Scientists who carried out the study said the results indicate that doing simple tasks that allow us to daydream is key to solving trickier questions playing on our minds.
"Many influential scientific thinkers claim to have had their moments of inspiration while engaged in thoughts or activities not directly aimed at solving the problem they were trying to solve," said lead author Benjamin Baird, of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
"This study demonstrated that taking a break involving an undemanding task improved performance on a classic creativity task far more than taking a break involving a demanding task, resting or taking no break.
"The findings arguably provide the most direct evidence to date that conditions that favour mind wandering also enhance creativity."
The research, published in the journal Psychological Science, is likely to please school pupils and bored office workers who enjoy gazing out of the window but may not go down less well with teachers and bosses.
Einstein is believed to have begun his theory of relativity while he daydreamed about riding or running beside a sunbeam to the edge of the universe - after he was expelled from school for rebelling against rote learning.
Newton developed his theory of gravity after he happened to see an apple fall from a tree in his mother's garden in Lincolnshire.
Further back the Greek philosopher Archimedes shouted 'Eureka' when he stepped into a bath and realised the relation between the rising water level and the volume of his body that was submerged.
The study involved 145 people aged between 19 and 32 who were given two minutes to list as many unusual uses as possible for everyday objects. They were then split into four groups with one of the groups not allowed any break from the task. The other three groups were each given a 12-minute break during which some carried out a demanding memory task, some enjoyed complete rest and some did an undemanding task.
Those who did the undemanding task were found to be daydreaming a lot about personal issues or past or future events as a result of its ease.
All participants were then asked to return to the task of listing unusual uses for ordinary objects. When considering new items all groups did the same. But when considering the same objects as earlier, daydreamers improved their performance by 40 per cent while the other groups performed the same as before.
The researchers said the improved performance was associated with "a higher level of mind wandering but not with a greater level of explicitly directed thoughts about the task." They added that the "seemingly dysfunctional mental state" of daydreaming may "serve as a foundation for creative inspiration".
The authors suggested that we may unconsciously process thoughts while concentrating on another task but said more research is needed to explain more fully how this happens.
Define your Problems as Goals
Your problems are those undesired things in your life which you want to get rid off as soon as possible.
Its like those stones that keep coming in your path and try to knock u down, make u feel sad, pained and uncomfortable. Thinking about them makes you grow serious glum, annoyed, irritated, frustrated, angered unhappy, or thoughtful. Your mind either is focused on how difficult your life is with this problem and how by anyway possible you can get it done.
Some of these problems already have a solution. You know the solution but u r too lazy and unwilling, or incapable of taking those actions. Sometimes how ever you cannot solve it on your own and need outside help.
Whether or not your solution is clear to you, you are always clear about one thing. What you want? What needs to be done? where you want to see yourself past that problem? And that beautiful happy, secure realization is called the GOAL. The end result. And to get there you must be willing to do all that is required, and that part is called the Acheivement.
Problems can be visible. Anyone can see them.. they are as clear as the day. Problems can be invisible. No body other then you know about them. No one can even guess what eating you from inside... but none the less there is a serious problem, which you have been trying to fight / living with since the day it was conceived.
But what ever those problems or hurdles are, its much easier to tackle them and get around them when you list them in terms of a goal.
So if your problem is
He doesn’t want to marry me...
Your focus should be on how to convince him to marry you.
“Convince him to marry you” then becomes your goal and “How” is the way you and solutions and options and possibilities you will need to work on in order to reach that Goal.
My acne is so bad. Its a huge problem
Even though its a true observation... it does little to get you to solve it. So your focus should be on
How can I get rid of it; where “How “would be the WAY and “Get rid of Acne” would be your GOAL and the more you could focus on the two... the less your acne will remain a problem for u.
Use this trick to all your problems, and problems will not be a problem any more.