Daydreaming during work? It’s probably about 1 thing in particular

Daydreaming during work doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

In fact, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile found that daydreaming at work can actually spur creativity. 

It may sound backwards, but here’s how to fix it

If you love your job and/or identify with what you do, chances are you want to be your very best.

When you are so involved in your job that you find yourself wondering how to solve certain problems or how to make things better, you daydream.

You can’t help it. Your mind wanders, and it may look like you’re not working, when in fact, you’re doing the company a tremendous favor because you may just have the next big idea.

Let the creative juices flow

When you daydream, you’re more likely to be creative because you aren’t thinking of the projects on your desk or the work you have to do – you’re focused on an issue and how you can solve it. 

When you daydream about your job, you’re taking your mind to a higher level. It’s not that you’re not interested in the job at hand, but you’ve come across other ways to make things better or to make more money for the company. It’s in the pause that new creations take place.

In another study, researchers tested two groups of professionals, all within the mid-30 age range. In the study, professionals asked the respondents about their current job challenges and then asked them to record the number and type of daydreams they had, whether they were work-related or ‘bizarre’ daydreams. 

The study found that workers were more likely to daydream at work when they had a work problem to solve. It also found that daydreaming about work resulted in more creative responses and better work performance. It didn’t hinder the job anyone did, and it didn’t make them behind since they weren’t productive 100% of the day. If anything, it made them more productive overall.

Now, daydreams can get a little too crazy

If your thoughts take off in a strange direction, or they go far beyond the realm of possibilities, then it’s a distraction and could be a problem at work. 

If you’re finding that your daydreams take you places that aren’t productive on the job, write them down. This may help you stay focused on what you had in mind. For example, if you noticed a problem while you were working on a specific task and your daydreams took you to places that solved those problems, write them down. This keeps you in the present while getting your mind to enlist the creative possibilities you’ve discovered.

The important thing is that you don’t blame yourself for daydreaming. Everyone does it. In fact, it’s a positive part of the day. No one can focus 100% of the day and never let their mind wander. If you do, you don’t let your creative juices flow, and it could hurt your job rather than help it.

In this case, daydreaming actually helps you become a better or more valuable employee. It may even be the reason you get a promotion or raise. As long as you keep the daydreaming to a manageable amount and don’t go overboard, it can take you places you never thought possible.