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Have you ever found yourself listening to something really boring, then wafting off into your own mind, your hand scribbling random things on a piece of paper in front of you? Whether it’s a conference call or a tedious lecture, being all ears can be a challenge.

Traditionally, we have thought of these doodles as a sign of distraction — an indication that your mind was not where it was supposed to be. Yet, recent research has shown that doodling is not an enemy of attention; it is, in fact, a friend.

While doodling gets a bad rap, it’s actually associated with better learning, creativity, and performance!

Doodling is an incredibly fun and enjoyable activity, and that positive emotion makes us more creative by opening us up to different avenues of thought.

Also, doodling distracts us from consciously thinking about a problem. It allows for a subconscious incubation of the solution. It’s actually a lot like dreaming … you can spend all day trying to solve a problem without success, only to wake up in the middle of the night with the answer!

Doodling often triggers insights and discoveries that aren’t possible through words alone. Just think of all those napkins on which million-dollar ideas were sketched out.

Doodling is pivotal to brainstorming sessions and generating new ideas. I always cover the tables with brown craft paper and supply each guest with a selection of new Crayola crayons.

Doodles can be anything, from names or signatures repeated over and over again to cartoons, to abstract patterns and scribbles.

The next time you find yourself in need of some new ideas, pull out your favourite pens, crayons, or markers and doodle.

For most people, the big question isn’t ‘when did you start doodling?’ but ‘when did you stop doodling?’ Everyone drew and doodled at one point in their lives. It’s really not as much about the art as it is the art of thinking!

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