How many times, during a phone call, or perhaps a meeting, have you found yourself drawing something in your notes? Shapes, people, icons or random lines – all of these simple drawings are called doodles and the process of making them is doodling!
However, you shouldn’t think about it simply as a mechanical movement of your fingers, without using your brain. It might seem like a subconscious thing to do, but even if you’re not an experienced artist, it can help you to develop your thinking.
Doodling can stop your brain from slipping into its “default” state of mind. When we pay attention, cortical and subcortical areas of the brain make sure that our eyes are focused in a specific direction and that incoming visual information is directed to the correct places. When your brain has nothing to do, it goes into default mode and waits for the next task (without consuming too much energy). You can doodle anything that comes to mind, such as spirals, abstract shapes, whatever! It all helps you to fight stress and lets your brain rest for a while at work.
But doodling is occasionally something more than only giving your brain a break, it can make you more creative. You can express a particular word, sentence or thought with doodles. To demonstrate, let’s try a simple exercise.
Take some paper and a pencil. Now, think about a meal or a drink that you would like to be served. Visualize it by making only 6 moves of your pencil. Each move finishes when you take the pencil off the paper. Next time, try thinking about an animal that lives in the zoo, or a spaceship, or whatever you like!
Sketching like this will give your mind an opportunity to relax and will help you replenish your creative levels. If you doodle often, you will find that your hand-eye coordination improves and perhaps so will the images you create.
Ps. Even Google doodles: https://www.google.com/doodles!