5 Reasons Why an Entrepreneur Should "Daydream" If you allow a few minutes in the middle of the day to daydream about your next big idea or problem that is bothering you, your brain will think of many ways to either solve a problem or conceptualize the idea
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
As per Wikipedia, the daydream is "a short-term detachment from one's immediate surroundings, during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake."
There are many medical definitions for daydreaming, but let us use the above hypothesis for our conversation. If we break the definition stated above, some of the takeaways include:
As an entrepreneur, when you are trying to come up with your next big idea, next big disruption or an innovative model to increase revenue and optimize the profits, the above qualities are essential.
In my experience and opinion, daydreaming can help in achieving some of the essential quality required by an entrepreneur. Following are the top 5 reasons why an entrepreneur should daydream:
Increases Motivation – As per medical studies, daydreaming has a positive psychological impact on our brain. It helps in reducing stress and allows you to take a step back and comprehend various thoughts. It helps in structuring our thoughts through a visualization pattern. You can visualize your plans, models and ideated journeys & map it with the next big idea. It improves our overall ability to manage conflicts and even maintain relationships. Many studies have concluded that if daydreaming did in the right spirit helps you to structure your thoughts. It is also be referred to as organized daydreaming. Reduced stress and the therapeutic effect on the brain will help you to remain highly motivated. And it is this motivation that powers or fuels your conviction to achieve the set goals.
Visualization – One of the most important qualities required for an entrepreneur is to visualize the goals and path ahead. When you are able to visualize various paths (happy path and not so happy path), you can make informed decisions. While, they are still speculative, but you have given yourself enough time to by visualizing different probabilities and options. These options and possibilities would act as guiding principles for achieving the goals. By visualizing "not so happy" paths, you are also preparing yourself to take the challenges head-on.
Imagination & Creativity – An entrepreneur has to be creative & imaginative. Only with your ingenuity, you can crack the tough nut. Challenges faced by an entrepreneur are way different than what a non-entrepreneur professional would face. And to get through such difficult tests, creativity is a must. Daydreaming inculcates a high-level of creativity in you. Daydreams are the most common form of altered consciousness. It helps in relaxing your mind which induces creativity and imagination. During the daydream, brain accesses information that was dormant, allows you to get insights into unexplored areas of the brain. And as your brain becomes more active than ever, access analytical and cognitive side of it – creativity and imagination increase exponentially.
Problem-Solving Abilities – With increased creativity, the ability to solve the problem increases drastically. Many times, some of the problems may not require a complex solution but because your brain is trained to think in one way, the simplest solution is not thought of. Daydreaming helps you to relax and grasp the situation and problem better and faster. Because your brain has opened its door to think laterally as well, you are able to come up with multiple options to solve the problem at hand. This enables you to pick the right option and then visualize the path ahead.
Increased Productivity - Daydream helps you to focus on. During daydreaming, you are detached from the real world (temporarily) and this gives your brain the space to focus on one idea/problem/ model at a time. Productivity is directly linked with your ability to continue working on something with minimal or no disturbance. With clarity embedded in your brain about the path ahead, your focus levels would be high. Relax and unclutter the brain improves productivity. If you allow a few minutes in the middle of the day to daydream about your next big idea/problem that is bothering you, Your brain will think of many ways to either solve a problem or conceptualize the idea.
While the above points show daydreaming in good light, there are risks associated with it too. If done in excess, it can qualify for mind wandering. And a wandering mind is exactly opposite to what an entrepreneur needs.
Hence, use this tool very carefully. It can make you forget what you are doing and distract you such that it impacts the outcome.
But, given the advantages of cognitive thinking and its ability to help you to boost your creativity, focus, problem-solving skills and imagination & visualization, it is worth practising in a conscious & controlled manner.