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How daydreaming can help the creative process…

It often pays to get your head away from the page, particularly when it comes to conceptual work, or ideas jobs like brand naming, straplines and taglines. You might not have the privilege of a rolling landscape or an eclectic metropolitan pastiche outside your window, but simply sitting back for a moment and letting your mind wander – or just keeping your thoughts ticking over while you pop out for a sandwich – can open up avenues of thought that just won’t come otherwise.

It could be an aeroplane and its vapour trail. A pigeon strolling up the pavement. Someone opening a window. The writing on the side of a van. Some funny-looking clouds. People. The weather. Even leaning back in your chair and asking a colleague what they did last night, or just thinking about something completely non work-related that’s been on your mind. It doesn’t really matter – any stimulus that changes your channels of thought and cures the temporary writer’s block.

After all, you can’t force, predict or put time aside for creativity, although to some extent we all have to. Similarly, there are no specific types of surroundings or circumstances that reliably promote brilliant ideas. They come when they come, and often when you expect or demand them least.

Okay, so workloads and deadlines often mean we can’t idly gaze out of the window, take long, meandering strolls to the sandwich shop, or meditate in rural retreats or sensory deprivation waiting for the ‘eureka’ moments. But by using each day’s natural pockets of downtime, where the mind can wander a little – you can really get the creative juices flowing and, at very least, give you starting points to explore and expand upon. Many a time we can be seen staring into nothing, or muttering to ourselves on the way back from the shop.

Often, when you force yourself to stop thinking, you actually start thinking.

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