Do you find yourself regularly staring off into space, even at the most inappropriate times? Have you ever looked at the office clock and realised that it’s been 20 minutes since you last touched your keyboard?
Your teachers, parents and co-workers have probably remarked that daydreamers are generally not helpful but it turns out that dream-dreaming regularly indicates a well-equipped brain.
First off, don’t read that as ‘daydreamers are more intelligent/productive’ because it’s not true. However, researchers have found that people that are prone to let their minds wander have a higher degree of working memory.
The study that claims this looked at how memory skills and wandering minds were linked. Participants in an experiment recorded their daydreams across a week through an electronic device.
The way this was measured was that the device would send out random buzzes and alerts across the day. If you were day dreaming while the buzzer went off you’d have to record “what the daydream was about, which included information on both the physical aspects of the daydream as well as the psychological aspects of it”, according to Lifehack.
It turns out that those that were caught more often daydreaming, were much better at recalling information about their dreams. They had better ‘working memory’ which is defined as your brain’s ability to recall information in the face of distractions.
People who are less prone to dream-dreams found working on big tasks with little distractions very difficult. Daydreamers were used to dedicating their concentration to multiple things so found it easy to remember what they were doing even after a daydream.
Who knew that daydreaming worked like a muscle? The more you do it, the better you get at it. Tell that to your manager when they catch you staring out the window on a rainy day.