As a freelance copywriter I can empathise with the importance of daydreaming.
When writing I drift in and out of consciousness, typing a handful of paragraphs on creative autopilot before surfacing for a conscious and logic-led examination of the results.
According to some estimates, we spend as much as 50% of the time drifting around inside our heads, oblivious. Sigmund Freud damned zoning out as ‘infantile’. Experts once feared that our everyday mental meanderings could lead to psychosis. So it’s interesting to see scientific research proving the benefits of daydreaming, drifting off and letting your mind wander.
Daydreaming helps you work smarter
Zoning out, apparently, is a sure sign that your creative juices are flowing. Weirder still, concentrating and focusing are definitely not what they’re cracked up to be. When your mind wanders you’re more likely to experience flashes of insight, original thinking, invention and innovation. But if you focus too hard, for too long, you get stuck in the creative and intellectual doldrums.
The results of recent scientific research show that learning to tread the fine line between focusing in and zoning out help us arrive at breakthroughs we’d otherwise miss. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool daydreamer there’s no longer any need to shape up, concentrate, focus and get your act together. As Jennifer Wiley from the University of Illinois, Chicago, says, “Often the best way to solve a problem is to not focus.”
Source: New Scientist magazine, 16th June 2012.