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June 19, 2009

Great Business Case for Daydreaming!

A few weeks ago we read a summary of interesting research in The Week. Similar to the news that sleep is good for the brain and supports the integration of memories and knowledge - profiled in our post The Business Case for Sleep - this recent research from the University of British Columbia concluded that daydreaming corresponds with a lot of brain activity in regions dedicated to high-level thought and complex problem-solving.

As the Week reports - “People assume that when the mind wanders away it just gets turned off,” researcher Kalina Christoff tells LiveScience.com. “But we show the opposite, that when it wanders, it turns on.”

So while you are seemingly distracted and unfocused, you may actually be letting your brain think through complex ideas or mull over decisions.

This further reinforces the importance of scheduling some down-time in your day and remembering not to overload yourself with tasks where you need to be “on” - whether that is a steady flow of client interactions or a constant stream of execution-oriented operational tasks. Instead of expecting to intensely focus over a long period of time, plan unstructured breaks so that you brain can continue to work on un(re)solved ideas and issues.

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