Deep down, we all know we鈥檙e spending too much time on our phones. It seems we can鈥檛 carry out the simplest tasks without constantly checking them. Just take a look next time you鈥檙e waiting in line for coffee. We鈥檒l bet no one has the audacity to just stand there. But that鈥檚 exactly what Manoush Zomorodi asked listeners to do in the 鈥Bored and Brilliant: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Spacing Out鈥 challenge. New Tech City has taken it upon itself to make the case for boredom and created a podcast and a series of six daily challenges to help you detach from your phone and embrace mindful living.


When New Tech City interviewed people about their relationships with their phones, they discovered that we love our smartphones because we are 鈥渃onnected all the time, organized beyond measure and never ever without entertainment.鈥 But people also admitted that the constant phone use made them feel dependent, exhausted and addicted.


But did you know that being bored is actually good for your brain? New Tech City talked to boredom researcher (that鈥檚 a thing??) Sandi Mann and he reported that daydreaming and being bored can lead to more reflective and creative thoughts. 鈥淵ou come up with really great stuff when you don鈥檛 have that easy lazy junk food diet of the phone to scroll all the time,鈥 Mann said. Guess that means there are quite a few apps we should be deleting鈥


In another interview with Jonny Smallwood, a professor of cognitive neuroscience, we learn that inspiration, especially creative inspiration, seems to strike when we鈥檙e not really focusing on anything, but letting our mind wander. And no, Instagram doesn鈥檛 count as letting your mind wander. 鈥淲hat smartphones allow us to do is get rid of boredom in a very direct way because we can play games, phone people, we can check the Internet,鈥 Smallwood says. 鈥淚t takes away the boredom, but it also denies us the chance to see and learn about where we truly are in terms of our goals.鈥


After you sign up for the Bored and Brilliant podcasts, you鈥檒l need to download a time-keeping app that lets you see how much time you鈥檙e actually spending on your phone (yikes!). Once you figure out your baseline, you鈥檒l get a daily challenge podcast emailed to you over the course of six mornings. These challenges vary from the simple step of putting your phone in your pocket as you run an errand to a big creative project at the end.


Technology is necessary to modern life 鈥 we understand that 鈥 but when it starts coming between real relationships and our creative time, maybe it is time to make a change, even if that change is as simple as keeping your phone in your pocket while you鈥檙e waiting for coffee.

Are you going to try the 鈥淏ored and Brilliant鈥 challenge? We鈥檇 love to hear how it goes in the comments below!