“Doodling is just a visual map of what you see, hear, and think.” - Melissa Hughes
I love getting podcasts from my friends. Most recently I was gifted episode 62 of Chris Spurvey’s podcast, Leverage Neuroscience to Become a Better Entrepreneur with Melissa Hughes. Dr. Melissa Hughes is the Founder and Principal of the Andrick Group and author of Happy Hour with Einstein. She recently facilitated a session at the “No Longer Virtual” conference in Atlanta where she met my gal pal Sarah Elkins. Sarah was the conference organizer and is a huge podcast fan.
The episode covered a lot of stuff from the anatomy of the brain, gratitude, productivity, multitasking, and doodling (my personal favorite). Melissa connects doodling with successful brainstorming and big thinking.
I’ve been doodling for as long as I can remember. As a kid I would choose drawing over just about anything. In college, my notepads and planners would be filled with not only words, but drawings. When I heard this podcast I finally knew that my doodles were more than just graphite on paper, they were my brain trying to remember, solve, and understand the world around me. Here are some powerful ways you can implement doodling in your everyday life and/or your business.
#1 - Taking Notes
If you’re at a conference, in a meeting, or listening to an online class, then sketch noting (as Melissa calls it) is a great alternative to typing out plain notes. Doodling will allow you to capture things that words could never illustrate. I suggest using more than one color in order to highlight important things or to add contrast to your drawings.
#2 - Problem Solving
Step away from the Word document. If you have a problem you are trying to solve and you take a chance to draw it out, then you can see how the problem and the solution comes together as you put it down on the piece of paper. Melissa claims that doodling is the essence of “whole brain thinking” and uses more areas of your brain to allow you to tap into deeper moments of cognition.
#3 - Brainstorming
Doodling is not linear, which allows you to reach ideas outside of the one-way path that you might be taking. I almost always doodle my ideas when I am just beginning a project, it helps me visualize and construct a tangible idea out of my thoughts. Try it out! Get your group of core project participants together, give them some different colored pens, and see what happens.
Learn more about doodling in Melissa’s book Happy Hour with Einstein.