Definition: indulgence in idle daydreaming (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
I first came across that word in the early 1980s while reading an essay by Harlan Ellison. It's one of those words that sticks in your mind because it encapsulates so much, so elegantly.
Woolgathering is something we don't do enough of. We're discouraged from doing it from a young age. Keeping our heads out of the clouds, staying in the now, and all that.
And that's a shame.
Woolgathering, daydreaming isn't an idle waste of time. It gives our brains moments to go fallow. To shift away from a problem. To clear the slate and to refresh. Woolgathering can help us solve problems and come up with ideas.
You just need to be willing to embrace it.