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Is daydreaming a waste of time, or more useful than you think?
According to a recent blog on the Psychology Today website allowing your mind to wander is a useful step in your creative process. This seems a tad counter-intuitive as it’s drummed in to us that focus, productivity and hard work bring results.
The author expands on the way the human brain operates a mutually exclusive “task” system. The “task positive” mode is the familiar conscious approach we take to thinking and doing tasks, and very useful it is. “Task negative”, putting aside the negative connotations for a moment, seems to be just as useful. While we are in this mode (in the shower or looking out of a train window for instance) our mind wanders and makes connections our conscious or directed mind doesn’t tend to make as easily.
The following extract was interesting because it’s a simple method any of us can use to kick start our creativity if we get stuck:
“What helps is spending those extra few minutes not consciously thinking about the task by diverting the research subjects’ attention with an unrelated task. This gives the insight-generating part of the brain time to get to work making connections. Those new connections are, essentially, innovations that improve our performance on creative tasks.”
Source: Psychology Today