Doodling: the Benefits of Unlocking Your Unconscious Creativity

Mental health,
December, 2021

How often do you doodle? Whether it’s the classic biro on sticky notes at work, or sketching on an iPad while sat in your armchair watching TV, releasing our inner creativity can have many benefits.

What is doodling? Doodling is the act of creating drawings in an unconscious or unfocused manner. While it may be considered rude to doodle during classes at school, or in a meeting at work, doodling can actually be incredibly beneficial.

For many, doodles consist of a repeated pattern of designs familiar to the doodler. No two doodles are the same, but we often return to the same patterns, which may be down to their pleasing familiarity, how enjoyable they feel to draw, or simply the fact that they’re what we’ve always doodled.

Four benefits of doodling Doodling can benefit your mind, productivity, and business. Here’s how:

Improved focus

In her TED Talk, Sunni Brown explains how doodling and creative thinking can improve our comprehension and problem-solving skills. She also explains how doodling invites us to focus on the present; it is not a distraction, but a form of meditation or mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a subject we’ve discussed a lot previously, as it is an area many businesses are investing in to support their employees and boost their workplace cultures. In short, mindfulness can help you to be present, aware, and more observant of what’s going on around you, or in a specific task.

Improved short-term memory

When it comes to productivity, there has always been the perception that doodling detracts from the task at hand. Some experiments have shown that doodling aids concentration (Do & Schallert, 2004), or at least maintains a level of focus (Wilson & Korn, 2007) during boring tasks. However, in one experiment (Andrade, 2010), doodles were found to aid the recall of a conversation, where non-doodlers couldn’t recall the conversation as well.

As this is just one experiment, it’s worth taking the findings with a pinch of salt. However, if you find that doodling does support your memory, or at least keeps you focused during an uninteresting task, there’s no harm in encouraging it.

Reduced stress levels

Doodling is also used as a form of art therapy. While we doodle up to 15 hours each year, most of that is done without conscious effort. If you find doodling, or any kind of creative task, to be soothing, it may be worth investigating this further and seeing how it helps you with stress management or reducing burnout.

Added brand personality

While we won’t want to share most of our personal doodles, sharing the creativity that goes on in your business with the wider world can actually improve your reputation, and brand perception. Consider Google and their homepage doodles, or the messages we can share through creativity, such as female empowerment, or the negative impact of fast fashion. Finding creative avenues for communicating what you do, and why you do it, can boost your business too.

Original source: Doodling: the benefits of unlocking your unconscious creativity

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