5 Benefits of Doodling

Artwork by Katie Phillips

Artwork by Katie Phillips

Humans have been doodling for more than 30,000 years! Some famous people who've been known to doodle include Leonardo DaVinci, George Washington, Thomas Edison, Vladimir Nabokov, and Bill Gates. Studies show that people who doodle are better problem solvers, retain information, have improved memory and focus, and are not as stressed. 

Squeeze Art Collective - a group I helped found and am a member of - has a monthly doodle event called Doodlefest that we invite everyone to regardless of formal art training. Join us for our next one - or start a doodle fest in your city!

1. Stretch your creativity

Doodling can get you past the knee-jerk response to a challenge. Sometimes you can surprise yourself with an answer just by making marks on paper. It takes the pressure off of creating a perfect solution right off the bat because it's informal and you can do whatever you want!

2. Retain information

Doodling increases information retention by 29%!

3. Improve your focus and memory

Doodling is like a snapshot in time. It can bring back memories and details you may otherwise forget. For example, in the doodle above, I remember specifically who was sitting to my left and right as well as who our keynote speaker was and what issues were at hand.

4. Destress

Doodling helps to calm your mind and declutters thinking. It also helps taper an emotional response to difficult situations. Next time something challenging happens, whip out your pencil and paper and draw something!

5. Problem solve

Sketching activates areas of the brain that help analyze information.

So, next time someone tells you to stop doodling and pay attention, tell them it's all part of the learning process. Then draw a mustache on their face.

Sources:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-power-of-the-doodle-improve-your-focus-and-memory-1406675744

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/01/opinion/brown-creativity-doodles/

http://www.inc.com/peter-gasca/3-reasons-doodling-will-help-your-focus-and-creativity.html