As a kid, I was always doodling. I doodled in every single class I had and often got scolded from teachers claiming that I wasn’t paying attention. Too bad what we both didn’t know was that all that doodling was actually helping me focus.
When reading Time, I found an interesting study by psychologist Jackie Andrade from University of Plymouth in England that proved doodlers actually remember more than non-doodlers when asked to retain information.
She had two sets of volunteers listen to a long boring phone message and were given a surprise memory test after being told that they didn’t have to remember a thing. The results? The set of volunteers who had been doodling had better powers of recollection by 29%!
So why does doodling help you focus anyway? Well, long story short when you doodle you don’t day dream.
We can’t help it sometimes, when we get bored at work or school we escape reality and lose focus. Although daydreaming may seem absent minded it actually demands a lot of processing power (what psychologists call “executive functioning“).
The great thing about doodling is that it forces your brain to expend just enough energy to stop it from daydreaming but not so much that you don’t pay attention. Pretty cool huh?
If you’re wanting to find more benifits of doodling, check out Sunni Brown’s book ”The Doodle Revolution” where she explains how we can incorporate better visual learning in our lives in the form of doodling.
Sunni says, “Doodling, which unites different neural pathways in the brain, opens us up to greater insights, better information retention and higher levels of concentration, getting us closer to those coveted “a-ha” moments.”
Above is Sunni Brown’s Ted Talk on “Doodlers, Unite!” in 2010.
So no matter what your boss, teacher or parent says doodling is good for your brain! The even better news? Anyone can doodle. So pick up a pen and paper to start improving your comprehension and creative thinking today!
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