Today we know more about the workings of the brain than ever before but we still don’t know the answer to big questions about how creativity works and how to make it work better.
We know our minds wander especially when we are doing things on automatic pilot. Our minds can lead us into pleasant thoughts, or it may lead into brooding over something unpleasant. Many would still regard mind wandering as a waste of time. It is synonymous with being distracted and lost time.
Some psychologists are of the view that mind wandering is more than mental lapse. The psychologist Benjamin Baird, claims that a little mind wandering, while engaged in a focused task, boosts creative thinking and should be encouraged.
Taking oneself away from a focussed task – going for a walk – can release the mind to wander and to arrive at a solution to the problem you are working on.
Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin both worked for relatively short periods and then went for a walk. Darwin would walk both in the morning and again in the afternoon to give his mind time to wander and relax.