In addition to other efforts to improve my ability to focus, I have recently made a concerted effort to be bored. Nothing specific brought this change about, but my thoughts definitely seem quieter at the end of the day if my brain gets a chance to tire itself out.

In this era of pocket computers, it is possible to very nearly banish boredom. Before my recent change of heart, I wouldn’t wait in line, fill my gas tank, or take out the trash without reading or listening to something. I felt like I was taking advantage of my downtime to learn, or at least be entertained, but in hindsight I think I was just pursuing busyness.

The rules for this new system are somewhat nebulous, and I really just go with my gut. If I’ve had a quiet evening, I’ll listen to a podcast while doing the dishes. If I’ve been studying, reading, or conversing since arriving home from work, I’ll instead opt for silence.

Someday maybe all this extra time time to think will result in something great. In the meantime, I will seek inspiration from one of our nation’s finest thinkers, Nick Offerman.