I’m one of those people who will often doodle when I’m in a meeting. It doesn’t mean I’m not listening. Quite the opposite, actually; I listen better when I’m doodling or coloring or drawing on a whiteboard. One of my coworkers and I will frequently work through difficult scheduling/production cycle issues while I draw on the whiteboard in the meeting room.
I’ve gotten in trouble for this before. In school, somewhat, although I had a professor who totally got it—why I doodled during class. I also got in trouble at work before—after years of doodling during meetings, I ended up on my boss’ bad side, he saw me doodling during a meeting, and told me to never do it again. Even though my manager was fine with it and pointed out to him studies that people can pay attention better if they doodle during meetings, he still insisted it was rude and unprofessional, and then took a few extra slams against my character for good measure. (The doodling was only during internal meetings—I wasn’t doing this during meetings with clients.)
Today, at work, the HR woman here gave me an Adult Coloring Book and a set of quality colored pencils! The designs in the coloring book are beautiful, and there are 24 colored pencils. I’m so excited! It’s great to work somewhere that your quirks are embraced, rather than smashed.
Cheers to happy coloring!