Do all of your napkins and notebooks have doodles on them? If so, be proud: new research shows that doodling might actually help you focus.
When you’re in meetings, do you ever receive dirty looks for doodling all over your notes? If so, it might be time to send out an office-wide memo.
A recent Wall Street Journal article reveals doodling may actually be good for you and your career. Citing sources in neuroscience, psychology and design, the article calls doodling a “thinking tool,” saying recent research has shown it can help you focus and grasp new ideas.
The benefits of doodling
If you’re a doodler yourself, your first-hand experience probably backs up the research.
The doodlers quoted in the article ranged from a teacher to a med student to a philosophy professor. They all said doodling during meetings and lectures helped them pay attention and unify their ideas.
And not only does doodling help you organize your thoughts, it might even help you remember them.
The WSJ reports:
“People who were encouraged to doodle while listening to a list of people’s names being read were able to remember 29% more of the information on a surprise quiz later, according to a 2009 study in Applied Cognitive Psychology.”
Carrie Smith, the artistic entrepreneur behind Careful Cents, agrees:
“Since picking up my sketching and doodling again I notice that my productivity has greatly increased — I can actually recall stuff easier, too. I find myself doing it most when I’m on calls with clients and while taking notes of webinars, classes and etc. It helps me focus because I can make references to what I’m learning in a much more fun way versus just writing letters. I also find more creative ways to handle problems that arise because I’m thinking more outside the box.”
So the next time you find yourself doodling at the office, don’t feel bad — be confident about your unique way of processing information.
Do you doodle? Does it help you focus?
Susan Shain (@TravlJunkette) is a travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.