I’ve been a doodler since I can remember. In school, I didn’t have a single textbook that had space left in the margins. I managed to get away with it in school because I was one of those annoying kids who did well and got along well with teachers. This habit got me into trouble at work though, where people assumed I wasn’t paying attention to meetings. It wasn’t until I brought up things that everybody else forgot that people began to realize that I probably did pay attention in some weird manner.
And then yesterday, in Behavioral Economics, we were discussing focus, and concentration (relating to Kahneman’s theory dealing with System 1 and 2). I brought up my habit of doodling as a way to arrest a wandering mind. Apparently, it’s proven to be effective at controlling the wandering mind, and helping you focus. So there, all you people who think I’m not paying attention when I’m doodling in a meeting. I am! Far more than the guy who’s sleeping with his eyes open anyway.