A lot of people ask me how I get so much done, and I jokingly reply: Caffeine! But, there’s another trick to being productive I want to share with you now, one that I usually don’t talk a lot about: Daydreaming, and for extended periods of time.
The secret to success is…
When was the last time you spent a day just staring at the sky, or “zoning out” on nature or in your home, without a screen? Do you do this often or does it make you feel bad? Do you feel like you have to be reading or being productive when you’ve got a few moments of reprieve?
I spent the day with the founder of Atria Books, my “boss,” my friend, my mentor: Judith Curr, last week in Malibu. We had a lot to go over, and a lot to review on the Enliven list. It was a rarity to have more than an hour to meet, as when we’re in New York, it’s just so busy. But, we were able to just be together for a few hours with less demands and more time to explore through conversation, and a little daydreaming, and we uncovered so many solutions, ideas, and wonderments by giving ourselves enough time to stare out the window at the sea, and give ourselves time to just be with ideas and solutions to challenges we face as publishers. It was miraculous really.
I asked her how she got so much done, because her list of to do’s includes launching weekly NY Times Bestsellers and running a huge organization. She too said she daydreams a bit, by the seaside, in the form of gardening. When I got home from our meeting a new book was waiting for me on my bedside, Thank-you for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman where he writes of thanking a new friend for being late to a meeting so he could have time to daydream a bit, to make connections in his mind that he formerly couldn’t without the spaciousness.
These instances reminded me that spaciousness is the key to how I am able to discover everything possible in my life, my projects, and in my relationships.
Giving time to “be with” a business, a perceived problem, a creative project, or a person means there is spaciousness and spaciousness leads to having time to look into the sky and not “know” for a minute or an hour. By doing this, your conscious mind can send a note to your subconscious and let it come up with a new answer, a new path, a better way forward. Without the daydreaming time allotted to send messages back and forth from your conscious to unconscious minds, there is a lack of spaciousness, and a more “desperate” vibe when it comes to getting where you want to go. Without spaciousness and time, there is a grasping, and grasping leads to failure.
So this week, I have an assignment from the universe for you. Give yourself an hour every single day to do nothing. Zone out. Stare at the ceiling. Don’t use your phone to zone out, don’t use the crazy news to zone out. Don’t use Facebook or Instagram to zone out. But zone out, daydream, make spaciousness a practice and let me know how it goes in the comments.
I bet what is possible in not scheduling anything during this hour will surprise you. I bet the best is yet to come for you and your dreams. I bet your subconscious is a well ready to be tapped for more than you ever imagined possible.
Sending you time, love, and spaciousness,