Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Daydreaming Your Way to Greater Productivity

Annie Murphy Paul has an insightful blog post on how to be more productive. It turns out that the answer is not to work harder -- we already work extremely hard -- but, rather, to give ourselves time to daydream.

Now, you're probably thinking, "My employees are caught daydreaming quite enough, thank you! And not a one of them is more productive!" Well, those employees are probably not actually daydreaming; no, they are probably in fact just thinking of something else rather than their work. They are not daydreaming, but rather engaged in focused thinking -- they are just not focused on their work.

No, when you are in fact daydreaming, you are allowing your brain to go into "automatic" mode. Your brain is quite active during this mode, but quite different parts of the brain are active vs. when you are focused and concentrating. When you are focused, you are less likely to make creative connections. Creativity requires your brain to be allowed to wander and connect bits and pieces that are anything but obvious.

It turns out that nondirected meditation works similarly and, therefore, is a better form of medication than is directed meditation.

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