Daydreaming makes people more productive by tapping into the subconscious and encouraging creativity. With a little strategic daydreaming, you can develop more creative solutions to your problems.
Most people think master problem solvers carefully analyze possible solutions and logically arrive at the best result. While logic and critical thinking play significant roles in problem-solving, creativity is just as important.
However, even the most mentally flexible professionals can need help to call upon their creativity, especially at the end of a long workday. Daydreaming makes people more productive by tapping into the subconscious and encouraging creativity. You have to learn how to do it well. With a little strategic daydreaming, you can come up with more creative solutions to your problems and feel more relaxed in the process.
Daydreaming isn't something most people have to try actively, but channeling it into something productive can require practice.
"As much as 50 percent of daily cognition is spent on spontaneous cognition, basically daydreaming or mind wandering," Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman tells CNN. "This is where problem-solving, creativity, goal-driven thought, future planning, seeing another person's perspective, and so on find space to exist."
Daydreaming isn't something our minds slip into; researchers have found that it's actually our brain's default mode. When we're not actively asking our brains to focus on a particular task, the daydreaming parts of our brains kick in to subconsciously solve problems or work through situations.
"Daydreams are thoughts people have that aren't tied to the external environment or whatever they're currently doing," Felicity Callard writes for the World Economic Forum.
"Thinking about an email you need to reply to when you're reading this article, mentally planning your day on the work commute, or thinking about an argument with a loved one during a meeting are all examples of daydreaming, which often occur spontaneously as part of the stream of consciousness."
Lindsay Kolowich writes that 96 percent of adults report daydreaming daily, which is pretty compelling proof that our minds aren't meant to focus narrowly on the tasks in front of us. She has a couple of powerful examples of daydreaming's power, too:
Albert Einstein came up with the theory of relativity when he let his mind wander away from the math he was working on.
Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis figured out how to duplicate DNA fragments while driving down the highway.
Many people focus on how pressured they feel to solve problems instead of thinking about how to solve the problems themselves. With strategic daydreaming, we tap our subconsciouses to solve problems while resting our brains.