Why Daydreaming will Make You Fail

Daydreaming does have its place -- but generally, the office isn’t one of them. There are many benefits of daydreaming such as; it can help you relax, deal with stress and even be more creative, suggests an article on the WebMD website. Those can be good things -- but when someone’s paying you to do a job, relaxing and de-stressing are generally not high priority.

If you’re spending your work days daydreaming, here’s why it can make you fail.

You look like you’re not doing anything

If you’re spending time daydreaming while you’re at your desk, it’s going to look to everyone else like you’re doing nothing. Sure, you could explain to your boss that you’re working on the perfect pitch for this morning’s presentation, but that’s not always going to go over very well.

You’re not turning it into something productive

Bosses like employees who actually DO things -- so you’d better have something to show for that period of silence and repose. When you do daydream, think about the message that daydream is trying to tell you, and what your mind is saying it wants. Then work backward -- much the same as you do when you create SMART goals -- to determine what concrete tasks you need to get done in order to achieve that dream. In other words, turn that casual daydream into something concrete by setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

You’re presenting it all wrong

When you’re at work, you need to be focused on outcomes and productivity. That great idea you had may have come from a session of daydreaming, but don’t present it that way or you’re going to look like a flitty daydreamer around the office (not a great image). So instead of saying something like "I was sitting around daydreaming the other day and I came up with this idea," just say "here’s my plan," and then outline said plan. Focus on results and actions in the workplace and leave the daydreams for Sunday afternoon.

You’re rehearsing your failures

People tend to daydream about scenarios that could happen in their lives -- but sometimes, they’re visualizing the wrong things. If you use your daydreaming time to think about all the ways you’re going to fail, you need to change your thinking. Instead of daydreaming about failure, switch to positive affirmations. According to Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. of Psychology Today, a positive affirmation is "a statement said with confidence about a perceived truth." By allowing the negative "perceived truths" to rule our lives, we’re allowing the negative to win out over the positive. So if you’re constantly daydreaming about how much your boss hates you or how bad you are at your job, you’re affirming those things in your mind, and making them truths. The trick, then, is to consciously speak positive affirmations to ourselves for several minutes a day -- and even get friends or loved ones to affirm them to us as well.

See Also: 10 Thoughts That Will Make You Successful

In short, daydreaming has the power to make you fail -- but it also has the power to help you succeed. So stop daydreaming when you’re supposed to be working -- but use daydreaming during your off time to come up with goals and to affirm yourself that you’re worthy of success.


Science Daily: Neuroscientists literally change the way we think: Advantages of a wandering mind