A while back I was sitting in a conference room with a group of corporate professionals from a major organic food company. I was doing some innovation training and giving them exercises to help unleash their creative genius. During the program, I gave them some daily creative exercises to do, knowing that they would come back thrilled at their newfound ability to creative problem solve, get to solution mode, and think like an entrepreneur instead of a cube grinder. When we got together they shared with me their new ideas, their newfound creative drive, and more. Then, sadly, one of them shared something with me that I always knew to be true but always avoided. She shared how she loved the exercises but was afraid to do to some of them at work. Specifically doodling.
“Tamara, I loved the doodling exercise but I was totally afraid that my boss would sneak up behind me and be like, ‘Hey what I am paying you for, get back to work.’”
Wow! She is not alone. Most people I train talk about being afraid of getting caught doing a creative task. If you are a leader out there take note. Your employees are afraid to do what it takes to be creative. If you are an employee then take comfort in the fact that you are not alone and that creative tasks should be on your to-do list. If you are an entrepreneur like me, don’t forget that creative tasks are just as important as all those other things on your “get it done” list.
For those of you still unconvinced that tasks like doodling can actually increase productivity, improve memory, and lead to more creative thoughts, I encourage you to watch this TED video. It is enlightening.
I suggest having a blank piece of paper and pen ready for some doodling while you watch.
Need some space to doodle. Grab an idea note pad for your wild drawings.