When are we going to just slow down? How about just stop altogether and just be still? Laughable in this age of gig-a-everything speed of work we complete daily. The best ideas I have ever come up with for work or in my personal life have been in those moments wher I’ve stopped. When I am daydreaming and yes, even in my boredom, I’ve found my creativeness peak more so than during any other activity.
Your best ideas too, will come when you can master the art of doing nothing. When you can actively stop trying to make things happen or make things come into being is were you will find your best ideas. When we let these fragmented ideas we’ve collected along the way bounce around in our unconsciousness for a bit, they will click into new combinations that will blossom into amazing opportunities. But first, you have to stop. Meditate. Go for a walk around the office. Stare out the window if you got one. You actually have to intentional moments of pausing to get there.
Freud made it well known that daydreaming is essential to the creativeness we seek. T.S. Eliot had this notion of “idea incubation” in which you just sit and let things stew. Let whatever thoughts that comes to mind bounce around a little longer than try to will it into existence.
The earth is heavy and opaque without dreams. – Anaïs Nin
Your mind wandering off isn’t at all a bad thing; your brain remains completely active when it grows those cobwebs inside it. A wandering mind is vital to creative thinking 🤔 When your mind drifts it can free-associate and find connections and solutions to problems that might otherwise have staid hidden.
Blood flow in the brain is only 5-10% lower during wandering, showing it is still very active.
One of the best things you can do to get into this flow of wandering is to not be productive every minute of the day. I give myself permission to meditate and wander at least 15-20 minutes daily. Then I take whatever comes out after that 20 minutes of wondering and log it somewhere. Sometimes it’s complete, sometimes it isn’t. I’ll just pick it back up later in the day or tomorrow during my next wandering session.
It’s okay to sit back, release, and just let the mind go. It just might inspire your next creative breakthrough in work or life. I’ve found by letting my mind wander I can inspire more creativity and become more understanding of others.
I’ll leave you with this quote and book to check out if you want more:
It seems we are programmed to alternate between mind-wandering and paying attention.