I used to spend a lot of time lying on my sofa staring at the ceiling.
My then-girlfriend, who was always busy, would ask me “what are you doing?” to which I would answer, “Nothing.”
Only it was everything.
A journey around my mind, conjuring thoughts and ideas, scraps of memories and possible future outcomes. Shapes and patterns would emerge; epiphanies came a’callin’. I was time travelling.
In neuroscience, this mind wandering is referred to as the brain’s state of REST, or Random Episodic Silent Thought.
It is your brain’s most delicious gift, if we give it the opportunity. To meander.
However, this gift is under attack – by our mobile devices. When we have a super computer in hand, there is too much to focus on.
We have less cognitive downtime. We commit less time to travelling around our mind.
This is a threat. Disorganizers benefit from having nothing to do.
Put down your phone, and stare at the ceiling more.
This Much We Know.