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The impact of daydreaming on innovation

What happens when we aren’t able to put down our phones and find time to just think, be innovative and creative?

“One of the biggest casualties of our digital lifestyle is we've lost the ability to daydream,” said Neil Hughes, author, columnist and podcaster. “And I challenge anyone watching this, or listening to it later, if they sit in their favorite armchair for 10 minutes, or they've gone out for a walk, how long do they leave it before they pick up that smartphone? Because there's always a notification just waiting to give you that next dopamine hit. Some people can't even go to the toilet, the lavatory, without taking their phone in there.”

Hughes, author of the Amazon bestseller, Great TED Talks: Innovation: An Unofficial Guide with Words of Wisdom from 100 TED Speakers, joined Freedom Media Network founder Curt Mercadante for an interview about the book, innovation, and Hughes’ top-rated podcast, Tech Talks Daily.

A common theme in Hughes’ book is the importance of quiet, casual, thinking time to creativity and innovation and feed our curiosity.

“If I would give one tip for innovation, it would be to be curious and take risks,” said Hughes. “And again, we're now in a world where we don't channel our open, curious mind. We lock ourselves in echo chambers on platforms, such as Facebook, which will spoon feed us our own opinions right back at us. But it's that curiosity and questioning things and expanding your worldview that is so important.”

Those moments of innovation, that moment of genius, that crazy idea, can come when you're in the shower, lounging in your favorite chair, or daydreaming. But now, even if we’re on the train, instead of gazing out the window, we’re staring at our phones. Instead of taking in the sights and scenes of the world, our eyes are looking down at our screens. We wake up in the morning and check our feeds, instead of taking a walk, emptying our minds, or being present.

“And I think that's the sad moment, really.” added Hughes. “Because everyone wants to be more creative, and just taking a walk, unplugging your ears and just soaking up the environment around you, that's where it all comes from.”

Watch Hughes’ full conversation with Mercadante by clicking here.

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