Why You Should Let Your Mind Wander - Creating Attentional Space

One of the most beneficial ways of improving our productivity is to allow our minds to wander, creating attentional space for deeper processing and innovative ideas.

Drawbacks of being constantly connected. Because our minds can’t wander when we’re focused on something, the productivity cost of constantly being connected can be huge. As we are increasingly becoming more and more connected to our devices (phones, tablets, computers), it’s more difficult for us to take a step back and create space to daydream and process information. This is especially important when we need to make difficult decisions or come up with solutions to complex problems.

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How our subconscious mind helps with decision-making. Scientific studies show that it is a good idea to take some time out and let your mind wander before making difficult decisions. You are more likely to make better decisions because our subconscious minds continue working on the problem behind the scenes. If a problem is particularly complex or requires a creative solution, our subconscious minds do a better job than if we were to focus on the problem. Especially when we give ourselves more attentional space to work on it.

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Put this in practice by creating a Mind Capture Ritual. Our brains are constantly filled with valuable thoughts, ideas and insights so a great way of making sure these are captured is to create a regular Mind Capture Ritual. Taking the time to create attentional space and flip your mind into daydreaming mode can be one of the most valuable and productive things you do. Ways of flipping into daydreaming mode could include taking a walk in nature, visiting a museum/gallery, or doing a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a good idea to keep a notebook and pen nearby so any lightbulb moments can be captured.

Our minds never stop thinking. Giving them the time and space to wander and create attentional space is crucial to enable us to think more deeply, work smarter and be more productive.

What do you find helps when you have an important decision to make and need to think things through?