Surendhar Reddy

Boredom, like pain, is a signal.

The most dangerous thing about carrying a cell phone everywhere is that you’re never bored. Boredom, like pain, is a signal.

– PG on twitter

I agree on a lot with PG here – being sensitive to those signals helped me a lot over the past and saved me from doing things I generally don’t enjoy.

Ever since I read the tweet, I’ve been considering expanding it a bit further and stumbled upon Slava’s post today – it resembled my thoughts, and I’m going to leave it here for my reference.

An important ingredient for doing the work is boredom. That’s how I got into programming. School was boring. We had three channels of television, and they were almost always boring. I had computer games, but I sucked at gaming and games quickly got frustrating. I read all the books that we had laying around. The only thing left was BASIC. So I started there and never stopped. The simple reason is that programming computers was the most interesting activity around.

If boredom is a necessary ingredient, then portable internet is a disaster for doing the work. How are you supposed to get excited about anything if you’re never bored? I don’t know if I ever would have learned to program if I had modern internet. Why would I, if something more interesting was always a click away? This is true to this day. I can’t get anything done when I’m online. There is always something on the internet that’s locally more interesting or more important than writing the next paragraph, or threading a flag through a series of function calls, or reading a book. The only way I can get anything done is to turn the internet off.

– Productivity advice by Slava Akhmechet