This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

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

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.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Side Hustle

Anyone Can Start a Passive Income Side Hustle For Easy Money — But Only If You Know These 5 Essential Tips First.

The rise of digital automation technology has made starting a passive income side hustle easier and more accessible than ever before.

Side Hustle

He Launched His Creative Side Hustle Out of a Garage. Now It's Worth $225 Million.

Tom Humble, CXO and founder of E.C.D. Automotive Design, followed his passion for custom auto design into big business.

Business News

An Hermès Heir Wants to Give Half His $12 Billion Fortune to His Gardener—and Lawyers Are Going Nuts

Nicolas Puech, the grandson of Hermès' founder, intends to legally adopt the 51-year-old former groundskeeper as his son, ensuring he inherits his billions.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2023

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2023.