Did you know, studies show boardroom doodlers retain 29 percent more information than the people who just sit there…in a room…bored. (👈 👈 👈 see what we did there!?)
Yup. It’s true. Heck, we’ve been behind this concept for years – you all KNOW how much we love our white boards! We’ve even adapted our white board video series to accommodate Covid-19 (thank you, summer!!).
Melissa, like so many of us out there, was always moving at the speed of light! Running professional creative businesses, and design and communications in Vancouver. Then, the frenetic pace of London, England beckoned.
On to Edinburgh, Scotland, then New Zealand, until she finally settled back home in Nova Scotia. Not surprisingly, one day her body said EFF THIS SH*T and went on strike.
Enter stress, anxiety, overall burnout and eventually auto-pilot. This sounding familiar?
“I can vividly remember sitting at my dining room table and saying ‘What now? How do I take a break? Where do I start with taking care of myself, to stop feeling overwhelmed?’ It was really the little steps every day. I started to implement the creative process. The creative process was about taking a piece of paper, and essentially starting to doodle. I started doodling circles, one doodle at a time. And I had no clue what would happen, but I had an incredible sense of calm. And I also felt, very much, a spark of joy! And I hadn’t felt that in a while, especially being stressed and burnt out. And I remember being so perplexed about how doodling such a simple shape allowed me to feel this calm, this recharged!”
As Melissa points out, we are all born with creativity. And yet, many if not most of us lose that natural urge to scribble.
Information – Knowledge – Imagination
Whether you call it visual notetaking, sketchnoting, or graphic recording, it’s all about putting pen to something, and letting those creative imagination juices flow!
Otherwise, our brains get lazy, and simply don’t absorb as much information about the world around us – whether we’re stuck in a meeting, listening to a podcast, even watching a video! Studies show that this form of creative stimulus actually focuses the brain (unlike, say, daydreaming) and improves how attentive you are to a set task.
Doodling for business is a great way to brainstorm and focus your mind and helps to clarify thoughts and map-out your direction and ultimate goals. See below. 🤣
Doodling, or any type of spontaneous drawing, activates the prefrontal cortex, and lowers your stress hormone, cortisol. You end up in a very calm mindset – which, we can attest, is a great place to be – especially as the world continues to ebb and flow with Covid-19 (we’re looking at YOU America!), and most of us really have no clue where we’ll be in the next year or so. Of course, wine also helps!
So, start today. Tear yourself away from your screens for five minutes. In fact, doodle while listening to this podcast episode!
Here’s more from Melissa Lloyd, on the creative power of doodling!
Leonardo da Vinci meets Elon Musk
“Doodling is actually a really incredible tool for memory and also focus. When we look at inventors, and the innovation space. Leonardo da Vinci and his ‘new flying machines’ and Elon Musk with his rockets. They actually have incredible synergy even 500 years apart – they are doodlers who have changed the world. Elon Musk even added doodling to the list of things to do in the Tesla! Simply uploaded this function to the everyday touchscreen. And there’s a doodle pad in every car. I always think, look at a lot of the inventions around the world. They’re all doodlers. And when you’re doodling as a way of mapping out creative ideation in the office, it’s really very powerful because humans are visual creatures. We process information based on what we see. And the stats are 65 percent of us are visual learners. Again, there’s so many parts to why doodling becomes such an incredible tool!”
I Don’t Have a Creative Bone in My Body!!
“There is a huge percentage of the population that says, ‘I’m not creative!’ but you don’t actually need to know how to draw. When you’re doodling, basically it’s about doing lines and shapes. And if you can do that you can doodle. When I am coaching people through this process, it’s about the fear behind creativity and trying to unlock and unleash that part and giving them permission in a safe space to just go and play. You’re not creating a masterpiece. I started with circles. There’s a process to it – as you do it more and more you start to build your confidence, like a language. If you’re learning a language for the first time – if it was, say, Spanish – well of course it’s going to take me a long time to get to a place where I would be fluent and comfortable. But you have to start at some point, and that’s a big thing. Doodling is all about the process. And that’s where it activates a lot of these (mental) pieces that are so beneficial. When we’re going in and we feel like we need to create a masterpiece like de Vinci – why would we even do that to ourselves? Start where you’re at and just go into the process. And don’t even worry about the outcome because that’s not what we’re worrying about now. It’s about being in that present moment, and also realizing that every single one of us on this planet are born with creativity.”
The Mental Health Benefits of Doodling
“Before the whole COVID thing, [mental health concerns] was always on the rise. The high stress scenarios, and the daily kind of living, and how people were feeling. But right now, we’ve had a really unique situation. The United Nations actually warns there’s a global mental health crisis that’s going to be looming during [and after] the pandemic. And so, highlighting the whole aspect of stress and anxiety – it’s now been doubled. And also, other emotions like grief, numbness and irritability, also insomnia. What I can share with you now is it’s critical to take care of your mental health, building in mental health brakes to take care of your mind, your body and your soul to build up your own internal resilience. What’s really amazing is that your mind is perfectly designed to overcome stress and really meet any challenge head on, but it is knowing how to unlock that most powerful region of your brain and put it to work for you. We need new habits to transform how we live this life. We’re on screens all the time. And we don’t always have time, in this day and age, to sit there and do a meditation, or an hour-long yoga class, but you can actually doodle almost anywhere at any time of day. And the best thing? It’s 100 percent judgment free. Being able to take those breaks between Zoom calls and doodle a little is critical. You’re kind of giving your mental health a little massage.”
So, get doodling folks! You must have a half-dried up Sharpie and some paper in your junk drawer. It’s really that easy!
Allow your mind to float, and your anxiety to settle. 🧠 🧠 🧠 And give that mind of yours a gentle massage.
For more from Melissa, as well as all our previous episodes, find us over on Apple Podcasts.
Plus, our next 3-day podcasting bootcamp is coming up – July 22, 23, 24. Looking to get started, or want to “level up” a small podcast you already have in the can? Hope you’ll join us!
And if you’re losing sleep over a particular marketing/business related problem during this Covid-19 economic uncertainty, or if you have a guest idea on the topic, let us know. Drop us a line at c+p digital.
And as always, sweet dreams…well, hopefully!