Dare to Daydream

Myth Buster #2 – Daydreaming is a waste of time.

How many of you would admit to daydreaming on the job?  For optimum production, daydreaming is often viewed as a waste of time, something to be avoided completely when seeking accomplishment.

In fact, in traditional work settings, daydreaming is associated with laziness and many feel productivity is valued far above creativity.

However, daydreaming has been studied for years by the neuroscience community.  It has been discovered that the brain actually uses this “downtime” to make sense of past events and solve problems in a connective dream-like phase.  Brain activity recorded during these seemingly non-productive moments actually proves the presence of high-level inward processing. 

“It’s dedicated daydreaming—purposeful mind-wandering that yields productive creativity.”  Matthew E. May http://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/the-neuroscience-ofcreativity-why-daydreaming-matters/

The brain takes advantage of time made available for daydreaming to explore the inner realms of its data files searching for connections and meaning.  

Quite comically, my coffee mug sits on my desk displaying the words, “I might look like I am doing nothing, but in my head, I am quite busy.”,  aptly defining the phrase “Dedicated  Daydreaming” for me.

Creativity is simmering in the background, in a space some call nothing.  At times, I invite my creative coaching clients to mark time on their calendars with the event called “Nothing”. This is where the behind the scenes “work” happens.

In a world where people are yearning to change, find ways to reach goals, and get ahead many are focused on production strategies.  Disconnecting from planners, to-do lists, and organizational tools seems counterproductive and is forcefully resisted.

However, appearances can be deceiving.  When we consider ideas that are in opposition to the norm or popular way of thinking, we open ourselves up to possibilities.  Possibilities, that may not have existed before we provided the needed processing time, emerge.  We are able to solve long-standing and seemingly unsolvable issues.  We open the way for creativity that expresses connections and relationships discovered deep within us.

Excessive focus can actually drain our mental energy preventing us from “seeing” what really matters.

It is through eyes of understanding creativity flourishes, as doorways to invisible passages are opened before us.

Below the surface of forced productivity, our creative hearts long to be freed.  Your brain only needs time to process the alignment.  

Creative ideas are waiting to be realized even if only a whisper deep within your soul.  Dare to unfocus and intentionally make time for daydreaming.

©Erika K Rothwell

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