“Certainly she was losing consciousness of the outer things. And as she lost consciousness of outer things, her mind kept throwing things up from its depths, scenes and names, sayings, memories and ideas, like a fountain spurting.”
– Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse
Studies that show how taking a break from a problem, working on other tasks, daydreaming (and night-dreaming), and letting your mind wander can help you come up with more solutions or more creative approaches.
Read: The Virtues of Daydreaming, by Jonah Lehrer for The New Yorker