Do you give yourself a hard time for daydreaming? Stop! Used effectively daydreaming can actually help you reach your goals.
Wikipedia's definition of daydreaming goes like this:
"...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"
Sounds good doesn't it?!
Psychology Today carried out a test on 'structured daydreaming' where participants who visualised themselves going through the motions to reach their goals actually achieved them. Whereas the participants who daydreamed about pure fantasy didn't.
As part of the process, any challenges or obstacles that came up in the daydream would have to be dealt with. It is this process that researchers think make goals achievable. They suggest spending twenty minutes on structured daydreaming, walking yourself through the tasks that will eventually lead you to your goal.
Structured daydreaming is effectively the same as visualising. Something that highly successful business people have in common is that they visualise on their goals on a daily basis. Mel Robbins, author of the 5-Second Rule suggests giving yourself thirty minutes in the morning before you even look at your phone and think about your 'big' goal. Then decide what are the two things that you can do that day to move you closer to your goal.
Research has also shown that some people report feeling less happy after they have come out of a daydream. Sometimes feeling frustrated at the distraction (I know that feeling well!). Researchers aren't entirely sure why this is but I think this could be down to procrastination.
In the book, The 5-Second Rule Mel Robbins talks about procrastination. There are actually two types, a good one which is great for letting your creativity flow and can be a crucial part of the creative process. And there is the bad one, which is what happens when you know you have to do something but you are daunted by it and keep putting it off.
What happens here is your brain goes into this kind of coping mode where it trails off to find something more entertaining. It then releases a chemical that makes you feel good. This is your body's own natural stress reliever. How amazing is that?
Just start it
How do you deal with this kind of procrastination? Well, Mel Robbins explains that you need to take the big expectation away and just start the task. Give yourself fifteen minutes to just start it, because starting is often the hardest part. By the way, there are so many helpful tips in this book I cannot recommend it highly enough, I have it on Audio and I'm listening to it a second time around!
So, tomorrow morning before you even look at your phone, give yourself twenty minutes of daydream time and walk yourself through the scenario. And don't forget to deal with those obstacles!
I hope you find this article useful, please leave a comment or share with your friends.
In case you missed my latest blog you can catch it here is-your-job-making-you-happy
See you next time :)