Some of the smartest, most creative people I know spend time doing nothing but thinking. For example Einstein was often criticized for his daydreaming. His form of daydreaming was to run his thought experiments. Experiments carried out completely within his imagination.
Our society doesn't embrace or allow for daydreaming. Most organizations view this as being lazy and unproductive. Companies are focused are measuring things like hours worked, project deliverables and improved productivity.
Henry Ford and Daydreaming
There is a famous Henry Ford story where an efficiency expert he had hired complained about a man who sat at his desk with his feet up. The expert's point was the obvious lack of productivity and output from this person. Ford said that that specific person came up with an idea that saved him millions by setting at his desk and just thinking. Ford added that he was paying that man to come up with the next great idea.
When I look at people whose ideas have changed the world, daydreaming combined with “reflective thinking” was a common trait.
Is it a coincidence or is there something to this?
To either prove or disprove the hypothesis that daydreaming improves creativity, I'm proposing an experiment. This experiment was inspired by Zat Rana.
I commit (and invite you to do it yourself) to two hours per week for two months of focused daydreaming. What does that mean?
- No computer
- No mobile phone
- No music
- No talking
I will be using my Moleskine notebook to record my thoughts and ideas to see if I can notice an improvement in my personal creativity.
How To Get Started Daydreaming?
One way to spark your daydreaming is to simply ask yourself a set of questions. Here are few to start with (again, inspired by Zat Rana)
- Do I have the right set of priorities and do I apply them?
- Is my work/life balance working?
- What idea do I have that I am not pursuing?
- What small step could I take that would have a MAJOR impact on the idea
- Where do you want to be in one year with your idea with your life?
Be Part Of The Experiment
If you are part of The Community, I will setup a Slack channel for this experiment so that we can discuss, share and track the results. If you are not part of The Innovators Community, you should check it out. Its a community of innovators and creatives from around the world who share, challenge and grow as innovators.
I will also share my results in a future show.
Note: We apologize for the background clicks and pops in this weeks show.
- Join The Innovators Community — where you can meet, discuss and be part of a community of innovators. This is a private slack community.
- Check out , “Using 30-Day Challenges to Jumpstart Your Creativity“