By Mikala Are you ever sitting in a meeting when you start to feel your brain wandering? Instead of focusing on the task at hand, you start thinking about who might win “Dancing with the Stars” this season. I have to say, I am guilty of this more often than I'd like to admit. It doesn't just happen at work. Sometimes when I get home, my husband will be telling me a story about his day and halfway through, I zone out. Then I will say something like, “I think I just figured out a better angle for that story I've been pitching.” Well, according to recent studies, this trait can be a valuable asset in creative jobs such as PR and marketing. Thankfully, I chose the right profession. Several recent studies, summarized by Wall Street Journal Columnist Jonah Lehrer, reveal that not paying attention can often have a positive effect, especially at work. He writes, “For instance, researchers have found a surprising link between daydreaming and creativity—people who daydream more are also better at generating new ideas.” Scientists also concluded that those who struggle to focus end up letting more information in, allowing them to be more open-minded and better problem-solvers. “People unable to focus are more likely to consider information that might seem irrelevant but will later inspire the breakthrough. When we don't know where to look, we need to look everywhere,” writes Lehrer. Now, as tempting as it might be, you probably shouldn't forget about focus all together. Just like all good things, distraction should be practiced in moderation for the best results. After all, even the most creative ideas still need to be executed properly to be effective. Although now, the next time you get caught spacing out at work, you can tell your boss it's because you are a creative genius.
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