Why Everyone Should Doodle More

Steve Jobs was a successful doodler.

…….End of article.

Well, okay then, I will go into the science a little more….

According to The Doodle Revolution, a brilliant book by Sunni Brown, doodling unlocks your creativity, enhances your memory and lights up neural networks that allow for cognitive breakthroughs that otherwise would have been lost in a daydream.

Doodling has brought many benefits to my career. It has been a “white noise” for the right side of my brain whenever I was trying to work out a creative problem. It has been a filter in those boring meetings to help me concentrate on the key messages. It is my “go to” activity when I am experiencing any heightened emotions – negative or positive. Elation – doodle about it and capture it forever. Worry – doodle about it and it puts things in perspective.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

You could believe me, but I’d prefer to give you some evidence from Brown’s book:

Doodling helps develop a better memory. A 2009 study from the University of Plymouth found those who doodled during a recorded phone call recalled 29 percent more information than those who didn’t doodle.

Doodling improves your concentration. Rather than diverting attention away from a topic, Brown says doodling can serve as an anchoring task, helping us to stay present during a meeting, a conference call or a solo brainstorming session. “We think doodling is something you do when you lose focus, but it’s really a pre-emptive measure to stop you from losing focus.”

Doodling promotes creative problem-solving. “To doodle is to engage in an intellectual, creative and physical act that recruits many neurological networks simultaneously. This makes it a strong force for change and a portal for imagining and inventing preferred realities,” writes Brown.

Doodling helps you grasp complex ideas. You will be able to see the big picture. Doodling is actually a great way to engage the mind in a way that helps the doodler think and process information. No more looking out of the window wondering when the seagulls are going to bump into each other… Your subconscious mind is now fully engaged in the task at hand.

Doodling helps express complex emotions. Four-year-olds express their emotions through doodles far more accurately than they ever could with words. Doodles are more intimate than text or images can ever be. Maybe doodling will become a commonplace requirement at a performance review in the future. Doodle how you feel about your job…. Begin!

Brown encourages organizations to promote a whiteboard culture, giving permission to employees to doodle during meetings, at their desks and in public spaces. If it worked for Jobs, then why not everyone else? “My hope is that [doodling] becomes a competency and a literacy that becomes universal. Just as you learn to read and write, you will also learn to sketch and doodle. To me, they’re synonymous with a capacity to think.”

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