Doodling, an act as old as note-taking itself, is better understood than it once was. It turns out, there may be some real benefits to this activity that could make you more creative, productive, and focused. Here’s why the practice is gaining acceptance and popularity in more and more workplaces.
(Photo Credit: MindzB/Flickr)
Here are some great reasons to doodle.
1. You’re in good company.
If doodling were super bad for you it would come as a huge surprise considering the fact that many writers, CEOs, and even presidents of the United States are known doodlers. A 2006 book of presidential doodles shed light on the pervasive nature of this artistic habit, and helped to legitimize the act of doodling. These days, it’s understood that doodling has a lot of benefits. Anyone who still feels that scribbling in the margins means you’re distracted is a bit behind the times.
2. It’s not distracting – doodling actually helps you to focus.
The trouble with doodling is that it sort of looks like you’re distracted. We read eye contact, certain postures, etc., as signs of engagement, and when you’re scribbling your squiggles you aren’t sending those signals. But, just because something presents as one thing, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to it under the surface. Focusing a little of your attention on doodling might actually help you to focus. It calms the mind, allowing you to concentrate more overall. So, just look up once in a while and smile and nod during meetings, give those little social cues that let others know you’re paying attention to them, and you should be fine. Of course, if you’re attending a very important meeting, with clients for example, you should probably keep the squiggles to a minimum.
3. Anyone can do it.
You don’t have to be an artist to doodle. Puzzle pieces, simple faces, geometric patterns … when it comes to casual doodling, anything is fair game and nothing is too basic. It’s nice to be able to create something artistic-ish without the pressure of missing the mark or not having enough skill. Doodling is fun and gratifying in its way, and absolutely anyone can do it.
Creativity is important for solving problems, coming up with new ideas, and processing information. It’s a valuable trait in the workplace, and something many employers value and encourage. One of the main benefits of doodling is that it heightens creativity. Through freeing your mind of common, linear, linguistic-based thinking, information is able to be processed in unique ways and the ability to look at situations from different angles and perspectives is increased.
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