Stop the press! Did you know that people spend approximately 30% or more daydreaming? Let’s take it a step further: Did you know that daydreaming can be helpful to leaders? You read that right. Daydreaming. Letting your mind wander and create a new world of its own. Getting lost in your own thoughts. All of that can be helpful as a leader. Here’s why. . .
Similar to children playing, daydreaming allows you to use those brain muscles in ways that they are not usually used. “Zoning out” gets your mind off of the current stress-related situation and lets you mentally play for a while. That “playing around in your head” is the exact exercise that allows you to return to your current situation with a new outlook. Something happens to us when we play, either physically or mentally. We exercise parts of our brains that were not being exercised regularly before. We think outside of the box, we come up with alternative atmospheres and situations, and we let silly things run wild with no barriers. In other words, we allow our brains to run free, unrestricted.
Being able to do that, and do it well, is key to becoming a better leader. Daydreaming places problems and work-related situations on the backburner, sitting in mental time-out, while we think of more fun and creative things for a time. Believe it or not, when we stop daydreaming and we return to the problem or work-related situation, we come up with better solutions. According to researcher Kalina Christoff, daydreaming allows our minds t on other areas, reflect on questions and scenarios in our lives. That different type of problem solving and wishful thinking helps with creativity and critical thinking, resulting in a new perspective when approaching stress-related issues.
The next time you find your mind wandering, don’t stop it (unless you have to present during a meeting). Give yourself a chance to daydream and focus on what you think is mundane. It might just be what you need to spark creativity and innovation.
Keep leading and stay safe,