Some people may think of it as a waste of time. However, the power of daydreaming now has scientific backing. Take advantage of the power of daydreaming to increase creativity and productivity, plan for the future, and give your mind the time it needs to process backlogs of information.
Daydreaming to the Eureka Moment
Eureka moments are often thought of as coming out of nowhere. However, there are usually years of work behind what led to the major breakthrough eureka moment. Sudden insight doesn’t just pop out of nowhere.
Nevertheless, there is a reason eureka moments appear to come out of nowhere. It tends to come when the conscious mind is otherwise distracted. It is this very distraction that gives the subconscious mind time to sort through and recognize information gathered by the conscious mind. This can lead to sudden insights when it finds new creative connections, reports Scientific American. If you are busy, a few minutes of downtime can be exactly what your mind needs. It allows it to sort and process information and improve overall productivity.
Avoid Social Media and Other Distractions
To get these insights it is therefore important to let your conscious mind get slightly distracted from time to time. However, avoid mindless distractions. Especially social media, but also the internet in general. Instead, let your mind wander, allowing it to think freely. Let your subconscious mind kick in. And let yourself meander through your brain’s collection of knowledge, finding new patterns in the process. When you return to work, your mind will once again have the room to be productive and creative again.
Leave Work Behind
When looking for creative insight, be careful to not take work with you on evenings, weekends, and holidays. It may be better to use that time to escape from your work. Constantly piling more information into your mind doesn’t allow it time to rest and refresh. Instead, do nothing and let your unconscious mental processes kick in.
An even better way to take advantage of this effect is to also get out into nature. Unlike the engagement-focused distractions of the internet, nature is full of information that is easy for your brain to handle. Nature is where the human mind developed and where it remains most at home. Long periods in nature can bring people to a meditative state, reaching a point where their mind has sorted through all its unsorted information and problems.
Mindless Versus Mindful Daydreaming
Daydreaming can help you plan for the future and organize memories about yourself and your experience. But don’t run off the rails entirely. Remain mindful of your thoughts. If you’re following the same memory over and over, or ruminate over the future, you’re unlikely to gain new insights and it could cause anxiety.
Let your thoughts wander, but don’t circle around the same ideas again and again until you become lost and anxious. When you find you are stuck, take control of your wandering and move onto a different stream of thought.
So give yourself the time to let your mind wander. It might not only make you more creative and productive overall but could also be the very thing needed for your own eureka moment.