Friday, 3 April 2009
I am a daydream believer
Asleep in the garden by ~Minefeldt on deviantART
After reading an article discussing the productivity of daydreaming I decided to do a little digging.
I myself am a compulsive daydreamer, my mind is forever wondering. Writing reports and essays at University was always a difficulty as my attention span would rarely exceed 45 minutes. Whilst I very much enjoy escaping reality, I have always considered my daydreaming nature to be a weakness, at least when thinking in terms of employability. However, it would seem that my mind wanderings could actually be boosting my creativity and productivity. Who'd have though it eh!
Apparently, most of us daydream for at least one third - one half of our day, everyday. Daydreaming has been termed as our 'default mode of thought', the default network is an area of the brain that becomes very active when we are not focused on the outside world and our brains are in a state of wakeful rest. Rather than responding to the outside world, our brains begin to contemplate their internal landscapes, allowing us to engage in abstract imaginative thought, making new associations and connections that we would otherwise not think of.
With this in mind, it is undeniable that daydreaming and pleasant mind wandering is something of a necessity amongst planners and creatives... let me quote some insightful chaps from the University of California;
"The generation of fanciful possibilities can lead to the discovery of new and useful solutions to a problem. While daydreaming about one thing, it is possible to stumble into a solution to another problem, i.e., fortuitous recognition of analogies among problems is possible. Daydreaming occurs in the context of an episodic memory which is constantly subject to revision. Each time a problem is examined, new information may be available that will enable a better, different, or more creative solution. Ideas generated while daydreaming often provide the initial inspiration for a creative work and further daydreaming." (http://cogprints.org/521/0/ddcogsci.htm)
I rest my case.
(Further reading if your interested: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/08/31/daydream_achiever/)