Here is a familiar scenario: She was sitting at the table, coffee forgotten in her hands, adrift in her thoughts. Suddenly, snapping fingers in front of her eyes broke her train of thought, and a loud voice asking, “Hey, are you in there?!”
We are conditioned to pay attention, and when we find ourselves lost in thought, dreaming, we are either rudely woken up or feel guilty for losing track of ourselves. After all, successful people understand the amount of concentration it takes to be good at something and shouldn’t allow themselves to be distracted!
We often discourage such daydreams because they amount to distractions, but that really does them a disservice. The stuff of our dreams may be wild imagining, but there are kernels of reality that we can mine. When you dream, you’re figuring things out and exploring at the same time.
Your dreams can be tools.
Too much dreaming could be distracting from your task, and doesn’t it seem like our minds often wander when we’re deep in the throes of a project? It makes sense when you think about the effort exerted by the brain to concentrate. A daydream might either be a break from the efforts or an extension of the increased brain activity. Either way, we often find ourselves “zoning out” while we’re working.
The usual response is to shake ourselves back from the daydream and focus again. However, there is an opportunity to take next time you find yourself zoned out—follow the thoughts. Let yourself take the time to zone out. Stay in the zone.
Evaluating Your Dreams
When you come back to earth or snap out of your reverie, don’t jump back into work. Instead, think some more about the daydream or thoughts you just experienced. Where did you go? What did you see? What was on your mind? Write them down.
When we get lost in thought, we are actually processing ideas. They may be nothing of importance, but you may find yourself dreaming about your heart’s desire. Give yourself a chance to find out.
After you have a few sessions of letting your mind wander and getting a sense of your thoughts, look over your collection of notes. Were you thinking about that last client meeting? Did you imagine yourself handling it differently or did you relive it start to finish? Maybe you were working on setting your interior design pricing and suddenly whisked yourself away to a place that didn’t bother you with numbers like a tropical island with endless beaches.
Glean from your notes the meaning behind the thoughts. Do you need a new approach to client meetings? Are you still struggling with your interior design financial statements? These are the real issues with which you’re grappling.
Now, you can create action items. What are 3 things you need for every client meeting? What are two ways you need to prepare for those types of events?
Or, you can identify specific actions you still need to take. List people who will help you with your interior design fee structure. Decide two methods to gain more information about your interior design business plan.
You already have everything you need—next time, let your mind go and see where it takes you. Keep notepaper close to you. Allow yourself time to see your dreams through. You may just find that rather than distract you from reaching your goals, they may take you exactly where you need to go. Always feel free to connect with me and we can work together to make your dreams come true.