My memories of elementary and middle school are littered with instances of kids being scolded for doodling in class. By high school, most had learned to resist doodling in front of the teacher or had just gotten better at hiding it.
Even though I’d heard bits and pieces here and there about the benefits of doodling in helping with focus and information processing, as a teacher, I still felt compelled to frown upon doodling in my classroom. After all, every teacher I’d ever had discouraged doodling.
Even now, when I see people doodling in class or during meetings, my first thought is, “Geez, why can’t that person just pay attention?” But when I stop to think about my own doodling habits, I find that I tend to doodle when I’m trying to concentrate. I almost always doodle when I’m on the phone, especially during those oh-so-lovely phone interviews.
Though many are quick to dismiss doodling as a mindless pastime, research finds that doodling actually aids in processing complex information. So if you’re a closet doodler or have ever looked down on someone for doodling during a meeting, take a look: