Distraction Is a Virtue

In recent years, scientists have begun to outline the surprising benefits of not paying attention. Sometimes, too much focus can backfire; all that caffeine gets in the way.

Researchers have found a surprising link between daydreaming and creativity—people who daydream more are also better at generating new ideas. Other studies have found that employees are more productive when they're allowed to engage in "Internet leisure browsing" and that people unable to concentrate due to severe brain damage actually score above average on various problem-solving tasks. According to scientists, the inability to focus helps ensure a richer mixture of thoughts in consciousness. Because some people struggle to filter the world, they end up letting everything in. They can't help but be open-minded.