Driving in this morning, I heard a little clip on NPR about how doodling actually HELPS you focus. Finally a myth, debunked! (check out LBJ’s below!)
So many people think that because someone is doodling, it means that they’ve totally tuned you out…but this little segment explains drawing doodles actually keeps the mind from completely tuning out and entering the realm of daydreams where you’re sure to pass on incoming information. If your mind is still present and active–even just a little–you’ll be able to retain more information.
At my work we “diagnose” what you’re thinking style is. Your “thinking style” is how you learn the best. The basic premise is that every person learns through what they see, what they hear and what they feel. Or as we say, “Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic”
A lot of people rely on one area as the “best” way for them to learn. Everyone uses all three thinking styles, but if you know how the best way for you to retain and process information quickly, it’s really valuable both for yourself and also the people you work with. For example, I am Visual, Kinesthetic and finally Auditory, or VKA. I tell any new teams that I join to make sure that I’m writing things down if you tell me something important. I know that if I don’t have a visual reminder of our conversation, it’s likely that that auditory exchange went in one ear and right out the other. Anytime I feel restlessly idle I doodle, and I’ve been taught the value of visually recording what’s being discussed. It’s a great way to stay present and document any conversation. And it beats writing bullet points. Below is one of my more elaborate doodles and an example of what my visual recording usually looks like from my notebook.
By being aware of HOW I learn best, I can give tips to my teammates about how to make sure I’m in sync with what we’re doing. Also, I now know different ways to to prevent me from drifting to dreamland during a long meeting.