We cram a lot of work into our daily lives, constantly fighting off the temptation to sit back and daydream because we view it as wasted time. New research shows that daydreaming, however, can actually encourage better thought process.
Photo by Karen Mrnane.
While it's common sense that working without a break can lead to burnout, some new research is showing that one of the most effective ways to use those breaks is to really let your mind wander:
[There is]some interesting new research on the link between resting state activity - the performance of the brain when it's lying still in a brain scanner, doing nothing but daydreaming - and general intelligence. It turns out that cultivating an active idle mind, or teaching yourself how to daydream effectively, might actually encourage the sort of long-range neural connections that make us smart.
While focus is important, it can be easy to get into a writer's block-type situation, where focusing harder only makes it harder to get things done. Next time you're feeling stuck, take some time away from your work and think about something else entirely. In fact, while you're at it, grab a small workout too — many of us daydream when we exercise anyways, and a bit of physical activity never hurt anybody. Just make sure you're aware of your daydreaming — you don't want to cross the line into time-wasting. Hit the link to read more.