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Think Outside the Lines: Using Doodling to Manage ADHD Symptoms in the Workplace

Man in front of computer and not focused

We recently delivered a Doodle Break to ADP Canada employees and towards the end we had a lot of meaningful discussions around ADHD in the workplace.

It’s estimated that adult ADHD affects more than 8 million adults (or up to 5% of Americans). Many of them don’t even know it. Several studies suggest less than 20% of adults with ADHD are aware that they have it. 

ADHD is a neurological condition that impacts an individual’s focus, concentration, work and personal life. But there is a simple activity that can help: Doodling.

Doodling is a simple form of drawing that requires no training or skill and can be done on a piece of paper, a notebook, or even on a digital device.

For those with ADHD, doodling can have several benefits, here is why:

  • Doodling engages the brain in a visual task: When an individual with ADHD doodles, it engages their brain in a visual task, which can help improve memory retention. This is because the act of drawing or sketching requires the individual to focus their attention on the visual aspect of the task, which can help them retain information more effectively. This engagement can also help reduce the effects of distractions, which is a common challenge for people with ADHD.
  • Doodling can improve working memory: Working memory is the ability to hold and manipulate information in the short term. It is an important cognitive function that is often impaired in people with ADHD. Research has suggested that doodling can improve working memory by providing a way to keep information active in the mind. By doodling, individuals with ADHD can maintain focus on the task at hand while also keeping relevant information active in their working memory.
  • Doodling can reduce anxiety levels: Anxiety is a common co-occurring condition for people with ADHD. Doodling can be a calming and relaxing mindfulness activity that can help reduce anxiety levels. It can provide a creative outlet for the individual, allowing them to express their thoughts and emotions in a non-verbal way.
  • Doodling can be a way to stay engaged in a task: People with ADHD often struggle with staying engaged in tasks that are not immediately stimulating or rewarding. Doodling can be a way to keep the mind engaged and focused on a particular topic or idea, helping the individual to retain information better.
  • Doodling can be a way to enhance creativity: People with ADHD often have a unique perspective on the world, which can be a valuable asset in problem-solving and creativity. Doodling can be a way to tap into this creativity

If you or someone you know has ADHD, there are various ways to incorporate doodling into daily life. For example, it can be done during meetings or lectures, while studying, or during work as a way to stay focused and engaged. It can also be used as a relaxation activity to reduce stress levels.

Doodling is a simple and accessible mindfulness tool that can help improve focus, concentration, memory retention, creativity and overall productivity.

Consider incorporating mindful doodling into your companies wellness toolbox and make a positive impact in your working environment.

Please reach out to me with any questions you may have.

Helping your employees feel better, work better and live better.


Melissa Lloyd
Founder of Doodle Breaks Doodle Lovely

P.S Have you heard about our 30-Day Doodle Breaks Challenge that uses mindful doodling daily to help train the mind to focus and incorporate micro mindfulness into your peoples day to day? View the 1-minute 30-Day Demo Here.

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Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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