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The Science-Backed Case for Embracing Boredom in the Workplace Research shows that for entrepreneurs, a dash of ennui can actually be an asset. Here's how to turn boredom into an engine for creativity.

By Aytekin Tank Edited by Matt Scanlon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"The desire for desires" is how Leo Tolstoy once famously described boredom.

Based on this quote, you'd think that the author of War and Peace viewed what Merriam-Webster defines as "the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest" in an entirely negative light. And judging by such a prodigious body of work, you'd imagine he shouldn't have had time to be bored. In fact, according to Creating Anna Karenina by CUNY English professor Bob Blaisdell, that state — an early life hack, if you will — was part of Tolstoy's writing process — along with other seemingly negative emotions.

As Blaisdell reveals, the multiple Nobel Prize in Literature nominee required 53 months to complete Anna Karenina — and barely touched the manuscript for 30 of them. He referred to the 1878-published work as "sickening," "unbearably repulsive," "terribly disgusting and nasty," and "a bore, insipid as a bitter radish." But we all know how the story ends: with a novel considered among the world's greatest pieces of literature.

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