Are you a doodler?

Be proud and Doodle on!

Doodling is a spontaneous act of drawing that most teenagers develop as a habit during boring lectures. Doodling is a best way to avoid daydreaming. Many think it as a mindless and waste activity of lazy people but you are all wrong. Research shows that doodling keeps one’s brain active. More than 70% of the student’s notebook margins are filled with doodles like writing their name in different fonts, meaningless, senseless drawings. Many may consider it as a distraction but it’s just the opposite.

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Research says, doodling actually helps you to focus and hold on to information especially during boring lectures. We are indeed bad at multitasking but however our brain can take on doodling when we are already doing something else like conversing with someone through phone, attending a meet or listening to a lecture.

In fact, minimal attention is only required for doodling which appears to boost focus and memory. In an amusing study in Applied Cognitive Psychology, by psychologist Jackie Andrade of the University of Plymouth in southern England showed that doodlers can actually remember more than non-doodlers when they were asked to retain information conveyed during a boring meeting or a lecture. In his study, he carried out an interesting psychology experiment in which he made 40 people, out of which 20 are doodlers and the remaining are non-doodlers, to listen to a recording of names and places and asked them to write down what they remembered. The result was obvious; doodlers were able to recall almost 30% more information than the ones who didn’t doodle.

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How does it work? The load that our brain takes to distractedly draw is considerably smaller than the demands of engaging ourselves in a fantasy dream, which leads our mind entirely away from the event we’re supposed to be involved in. That drop of attention that we devote to doodling seems to keep us focused in the present time work.

One of the most persuasive theories is that, while doodling one doesn’t daydream. Daydreaming seems distracted and a relaxing job, but it actually demands a lot of the brain’s processing power. For example, you start daydreaming about a vacation that you have planned with your family, which directs you to think about the destinations, how you would dress up for the trip, the content for the status that can be updated in Facebook and Whatsapp. These perceptions require what psychologists call as “executive functioning”.

Doodling, however stands out against daydreaming, it requires very few executive resources but only a little amount of perceptive effort to keep you from daydreaming. Doodling imposes your brain to disburse just enough energy to halt it from daydreaming but not so abundant that you don’t pay attention.

Doodling has been recommended as a learning aid by some experts. Students can try doodling about a lecture topic as a way to picture the concept. So try to doodle what you hear, and you’ll acquire it better. Doodling keeps you offline and boosts up your energy without intruding your concentration.

Not to mention that a number of accomplished people have come out as ardent doodlers. Students bunk classes mostly to avoid the boring lectures, doodling can be a preventive aid to this problem.

The next time you catch hold of yourself doodling and think “I should really pay attention”, don’t worry – you already are. 

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