Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Idle Science

Allowing the Mind To Wander Aids Creative Problem Solving 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the daydream-a-better-tomorrow dept.
ananyo writes "From the Nature story: 'Scientists from Archimedes to Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are said to have had flashes of inspiration while thinking about other things. But the mechanisms behind this psychological phenomenon have remained unclear. A study now suggests that simply taking a break does not bring on inspiration — rather, creativity is fostered by tasks that allow the mind to wander.' The researchers gave 145 students 2 minutes to list as many possible uses for an everyday object (the creative thinking task). Participants then either rested, undertook a demanding memory activity that required their full attention or engaged in an undemanding reaction-time activity known to elicit mind-wandering. A fourth group of students had no break. The researchers then set the students a second set of unusual-uses tasks and found those that had, in the interim, been set the undemanding task that encouraged mind-wandering performed an average of around 40% better than they did before. The students in the other three groups showed no improvement."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Allowing the Mind To Wander Aids Creative Problem Solving

Comments Filter:
  • Creativity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The God of Code (2641925) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:09PM (#40067321)

    rather, creativity is fostered by tasks that allow the mind to wander.

    And this is why mild drugs should be legal. The effects greatly increase mind wandering and in right amounts, lead to highly increased creativity. I don't support highly abusive drugs as they have risky side effects, but for example marijuana should be legal.

    It is actually even more healthy and good for the society than alcohol. For most people alcohol drinking tends to bring out their bad sides like aggressiveness, health problems and uncontrolled thinking. Pot on the other hand increases creativity, brings relaxation and has no negative effects on your health (especially if you don't smoke it but eat with browns or pizza [tastes like oregano actually, but better]).

    • Re:Creativity (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:33PM (#40067631)

      In AA I was introduced to the M.M.P., Marijuana Maintenance Plan.

      Basically for an Alcoholic that is drinking enough to eventually kill them it provides them a very effective way to quit drinking. And eventually they "should" quit smoking pot after they have gotten over the worst parts of early sobriety. And quitting pot is so so so much easier than quit drinking.

      This has saved hundreds of lives, but it's illegal.

    • Re:Creativity (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:50PM (#40067813) Homepage Journal

      And this is why mild drugs should be legal.

      No, mind-altering drugs should be legal because there should be no law against harming yourself. Marijuana should be legal because there's no reason whatever (besides right-wing lies) why it should be illegal. And yes, it does help creativity. Often some of my best stories come from a pot haze. Unfortunately half the time I forget what I was going to write before I get it written down.

      As to the study, once again science has proven that which most of us have noticed. But proving it scientifically is a GOOD thing. Without testing one can never be sure.

      • Re:Creativity (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:55PM (#40067881)

        No, mind-altering drugs should be legal because there should be no law against harming yourself

        The self-harm argument falls to pieces when you consider that people are not islands unto themselves, and that the actions of one person often have detrimental effects on others. Pot should be legal because its social benefits outweigh the risks. Meth should be illegal because 99.9% of meth users eventually start stealing or killing to support their habit. I wouldn't mind if meth users simply killed their brain cells and then left the rest of us alone, but that's simply not the case.

        • Re:Creativity (Score:5, Interesting)

          by vlm (69642) on Monday May 21, 2012 @02:31PM (#40068359)

          Meth should be illegal because 99.9% of meth users eventually start stealing or killing to support their habit

          As an ex totally legit chemist not involved even remotely in the amateur pharm trade, I none the less know that the cost of precursor chemicals would make legal meth roughly (very roughly) as expensive as your average OTC generic pharmaceutical. There's nothing in that chemical structure that should cost much more than psuedoephedrine cold medicine and its biologically active "around" that level. A couple days worth of the stuff, if legalized, would cost about as much as a weeks worth of cold medicine, in other words pretty damn cheap compared to the cost of food, etc.

          When you have to steal copper cable every day to get one day's illegal supply society has a big problem. When the cost of a 6-pack of beer is more than the cost of a months supply then society has no real problem. It is true that scum occasionally kill for the cost of a soda, but its rare enough to be an outlier, thankfully.

          It would be cheap enough that junkyards could give it away in order to improve their public image (hey general public, we don't accept stolen goods anymore because we give the addicts stuff for free, so stop blaming us for your stolen catalytic converters, mkay?)

          Its much harder on the body than alcohol, so unlike drinking where you have senior citizen bums, meth heads, especially if given all-you-can-smoke-for-free would not live long, leading to a ridiculously lower total lifetime cost and a much smaller population.

          • Re:Creativity (Score:5, Insightful)

            by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Monday May 21, 2012 @02:40PM (#40068459)
            Fair enough on the cost of the product itself.. And I think your argument would actually go a long way in regards to something like heroin. I was wrong to state that the meth addicts steal or kill to support their habit.. They steal and kill because meth eats away everything but the base animal instincts, and they essentially steal and kill for fun at that point. Also, unlike heroin addicts, meth users tend to have lots of children to whom they do irreparable harm. If we had a program of "all you can smoke, provided you are permanently sterilized and live in this fenced off area away from people who actually contribute to society", I'll be all for it.
          • by Jeng (926980)

            The equivalent of "Drunk for a penny Dead drunk for twopence" is not a solution to the Meth issue.

            There is no solution except at the level of the individual.

        • Meth should be illegal because 99.9% of meth users eventually start stealing or killing to support their habit.

          That's simply collective punishment. Throw the ones who commit crimes in prison (or whatever it is you wish to do with them), but don't punish the rest. It's simply a waste of time, manpower, and money.

          • Meth should be illegal because 99.9% of meth users eventually start stealing or killing to support their habit.

            That's simply collective punishment. Throw the ones who commit crimes in prison (or whatever it is you wish to do with them), but don't punish the rest. It's simply a waste of time, manpower, and money.

            No, learn to deal with having to get a damn prescription for sudafed.

            • Then... learn to deal with me... not having to get a prescription? Or at least that would be the case if such laws weren't in place, and laws can be changed.

              • Not sure what your point is, but my point is that all you need to do to eliminate the meth problem is disrupt the supply chain. And unlike cocaine, heroin, etc., meth can be stopped by simply regulating the ingredients necessary to make it. And unlike pot, it's actually harmful enough to make that a worthwhile venture.
                • meth can be stopped by simply regulating the ingredients necessary to make it.

                  What would prevent them from creating it in another country and bringing it here? You'd need nearly universal regulations.

                  And I don't care too much for that solution, anyway. I say if someone wants to take drugs, let them. If they then commit a crime, punish those people.

                  • Yeah, let's wait until after someone dies to anything about anything. Let's say Billy wants to build a nuke. He should be allowed to have plutonium, right? Then we'll just punish him later if he kills someone with it.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Meth should be illegal because 99.9% of meth users eventually start stealing or killing to support their habit.

          So, you think Minority Report's precrime unit is a good thing? Stealing and killing are already against the law. "Put him in jail because he might steal or kill" is a terrible argument. I'll bet you thought 1984 had a utopian society, too.

      • Re:Creativity (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday May 21, 2012 @02:34PM (#40068389) Homepage Journal

        No, mind-altering drugs should be legal because there should be no law against harming yourself.

        Well, yes and no. While I agree that mind-altering drugs should be legal, there are behaviors that are self-destructive that end up costing society a whole lot, say, motorcyclists not wearing a helmet or at least goggles. When I first started riding in my late teens, I never wanted to put anything on my head and goggles interfered with my then-long hair flowing in the wind making me look just a little less cool. I was on 94 headed out toward the Western Suburbs when a small stone got kicked up and sent right into my eye. The weather was perfect, but it sent me into a long slide that could have easily ended up with a lot more people hurt or dead besides just me. After that, I always wore goggles, and after a close friend who was doing an emergency room rotation back then told me she wouldn't be my friend any more unless I started wearing a helmet, I actually managed to live long enough to see the wisdom in these simple requirement. About the same time, I realized that no, I did not in fact drive better after getting a few ounces of ethanol behind my belt. Funny, I was absolutely sure about that one, but no. Also, that the fragrant and sticky red bud did not actually improve my musical ability.

        Nobody's behavior is unconnected to other peoples' lives. Nobody makes it all on their own and nothing a person do "has no effect on anyone else. The "this is a free country and if I want to kill myself I will" argument makes a lot more sense before you grow up than after.

        But certainly there is no good reason to make the growing or use or purchase of marijuana illegal. And sale and distribution should be regulated, if only to make sure one doesn't end up being sold an ounce of rosemary for $120 by those high school juniors over on Jackson Blvd. The little shits.

        • by shiftless (410350)

          Also, that the fragrant and sticky red bud did not actually improve my musical ability.

          Maybe you should have tried a different strain.

          Or maybe you just aren't cut out for music.

          The "this is a free country and if I want to kill myself I will" argument makes a lot more sense before you grow up than after.

          Only if you define "growing up" as "bowing down and kissing the King's hand."

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            Only if you define "growing up" as "bowing down and kissing the King's hand."

            "King"?

            Have you been spending too much time with Game of Thrones again?

            What is it with the eternal-undergrad libertarians and the ridiculous hyperbole? "Man, that cop gave me a ticket for running a red light. That's proof that we've got the Jackboot of the Tyrant on our neck."

            Also, libertarians capitalize a lot of stuff, apparently.

        • Nobody's behavior is unconnected to other peoples' lives.

          Suddenly we're limiting people's freedom simply because something may inadvertently affect others in some way if something goes wrong. I'd much rather accept the occasional casualties just like I'd much rather accept the risk of terrorist attacks than resort to idiocy like the Patriot Act and the TSA (which, most likely, don't accomplish anything, anyway).

          The "this is a free country and if I want to kill myself I will" argument makes a lot more sense before you grow up than after.

          Right. They just need to grow up if they don't agree with you.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            I'd much rather accept the occasional casualties just like I'd much rather accept the risk of terrorist attacks than resort to idiocy like the Patriot Act and the TSA (which, most likely, don't accomplish anything, anyway).

            And what does the TSA and Patriot Act have to do with motorcycle helmet laws?

            The "this is a free country and if I want to kill myself I will" argument makes a lot more sense before you grow up than after.

            Right. They just need to grow up if they don't agree with you.

            No, the don't "need" to

            • And what does the TSA and Patriot Act have to do with motorcycle helmet laws?

              I considered the possibility that you'd ask, but I thought it was obvious. Risk. Casualties. In those cases, terrorist attacks. In your case, accidents. Of course, helmets are more effective at stopping casualties than the other two, but I believe the point is obvious. I would much rather accept casualties than limit everyone's freedom simply because someone's actions may or may not inadvertently affect someone else in some way if something goes wrong. In most cases. I do not believe in collective punishmen

            • by hazah (807503)
              Growing up doesn't mean you realize you don't have the right to piss in the swiming pool. On the contrary. It's realizing that you do, just as much as others have the right to punch you for it.
              • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                Growing up doesn't mean you realize you don't have the right to piss in the swiming pool. On the contrary. It's realizing that you do, just as much as others have the right to punch you for it.

                Go look at the definition of the word "right" again.

                The right to free speech does not mean others have the right to stop you from speaking.

                • by hazah (807503)
                  I don't think we're hitting the same nail -- I agree with you on your point. I'm referring that you're still not free from consequences. For instance, the infamous example of yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theatre. Even if not illegal, someone may indeed punch you for it. I'm certain I understand the word just fine, my friend.
          • Re:Creativity (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Capsaicin (412918) * on Monday May 21, 2012 @11:55PM (#40073179)

            Right. They just need to grow up if they don't agree with you.

            I think the point is that the angry young libertarian males need to grow up if they are still manifesting their late adolescent rejection of paternal authority after about the age of 24. From the point of view especially of those of us who used to identify as "libertarian" (even though in years past that may have meant an anti-properterian libertarianism, or even anarcho-communism), older men who persist in imagining that political utopia is to be found in their unresolved familial issues seem slightly pathetic.

            • I think the point is that the angry young libertarian males need to grow up

              And what does that even mean? Who decided that they "need" to grow up? What does "grow up" even refer to? Agree with someone else's opinion? Because that's all it is. An opinion. It sounds awfully arrogant to me.

              older men who persist in imagining that political utopia is to be found in their unresolved familial issues seem slightly pathetic.

              Older men who disagree with some, I suppose. But I wouldn't call it a "utopia" by any means. I think it's a bit too much of a harsh world to be considered a "utopia."

              • by Capsaicin (412918) *

                And what does that even mean? Who decided that they "need" to grow up? What does "grow up" even refer to? Agree with someone else's opinion? Because that's all it is. An opinion. It sounds awfully arrogant to me.

                Of course it's an opinion, just as yours is. What distinguishes my opinion from yours (or mine some 30 years ago for that matter) is simply my greater wisdom. I agree that must sound awfully arrogant to you and I would go further and point out that in truth the presumption that one opinion carries

                • What distinguishes my opinion from yours (or mine some 30 years ago for that matter) is simply my greater wisdom.

                  Oh, I see. You're making assumptions about my age, are you? Interesting "wisdom."

                  There is nothing distinguishing your opinion from mine (unless you wish to appeal to a higher power). Even if you are more "wise" than me, as you claim, that is quite irrelevant. My (and your) feelings exist in a certain way, and our priorities are simply different.

                  I would go further and point out that in truth the presumption that one opinion carries as much weight as any other is itself as much an opinion as it is a nonsense.

                  I see. I disagree with your opinion, then. I have no idea if there is a magical opinion fairy, but I certainly don't believe in one.

                  And why ask "who"?

                  If their answer was simply "someo

                  • by Capsaicin (412918) *

                    Oh, I see. You're making assumptions about my age, are you? Interesting "wisdom."

                    How so? Later I wrote " if you are still in your early 20s" just carry on and ignore us, which is a statement I would hardly make were I aware of your actual age. There is no basis for reading into my contrasting my opinions of 30 years ago, your opinions of now and my current greater wisdom, any assumption as to your age. To patronise you with a concrete example: What distinguishes my next door neighbour's motorcycle from

                • by mcgrew (92797) *

                  Of course it's an opinion, just as yours is. What distinguishes my opinion from yours (or mine some 30 years ago for that matter) is simply my greater wisdom.

                  Yes, oh sage? Wise old wizard? Listen, grandpa, I've been smoking pot for 41 years and in my youth did a lot of dangerous shit I no longer do, too. The wise don't force their opinions of things that don't affect them personally on others in the form of law, insecure authoritarians do. The wise give council, not edicts.

                  I've been wearing seat belts far l

                  • by Capsaicin (412918) *

                    Listen, grandpa, I've been smoking pot for 41 years

                    Clearly it's addled your brain!

                    I'm only joking, and if your think I'm arguing in favour of drug prohibition your are wildly mistaken. See my last response here [slashdot.org] especially the last two paragraphs. The "wise"-crack was only because he accused me of being arrogant. And who you calling grandpa, I first smoked it for 35 years (mind I was relatively late in starting, no longer in HS)! Well I gave it up when I went to law school (fairly late in life), kinda g

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              I think the point is that the angry young libertarian males need to grow up if they are still manifesting their late adolescent rejection of paternal authority after about the age of 24.

              Needing a father figure is harldy adult behavior.

      • by travbrad (622986)

        Do you really think it's illegal because of "right-wing lies"? Why did Obama recently refuse to even entertain the idea of decriminalizing marijuana, despite most of Latin America being in favor of it? Meanwhile Ron Paul wants to decriminalize ALL drugs, so the idea of it being "right-wing lies" is silly. It's POLITICIAN LIES, it has nothing to do with right vs left, Republican vs Democrat.

        Don't you think it's more likely that there is a lot of profit to be made from privatizing the prison-industrial-com

        • by SomeJoel (1061138)

          Do you really think it's illegal because of "right-wing lies"? Why did Obama recently refuse to even entertain the idea of decriminalizing marijuana, despite most of Latin America being in favor of it?

          I can answer this one at least. It turns out politicians don't really care much about "winning votes". They are far more concerned about not losing votes. If you embrace a change which is unpopular with a significant subset of your voter base, then you are going to lose.
          That's why it's mildly surprising that Obama came out pro-gay marriage. Although, I guess the subset of his voter base that is against it is pretty small.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Do you really think it's illegal because of "right-wing lies"?

          SomeJoel answered your question pretty well, it's because only half of voters think pot (let alone other drugs) should be legal (up from 12% in 1968) I'll add that the War On Drugs has historically been a Republican thing. Nixon started the first War On Drugs, Carter (terrible President) pretty much ignored drugs, Reagain starte dthe WOD bullshit again and it escalated under Bush Sr.

    • So by your logic steroids should be legal since they have a positive side effects?
      And since Speed (I think that is the name) makes you stronger and able to work faster it should be as well?
      I don't think there exists an illegal act/substance in existence that does not have some benefit.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      I read it as, it was time to put all those artists on factory production lines and reduce copyright duration to keep them there. Paying them more doesn't produce more creative work, the just die of drug overdoses in mansion, keeping them on the factory floor or as waitresses well keep those creative juices flowing ;).

    • by the_arrow (171557)

      Oblig. xkcd [xkcd.com]

  • In the Shower (Score:5, Insightful)

    by InfiniteZero (587028) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:15PM (#40067387)

    Some of the best ideas I've come up with happened in the shower, usually after a long day of working on a project.

    • Re: Or dreams (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@gma i l . c om> on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:21PM (#40067465) Homepage Journal

      When it's something I work really intensely, I often come up with the best solutions indirectly in a dream. That is, I'll dream of a solution - usually it's not directly helpful, but upon waking it's easy to follow the impractical dream solution to its roots and find the real answer. Usually in a "oh that's so obvious, why didn't I see it sooner?!" kind of way.

      Walking is another good time for me - unless I"m listening to an audiobook, which seems to suppress the necessary 'mind wandering'.

      • by s.petry (762400)

        I have had these also, usually very early REM sleep I wake up and say "Wholly crap that is the Fix!". I found at least for myself that I don't even have to keep a pencil and paper near the bed. These ideas are remembered in the morning, and usually refined while getting ready for work.

        For TFA, I wonder what they did for "mind wandering" activities? They don't mention their specific method, and most that I know of like meditation require training.

    • +1 for the shower. I've had many problem breakthroughs in the shower. It's a good reason to refrain from washing your *ahem* bits and pieces any more than is necessary during shower time.

    • Re:In the Shower (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mindwhip (894744) on Monday May 21, 2012 @02:01PM (#40067957)

      For me its not dreams, rather its lying in bed late at night or on lazy Sunday mornings daydreaming for an hour or two. I'll just let my mind run 'in neutral' not thinking about anything in particular. Sometimes I'll end up thinking about what I did today or will be doing tomorrow. Sometimes its more abstract stuff like what does the square root of -1 actually mean. Sometimes its about the people around me, either friend or foe. Sometimes just about one pointless thing like a slashdot post I made, over and over again but considering it from every angle.

      Every so often these random 'wanderings' result in me linking two previously unrelated facts together to get a better understanding or in me having an idea to solve some problem or issue.

      Either way without letting my mind wander I wouldn't have anywhere near as many 'eureka' moments and would probably have missed out on promotions etc as a result.

    • I regularly have ideas on my research while I'm trying to fall asleep. I have my ipad on the nightstand so that I can send myself an e-mail explaining it.
      • by elucido (870205)

        I regularly have ideas on my research while I'm trying to fall asleep. I have my ipad on the nightstand so that I can send myself an e-mail explaining it.

        I have ideas while I'm in my sleep. I dream about my research. I don't see why others don't also.

    • If your mind wanders a lot and you know how to make good use of it it's a bonus feature but if your mind wanders a lot and you don't know how to make good use of it them it's a mental disorder.

    • I still remember one of the first programs I did in college. There was a bug, and I'd been trying to find it until I went cross-eyed. Finally, I took a break, went to the bathroom, and while crapping I came up with the answer.

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      My recipe for creativity:

      Step 1: Search for a solution as if my life depends on it. In general, I find bad solutions at this stage. This is called "bad spontaneous solutions", I tend to defend them, even though they don't solve the problem.
      Step 2: Stop searching for a solution. It's difficult to stop searching, but there are several ways to do that, like sleeping or concentrating on something else but not using logical reasoning. It's important to forget about the problem.
      Step 3: The solution appears !

      It's

      • I'll reply to you since the top third of this story was all about drugs. Let's go back to fairly basic Psychology.

        Problem Arises.
        The reason it's a Problem(Capital P) is that there's no 8-minute fix.

        Dumb/Boring Managers like A-B-C-D work. It looks good on Activty Reports and Time Cards and Metrics and so on.

        Good Managers realize that Problem is not solved by screaming at your Go To Guy. So *IF* you trust your Go To Guy that he's not a lazy oaf, you have to be ready for some Non-Linear Chaos. And I mean Chao

    • At Hitler's lunch table, Dr Dietrich boasted he got his best ideas in the bath. "Then you should bath more often", said Dr Goebbels. ...true. But seriously, you get more ideas if you have time to think about them - how surprising is that, Herr Professor?
  • Camping (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:18PM (#40067423) Journal

    This is why I like camping. Nothing like being stuck outside, hopefully far away from any sort of electrical devices, alone with nothing but your mind and dappled sunlight through the trees to keep you company. I'm never more productive than the week after I spent a weekend sleeping under the stars.

    Stuck at home, my hobbies use a lot of the same parts of the brain my work does. But I enjoy them more, so I work harder at them. That often leaves me wearier on Monday than I was on Friday.

    • by sohmc (595388)

      While I love the great outdoors, my back has precluded this activity for me. So now, I "don't do computers" at home. DVR and phone is the maximum of what I'll do.

      It usually while I'm mopping the floor or washing the dishes that I'll think of a solution to a problem I'm having. Maybe not so much of a solution as a different way to approach the problem. (e.g. iterating through a users list to find which of them belong to a group because I can't query the group.)

    • Nothing like being stuck outside, hopefully far away from any sort of electrical devices, alone with nothing but your mind and dappled sunlight through the trees to keep you company.

      I guess along the same line, if I'm ever stuck on a hard problem, I either go for a long bike ride or a long steady run; something that's not so hard that I have to focus on form. Some of my best problem solving has been done while on a contemplative ride or run, by myself, in the middle of nowhere.

      I don't know if it's the release of endorphins or the tranquility that the setting provides, or the isolation from distractions such as phones and email (and yes, people) that does the trick but if I'm strugglin

  • by jholyhead (2505574) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:19PM (#40067439)
    I expect those of us in intellectually demanding jobs have encountered the step back effect.

    You'll spend three hours banging your head against your desk trying to find a solution to a tricky problem. Eventually, the caffeinated beverages you've been throwing back conspire against you and you have to make a trip to the bathroom. I solve more tricky problems during those 2 minute bathroom breaks than at any other point in the day.

    Incidentally I find I can use this effect to justify all kinds of frowned upon office behaviour. I'm not watching cat videos on Youtube, I'm stepping away from the problem. I'm not browsing the Dilbert archives, I'm putting some distance between myself and the dilemma. I'm not facebook stalking the temp on reception, I'm seeking an alternative perspective on the issue du jour.
    • by vlm (69642)

      Incidentally I find I can use this effect to justify all kinds of frowned upon office behaviour.

      You forgot posting on /.

      Crazy as it sounds I've solved more problems while on /. than while doing any other activity.

  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:21PM (#40067463)
    When I am working on a particularly difficult problem, I read Slashdot for a bit. After drinking down an article about the TSA or censorship, boom! The solution just pops into my head and away I go. That's the Slashdot Advantage(tm)!
  • It's not news, it's a euphemism that's been around for years: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

    In other news, water - wet, air - dry, penguins - little Hitlers in tuxedos.

  • Green is not a creative color.
  • And I thought "focus" was what I needed! Thanks! I'm pouring the methylphenidate down the toilet. Wandering mind here I come! No effort needed.

    • And I thought "focus" was what I needed! Thanks! I'm pouring the methylphenidate down the toilet. Wandering mind here I come! No effort needed.

      If you're an artist or in a creative profession you wont need them. Also if you can figure out how to have ADHD and make it work for you rather than against you then you don't need them.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      It can be beneficial to go without every once in a while, but usually best to do it on a day you don't have to work.

  • I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
    And stops my mind from wandering
    Where will it go

    I'm filling the cracks that ran through the door
    And kept my mind from wandering
    Where will it go

    I'm painting the room in a colorful way
    And when my mind is wandering
    There I will go . . .
  • by Poltron Inconnu (985067) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:41PM (#40067699)
    An undemanding task that lets the mind wander... I think they're not wanting to come right out and admit that most people do their best thinking on the toilet.
  • I get my best ideas while on vacation. Unfortunately, my employer fails to realize that, so I'm stuck being unproductive in an office 40 hours a week.
  • by kbob88 (951258) on Monday May 21, 2012 @02:28PM (#40068315)

    I'm sorry, what were you saying? I was, uh, solving problems...

  • "We don't pay you to think. Get back to work"

    --
    BMO

  • In Your Face Dad! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noc007 (633443) on Monday May 21, 2012 @03:01PM (#40068745)

    When I was in elementary school and day dream, my dad would tell me that I needed to "stop going to 'la la land'".He would even mockingly imitate me in "la la land" in the most obnoxious manner possible. This is one of the many BS things my parents did to me and my dad really doesn't get why our relationship is always on pins and needles. My mom OTOH doesn't realize our relationship is on pins and needles and copes with her own undiagnosed ADHD with a 2 liter diet soda everyday. My dad going diagnosed with ADD a few years ago and is completely ashamed of it; he doesn't want to talk about it, thinks everyone else must accommodate his BS because he has it, and refuses to accept that it's a reason for the behavior now but not an excuse now that he's diagnosed.

    Seriously didn't find out that I was ADD until my ADHD wife told me I'm probably ADD, would benefit by getting tested, and then working with professionals on finding the best solutions to my problems. Found out a couple of years later from my mom that they knew I probably had ADD, but didn't want to get me any help (drugs or otherwise). Instead yelling at me about was their accepted solution.

    My future daughter and potential children, I hope, will benefit from our experience as there's a good chance they'll have ADD. Pediatrician has already forbade computers and TVs being viewable by the munchkin; noise from the TV is discouraged as well, but classical music is encouraged. /Yeah I mommy and daddy issues. Hopefully my children won't.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      I finally got diagnosed at 29 after having a DWI and going to out patient rehab. The rehab people told me I should get checked out since drugs and alcohol were not the extent of my problems.

      I recently found out my mom wanted me to see a psychiatrist when I was in high school, but my step-dad (who was literally on crack) didn't think I needed it.

  • And yet ... (Score:4, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday May 21, 2012 @03:03PM (#40068771)

    ... Slashdot has a -1 Offtopic mod.

  • My problem has never been allowing the mind to wander, it's always been chasing the damn thing down and getting to to do something constructive. Think outside the box they say, but what if you were born without one?
    • by turgid (580780)

      My problem has never been allowing the mind to wander, it's always been chasing the damn thing down and getting to to do something constructive. Think outside the box they say, but what if you were born without one?

      There's a certain knack to it, but it's taken me well into my late 30s to be able to do it "on demand" and even then it's difficult sometimes.

      When I was younger, I used to try to force myself to concentrate but it was always counterproductive. At best I used to get bad butterflies in the stomac

      • by gpronger (1142181)
        Sure, but if you're 57, how do you differentiate between my current and traditional thought process and the onset of senility???
  • I don't have ADHD, I'm just creative!
  • by nashv (1479253) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @05:12AM (#40074459) Homepage

    Try explaining to your boss or spouse, that the time spent playing a mindless game on the computer is actually an intense mind-wandering session that is going to boost your productivity. Or that you need this time to be your creative best.

    In my experience, few people 'get it'.

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet

Working...