In 2009 neuroscientists were able to determine that our brains function at its best when our minds wander. The discovery was made by psychologists Benjamin Baird and Jonathan Schooler from the department of psychological and brain sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Baird and Schooler devised a series of tests to assess whether by maximising mind wandering would foster creativity. The results concluded that when allowing the brain to enter a state of ‘zoning out’ it enhances how we employ lateral thinking to solve complex solutions.
"It seems that allowing people an incubation period in which to let their minds wander, really helps the creative process." Schooler.
One company that embraces mind wandering is Google. Known as the 20% project, employees at Google are given the opportunity to dedicate 20% of their time to projects of their own choosing. Google firmly believes that people are more productive when engaged with things that interest them and are given time to disengage with work-related activities.
Real break-through happens when we are free from others’ expectations and driven by individual passion.” Katherine von Jan, Innovation Leader at SalesForce
Image Credit by Bea Mandelstam