In last week’s article, I looked at how you can study as a daydreamer without being distracted by your daydreaming. But there are also ways you can use your daydreaming to help you be a better student.
Ask your characters to support you
The best way to get anything done if you’re a daydreamer is to get the support of your characters. This applies to studying just as much as anything else. If you force yourself to ignore your characters while you study, chances are they’re going to start jumping up and down and demanding your attention. You need to get them on your side. Explain to them that you’re looking forward to checking in with them later but right now you need to study. This sounds weird, but trust me, it works. When I agree with my characters that we’re not going to daydream until I’ve done whatever task I need to focus on, if I then slip up and start daydreaming, my characters will be like “No. We’re not doing that now. We agreed, remember?” It’s impossible to daydream when your characters won’t cooperate.
Recruit a character as your study buddy
We probably all have at least one character we want to impress, someone that we desperately don’t want to disappoint. It could be a partner, a parent figure or a mentor. Imagine that character sitting next to you while you study. What kind of student would you like them to see you as? Do you want them to see someone who can focus on the task at hand and is committed to doing the best they can, or do you want them to see someone who is constantly distracted? Are you really going to allow yourself to lose focus when that character is sitting right there watching you? And if you do get distracted, imagine that character gently reminding you to get back on track. It can be surprisingly effective.
Teach your characters
Have you ever heard the saying that the best way to learn something is to teach it? When you explain something you’ve just learned to someone else, it does a couple of things. First, it highlights any parts you still don’t quite understand, and second, it forces you to put what you’ve learned into your own words, which will help you remember it. And your characters won’t be unavailable, get bored or start talking about their own stuff the way a real-life friend might. Your characters will sit patiently and listen to you explain something – over and over again if necessary – until you’re sure you fully understand it.
Give what you’re learning time to sink in
When I was at university, this was how I always wrote essays. I would do all the reading as soon as I could. Then I would allow it to sit in the back of my mind for a few days. During that time, I’d occasionally chat to my characters about it. It wouldn’t be as structured as teaching them; it would be more like “didn’t you find it interesting that…” or “I wonder if that also works for…”. Instead of seeing my characters as students I was teaching, I’d treat them more like peers I was bouncing ideas off. And after a few days, I would find I could just sit down and write the essay, because I’d have subconsciously figured out exactly what I was going to say. I still use that technique in a lot of my writing.
Connect with your daydream self
Is your daydream self a good student? If you daydream as an idealised version of yourself, they probably are. So could you pretend to be that awesome daydream version of you while you study? Could you tell yourself that, today, you are that amazing person who can sit down and stay focussed and remember everything they read? Another way your daydream self can help you, is they can remind you why you’re studying. More than likely, you’re hoping to get a qualification that will take you one step closer to the life you really want. So allow yourself to daydream as the future you who has that qualification and is now pursuing the next dream. Tune into how that feels. You could even ask your future daydream self how they were able to study. What tips worked for them? Try it. You might be surprised at what comes up.
Finally, many of the techniques that daydreamers can use to manifest can be used to manifest academic success, so have a look at my post about how daydreamers can learn to manifest for some additional ideas.
Remember, being a daydreamer doesn’t mean you can’t be a good student. It might mean you don’t study in the same way as your non-daydreamer friends, but that’s OK. Your brain works differently from a non-daydreamer’s brain. So it makes sense that you have to feed it information in a slightly different way. You’re just as talented and intelligent as anyone else, and once you figure out how to study in a way that works for you, you will be able to succeed in whatever you put your mind to.