Monday, June 25, 2012

The Power of Daydreaming

Daydreaming was definitely something that was frowned upon when you were a kid, especially during class when your teacher was talking. Still it's not the greatest idea during certain activities ie. driving, but I often catch myself daydreaming a lot when walking places, especially home from work. It's the time when I get to think creatively, brainstorm and develop interesting new ideas. Daydreaming can help to ignite your entrepreneurial spirit, help you develop more abstract answers to problems and live your life more creatively.

So is there a benefit to daydreaming? Were we onto something when we were younger?
I decided to check out some sources, check out some scientific data and then develop a plan to make sure to give myself some time during the day to unwind, think creatively and let my mind do its thing. According to Amy Fries from Psychology Today, "Daydreams are far more than wishful thinking--they are our source ideas, energy, creativity, self-knowledge, and motivation". It's the time where you can brainstorm, develop ideas and discover your true passions, which can often stifled by higher education, long hours at the office or extremely stressful and busy schedules. Daydreaming is our most creative state of mind which can be explained by the following factors;

  • We are using the most complex regions of the brain, unlocking our minds from the tunnel vision of everyday life
  • We can see things, people and events through the mind's eye
  • The mind is uncensored, which allows us to explore far and wide without our internal criticism slowing us down
  • We are able to make seemingly random connections, which can lead to creative solutions
So what does this all mean?
Well for starters, we should daydream and make use of those daydreams. Creativity is important and not just for artists anymore, but can help a manager come up with a solution to an everyday office problem or even allow someone to come up with a brilliant business idea. 

What to do from here.
Have a journal, notebook or use a note taking application like Evernote to write down your thoughts/ideas
Make sure to take time to go for a walk, exercise and allow your thoughts to wander and think creatively
Figure out how/when you daydream and make the most of it. Don't sit and mindlessly watch tv for hours on end, it will prevent you from daydreaming

If you aren't a student or a recent graduate who has started working in an office and is feeling stifled, and that your cubicle is slowly killing you, I definitely recommend you check out Escape from Cubicle Nation I recently read the book, but didn't feel like I was at the right stage to start plotting my escape from a cubicle (I haven't even graduated university yet!)

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