day dreaming

We already know that the full extent of the capabilities of human brain is not fully understood.  Most of us have often heard that humans only use 20% of their brain most of the time.  Well here’s the best news:  a wandering mind can be an exceptionally good thing.  A study by Michael Kane at the University of North Carolina shows that our minds drift off task one-third of the time (surprised?  Not me).  You know, in a typical 8-hour work day, that’s a lot of day dreaming!  The study further suggests that if our body has an urge to do this so often it might actually be a useful activity (Okay, now you have my attention).  In brain scans, it has been shown that when the mind veers off-task, it utilizes the prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain that is involved in problem solving.  This means that the ‘leisure’ mind is likely doing creative thinking (Ah –ha!  I knew it!)  This would explain why so many so-called “light-bulb” moments happen to scientists, artists and other problem-solvers when they are actually not applying themselves to a particular task (I am now thoroughly impressed).  I would certainly advocate further study on how our brain utilizes this so-called brain downtime as it is proving to be time well spent.  It’s implications to the workforce are huge.  Imagine the following addendum to your current job description:

  •  Other duties as assigned, including staring off into space for indeterminate periods of time  


  • Performance management of supporting staff including attention to requisite inattentiveness


  •  Responsibility for ad hoc assigned projects including implementation of forced distraction.

Wow, stay tuned… (if you can).

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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