Drawing on my experiences...

DO doodling or don t do doodling? Which is it for you? I no longer find myself doing creative drawing while listening to someone talking on the phone or in a meeting but remember being a great doodler when at school. The back pages of exercise books and s

DO doodling or don't do doodling? Which is it for you?

I no longer find myself doing creative drawing while listening to someone talking on the phone or in a meeting but remember being a great doodler when at school.

The back pages of exercise books and scraps of paper were covered in scrawls from my imagination.

I'm sure that the sole reason for this was to provide something to occupy me during the many hours of boring lessons.


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But now, all these years later, I learn that I may in fact have unknowingly been aiding my recollection process.

Doodling while listening can help with remembered details, rather than implying that the mind is wandering as is the common perception.

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That's according to a study published this week in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology (a not-to-be-missed publication).

This found that people given a doodling task while listening to a dull phone message had a 29 per cent improved recall compared to those who did not doodle.

Is that proof enough? Perhaps not because only 40 people were the subject of the study and there was not a big difference in the results for the doodlers and non-doodlers.

A learned professor involved in the study said that if someone is doing a boring task, they may start to daydream which distracts them from the task, resulting in poorer performance.

A simple task like doodling may be sufficient to stop daydreaming without affecting performance on the main task, she reasoned.

But I think I proved well enough from my schooldays that doodling and daydreaming can go together very nicely, although they do not do much for exam results.

A good memory can be a worthwhile thing to have if you are staying at a hotel. Those who demonstrated a remarkable absent-mindedness in 2008 are the subjects of a press release issued this week by a prominent UK budget hotel chain.

The most common items left behind in its premises were those to be expected - laptops, mobile phones, sat navs, briefcases, clothes, adult toys, books and, less probably, artificial limbs and false teeth.

It is the more unusual things which make interesting reading. There was a wedding dress in one, a set of World War Two medals, keys to a Porsche 911, a degree absolute, a pet lizard called Humphrey (did he have a name tag?), a show jumping horse, an Arsenal season ticket along with a set of gnomes (perhaps the Gunners' bankers from Zurich), a suitcase full of souvenirs from around the world, an oil painting of a flying wheelbarrow and a 3ft high pink alarm clock..

Maybe the most bizarre item was a life-size cardboard cut-out of the comedian Lenny Henry. But come to think of it, if you happened to have one about your person when you booked in you would be highly likely to dump it at the hotel and do a runner on your way out.

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