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Daydreaming to Improve Productivity

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 by Slaughter Development

You might think that letting your mind wander is a sign that you need to knuckle down and focus. But psychologists report that daydreaming may actually help you get more done!

An article posted on BNET explains we spend too much of our days forming mental images of catastrophes:

We spend so much time thinking through what can go wrong that we fail to spend an equal number of our 168 hours imagining what can go right. This pessimism makes us unable to see the chance opportunities that psychologists find are key to making our own luck.

In other words, we would benefit from sitting around dreaming up scenarios that would be unbelievably fantastic. Writer Laura Vanderkam offers a handful of suggestions:

  • An editor says she’d like to meet to discuss book ideas; a TV producer wants to discuss pilots. What would you pitch?
  • A non-profit you admire asks your advice on how best to use a $100,000 grant. What would you suggest?
  • Your dream client sits next to you on a cross-country flight. What would you say?

It’s true, Vanderkam points out, that these scenarios are unlikely to actually occur. Yet considering them is a productive use of time, because they help you to think strategically and tactically. Even if you aren’t about to be the next Hollywood or publishing darling, almost every job requires effective story telling to sell ideas. Even if you’re not on the short list of non-profit experts, considering creative ways to leverage a defined budget is likely a valuable skill. And even if you’re scared to fly, shouldn’t you be working on the elevator pitch for the perfect customer anyway?

Here at Slaughter Development, we’re big fans of daydreaming. Productivity isn’t just about the work you do, it’s about your perspective on the value of work. Learn more. Come to one of our upcoming seminars or join our email newsletter. We’d love to help you achieve your dreams.

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Email Marketing and Productivity - Today’s message on The Methodology Blog: there’s no need to associate email marketing with SPAM. Read on »
Ambition, Motivation and Productivity - A feature in Time Magazine poses a powerful, and perhaps dangerous theory about ambition. The article implies that perhaps some people are just more likely to succeed.
Read on »

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