Why you should daydream more in a world that glorifies being busy?
Guest blogger Sarah Schembri explains below why daydreaming should be included on your to-do list.
I have always been a daydreamer. My mother would make me go buy groceries and I would come up with a whole story about princesses and castles that by the time I would arrive back home I would need to be nudged back into reality. As I grew older however, and the lines between work and play became distorted – what with emails being read at home and notifications continually popping up on my phone − daydreaming time became almost nonexistent.
As I finished 2015 feeling exhausted and burnt out creatively, I knew that my busy days, filled with lists of things to do and planned to the last minute, were leading me nowhere except to impatience and a nervous temperament. I wasn’t sure what I was missing and it was only when I came across Madeliene Rose’s stories that I realized I had lost the sense of wander that you can only have when you are a daydreamer.
We live in a world that glorifies the idea of being busy but some of the most incredible art and inventions have come through idle time. The Wright Brothers were staying on a beach in North Carolina, enjoying some leisure time when they invented the airplane and J.K. Rowling would daydream about the Harry Potter plot on the train to work. As more research on daydreaming proves “that when we are idle, our brains are most active,” I wanted to list down a few reasons why you should daydream more, so that you can achieve more.
In her stories, Madeliene Rose often makes a case for getting lost in wander through daydreaming and this is what we all need more of, especially when we have a task that we cannot solve. Wandering is a way of freeing your mind from what it should think. “For many years it was thought that dealing with complex mental tasks required your full, undivided attention and the shutdown of all internal thinking,” but studies show that the more you let your mind wander, “the easier you’ll find complex tasks.”
DAYDREAMING IS FUN
Think of it as a break for your mind. Daydreaming is a way of imagining scenarios with unlimited possibilities. Usually, we don’t daydream about what we have, rather, we daydream about what we would like to have, how we would like our life to be or what we want to achieve. Simply wandering about these things will not get us anywhere – there are many factors involved to achieving our goals – but imaging what we want and being uninhibited in our daydreams is the trigger that can start us off on the road to the life we have always dreamed of.
IGNITE YOUR CREATIVITY
Did you know that Gmail and Google AdSense were created during the downtime of the employees? Google, like Pixar and other creative companies, give their employees what is termed as “employee goof off time,” where they can work on whatever they are passionate about. Sounds incredible but it is true. Moreover, research at the University of California “found that individuals who took breaks from working on a demanding project to do a menial task that allowed enough mental space for daydreaming to occur were 40% more creative when they returned to their primary task.” You may not have an employer who will allow you to work on your own projects but stopping for a few minutes to doodle for example, is a way of giving yourself a mental break.
For me, this year is already more exciting and creative. My days are still busy − schedules still have to be taken into consideration and deadlines must be respected − but I am no longer as willing to check my phone on the bus and I have started leaving my phone home when I am walking early in the morning before work, so that during this time I too can get lost in wander.
How important is daydreaming for you? Share your thoughts below.
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