and read on.
"Bored and Brilliant shows the fascinating side of boredom. Manoush Zomorodi investigates cutting-edge research as well as compelling (and often funny) real-life examples to demonstrate that boredom is actually a crucial tool for making our lives happier, more productive, and more creative. What’s more, the book is crammed with practical exercises for anyone who wants to reclaim the power of spacing out – deleting the Two Dots app, for instance, or having a photo-free day, or taking a 'fakecation'."— Gretchen Rubin, author of #1 NYT Bestseller The Happiness Project
"Bored and Brilliant is full of easy steps to make each day more effective and every life more intentional. Manoush’s mix of personal stories, neuroscience, and data will convince you that boredom is actually a gift."— Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit and Smarter, Faster, Better


“If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the technology in your life, ‘Note to Self’ host Manoush Zomorodi totally gets you.”— Tech Times
“She has almost the perfect mix of enthusiasm, heart, journalistic introspection, and thoughtfulness in her pursuits of many of the technological dilemmas that plague us.”— Reluctant Habits
“On her show, she interviews a range of people about the impact of technology and how to best integrate it with off-line lives…over time, both she and society have re-evaluated the wisdom of multitasking, especially when toggling between work and family.”— The New York Times


“A funny, engaging, highly relatable show about technology and our personal lives.”— Xconomy, Best Podcasts of 2015
“The show is geek meets everyday life, making it accessible to techies and noobs alike.”— Make Use Of
“If you’ve been struggling to make sense of the stories about super-secretive cellular surveillance tech used by cops and governments... ‘Note to Self’ podcast does the best job I’ve yet seen (heard) of explaining them.”— Boing Boing
“The show is full of useful tips for managing your interactions with technology so that you don’t feel like you’re too wrapped up in it to experience the real world.”— Tech Times


“Deeply intelligent and perfectly germane feature from WNYC…rarely has a conversation about boredom been less boring. I found it more thrilling than ‘Serial’ because, frankly, it was of more universal import.”— Newsweek
“By the time the episode was over, my brain was fully on and feeling inspired.”— Business Week
“The feedback loop — from newsletter to podcast and then back again to the newsletter — makes the audience a key part of the campaign...this ends up making them feel more invested in the success of both the project and the show. It’s pretty brilliant.”— Poynter

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