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Why Daydreaming Is a Virtue

The human mind wanders nearly half the time it is awake but that doesn’t make us lazy or unproductive. Unleashing the power of the subconscious is a good way to solve problems. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Having created a mobile app to conduct an experiment, scientists recently found that our minds wander about 47% of the time (the notable exception being love-making, when our ability to concentrate is very strong). While that may make us sound lazy and unproductive, neurologists say that daydreaming actually increases our ability to solve problems by thinking more creatively. In a laboratory experiment, people who were given a boring task (so as to induce daydreaming) proved better at thinking of creative uses for everyday objects–even better than subjects who had concentrated hard on that objective. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Understanding more about how the mind works will change what we mean by getting work done. Rather than concentrating intensely on a single problem until a sufficient solution is found, taking pauses–whether than means a game of ping-pong or a Hawaiian vacation–will give the subconscious an opportunity to unravel the web of whatever problem you are trying to solve. ‘The good news is that there’s no reason to feel guilty when taking a break or not checking your e-mail, because it turns out that even when you’re on vacation, the unconscious is probably still working on the problem.’

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