Bored to distraction? Getting into the flow at Google

Bored to distraction?

No wonder I’m so distracted. No wonder we all are.

The problem isn’t technology per se, but the expectations it has engendered: a steady stream of entertainment and stimulation. Or, as Bertrand Russell — who lived through the invention of electric lights, radio, and television — put it: “We are less bored than our ancestors were, but we are more afraid of boredom. We have come to know, or rather to believe, that boredom is not part of the natural lot of man.

It’s all about expectations.

But I liked that there was an ideal, even if it didn’t always pan out: the employees were expected to work hard at their standing desks, then relax hard, repairing to a game pod or massage chair — never fracturing their time and thus achieving Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow in both activities.

Expectations and trust. If those around you don’t trust you to work hard, then any appearance of slacking off will re-enforce their misconceptions.

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