Doodling: Major Distraction or the Key to Success?

Doodling: Major Distraction or the Key to Success?

You’re sitting in a meeting, trying to focus as the product owner explains to your team exactly what it is your supposed to be doing next, what the goals need to be, and what questions we need answered.

Usually, you’re bright-eyed and eager to start the next step of your project, but today, you can’t focus. You’re almost nodding off. Maybe you had a late night dealing with your infant son. Maybe your neighbor was hosting a noisy party. Maybe you snoozed your alarm one too many times and had to rush your morning routine. Whatever the reason, you’re not at the top of your game today. You need something to pull in your focus and anchor you to the meeting. Suddenly, you remember this really interesting article that you read from Binary Noggin on how doodling helps you to focus, increase your creativity, and so many more things! Cliche as it may be, you begin by doodling a smiley face. Or maybe a star. When your colleague calls on you to contribute to the conversation, you’re able to provide some really awesome input.

What is doodling anyway?

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Although at first glance, this seems like like a silly question. This marginalia is obviously just little pictures. Cats, flowers, sunshine, geometric patterns… stuff that really makes you day dream of being somewhere much less boring than wherever you are at that moment and makes you miss important talking points. Instead of being pictures or distractions, doodling offers your brain a variety of benefits. And it isn’t just for the artistically minded. Doodling can be anything from an intricate character design to simple shading. It can even be used to process and understand comlicated topics. You can tell your teacher this if you get caught Doodling in Math Class.

Doodling helps you with many things, from focus to creativity. Let's take a look at a few of the benefits of doodling.

Doodling helps you focus.

Work day
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Doodling helps keep your mind active while you listen to a talk, phone call, or meeting. Instead of getting lost in thought while whatever your listening to continually throws information at you, doodling allows your mind an anchor. The mindlessness of doodling allows you to to continue to focus on your work, while at the same time, the act of doodling gives the extra energy in your brain an outlet. This way, your brain won't get lost on a sidetanget leaving you thinking about that awesome place you went out to eat last week and missing your deadlines for next week.

Doodling helps you relax.

Photo by Mint Owl / Unsplash

Just like those adult coloring books that are oh-so popular right now, doodling is a good way to relax. You can doodle while letting your mind reflect on the day, catch up on what has happened, and reorganise your thoughts. Unlike a relaxing activity that still engages your brain, such as watching TV, doodling opens many of the same doors that boredom does, allowing your brain to settle down and process the day's events.

Doodling helps increase creativity.

Man holds painted mess
Photo by Alice Achterhof / Unsplash

Doodling, like boredom, encourages your mind to reach inward for ideas and deeper entertainment. Instead of focusing on a song or movie, your mind can work on issues subconciously while your concious mind focuses on the menial task of doodling. This, in turn, allows you to think more and brainstorm deeper about whatever it is you are trying to create.

So next time you're lacking focus, can't brainstorm, or just need a break, pick up your favorite pen and head over to the margins of your notes or a blank sheet of paper. Doodle your worries away.

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