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You might think doodling is just something you do when you’re on the phone, or if you’re bored in meetings. After all you hardly even think about it, you do it. But the latest research has found that doodling is a powerful tool for increasing your creativity, focus, and cognitive capacity.
Some of the world’s biggest, most creative companies like Disney and Apple have encouraged their staff to doodle as a way of increasing creativity and productivity.
Doodling stimulates different parts of your brain
Because you’re not thinking about what you’re drawing, doodling engages parts of your brain that you’re not even aware of. What you might consider mindless drawing can improve your memory, fact recall, and productivity. Researchers found that people who doodled kept their brains active and had memory recall 29% better than non-doodlers.
The act of doodling means that the drawing isn’t so important to you, so you relax, your Inner Critic doesn’t get in the way, and more creative ways of thinking emerge.
Doodling helps problem-solving
Those marks you’re making in the margins of your notebook are firing up different neural pathways in your brain. This can help you analyze information differently and come up with innovative solutions to problems.
Doodling can also free up your brain to come up with creative responses to knotty problems. Drawing, sketching, making repetitive patterns can help to unfreeze your mind and declutter your thoughts.
Doodling helps you focus
You might think that doodling in a meeting makes it look like you’re not paying attention, but the opposite is true. Researchers believe that doodling helps you to anchor to a task or pay closer attention to a discussion.
The act of drawing disengages the part of your mind that’s thinking about the next problem, or what you might have for lunch. Instead, doodling helps to minimize distractions and focus on the key issue.
Doodling helps you deal with challenges
If you’re dealing with big problems or challenges in your work, it can be hard to think in a free-wheeling way or to come up with outside-the-box solutions.
Writing, or scribbling or making little sketches can help your whole brain focus on the problem in hand. If you’re trying to deal with a business challenge, doodling provides an emotional outlet for anxieties and feelings of being overwhelmed that would otherwise get in the way of finding solutions.
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