The benefits of purposeful daydreaming

October 26, 2017

By Brian Maynor



Avoiding distractions and staying focused.

Those seem to be two of the biggest struggles in every workplace.  Between phone calls, emails, coworkers and any other number of interruptions it can often seem like a losing battle.

However, daydreaming is one activity that may seem like a distraction, but when done with a specific purpose can be very beneficial.  Positive constructive daydreaming, or PCD, is very different from normal daydreaming when we tend to just rehash old worries, fears, interactions.

Here is everything you need to know about PDC, and how you can, and should, incorporate it into your day:

1.   What is PCD?  Positive constructive daydreaming is when your mind relaxes to an unfocused state, allowing your brain to access old memories, enhance self-awareness and image creative solutions to various situations, which help it recharge.

2.    How is it different from normal daydreaming?  PCD tunes in to our brain’s default mode network, DMN, which is only available when we disengaged from focusing on daily problems and tasks.  While it may seem like our minds are relaxing and taking a break, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  When working in its DMN, our brains are extremely active; accessing memories and past ideas as well as jumping around between the past, present and future recombining ideas in new and creative ways.

3.    Why is PCD important?  During this process, our brains are not only coming up with out-of-the-box solutions and ideas and recharging, it is also giving us a stronger and enhanced sense of self, which Warren Bennis felt is the essence of leadership.  As a world-renowned leadership expert, I trust his assessment.  When we have a stronger sense of who we are, we become better leaders.

4.    How do we practice PCD?  The first step is to engage in a rather mundane, low-key activity, which is anything that doesn’t require our direct focus or attention.  For some of us that is casual reading, gardening, or enjoying a leisurely walk.  The second step is to picture some wishful, happy image like relaxing on the beach or sailing.  Then hold that image in your mind’s eye as you begin to let your mind wander.

This image helps us keep from slipping into the typical form of daydreaming where we simply ruminate on old problems, fears and, if you’re like me, conversations and interactions.

Distractions have a bad reputation, and are not something we generally look for or forward to, especially when we are trying to stay focused, but they are not all the same.  PCD is a good distraction that allows our brain to recharge, helps us develop our creativity, and become better leaders.  Try working it into your daily routine and see what you think.


Click here or on the images below to learn more about the outfit.


Click here or on the images below to learn more about the outfit.



I am always curious to hear from you.  Send your questions, comments and pet peeves to [email protected].