Doodling: why do we do it?

"Doodling" is drawing without thinking about it, on whatever is in front of us. Sometimes it's on the side of meeting notes, or on an envelope or napkin. It's a very common habit. So, why do we do it?

There are a few reasons we doodle:

  • to pass the time when we can't do anything else, like when we're on a train or waiting for a bus;
  • to keep ourselves awake during a boring presentation, lecture, etc.; and

  • to focus on something while meditating.

Studies show that people who doodle while listening to someone talk remember 30% more of what was said than people who don't doodle. Doodling actually helps keep us focused. Our brain stays occupied, so our attention doesn't wander.

Some researchers believe that what we doodle has a deeper meaning. Doodling can show us what we're thinking about, what we're feeling, and who we are. Different people believe in different meanings, so take them with a grain of salt.

Watch this video and let yourself doodle. Just draw freely without a plan, and see what comes out!


take [something] with a grain of salt—to understand that what is said isn't necessarily true.


Have you ever had a class like this in school or university? Were you able to stay awake? How did you do that? Do Homework
How does doodling help us pay attention? Edit Homework
What do you usually draw when you doodle? Are there certain shapes or figures? Do Homework
Do you believe that our doodles reveal our inner thoughts and feelings? Do Homework
Some people say that doodling is art. Do you agree? Why or why not? Do Homework