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How to innovate: Daydream your way to the next big thing

You don’t need to learn how to innovate. You already know how. Let your mind wander and the big ideas will eventually come to you.

Attitudes towards daydreaming are overwhelmingly negative. It wastes time, according to employers, and produces no results.

Daydreaming’s negative rep leads many of shy away from admitting that we indulge in jetting off to an idyllic island in the office, or plan out our evening meal on the train into work. We are all daydreamers, from babies to billionaires.

How to innovate - Compelo

As our mind wanders, we are using the most complex regions of our brain. Our thoughts are uncensored, allowing us to see things that we otherwise wouldn’t and connect things that seemingly don’t connect.

It isn’t the dirty secret that we’re all so desperate to hide from each other. Daydreaming is our mind entering the creative process.

As a result, letting your employees’ minds wander could be great for business. You can’t see the thoughts behind that vacant stare. It could very well be thoughts of five o’clock. Yet, it might also be an innovative idea that makes your business billions.

How to innovate - Compelo

How to innovate using the power of daydreaming

Daydreaming and relaxation can be the perfect way to find the next big thing. Innovation isn’t something that you can simply jump into. You’re working on something that has never been done before. There are no competitors to turn to for inspiration, or proven method that works.

Personality psychology outlines five key traits – Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

Conscientious people are more likely to stay on task. As a result, those that lack this trait, and therefore let their mind wander, have been shown to excel when it comes to innovation.

The reason for this is because their minds have time to settle before a decision is made. Non-daydreamers are given a task and try to complete it as quickly as they can. As a result, they tend to run with the first idea, rather than the best idea.

How to innovate - Compelo

Conscientious people are more likely to bury their nose in a book about the topic in search of an idea. However, knowledge teaches you what is already known. This is opposite of what you need.

In order to be a truly great innovator, you must wait for the perfect idea to come to you.

Forget about deadlines and go about your day. Your initial ideas and important details may fade, but your mind will make connections that you couldn’t previously see.

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