Nike CEO Mark Parker's Success Secret: Doodling

Drake Baer

Nike CEO Mark Parker — who made a cool $15 million last year — carries a Moleskine notebook to every meeting. 

It's full of doodles.

Back in 2009, Lance Armstrong took a memorable meeting with him: The cyclist watched the executive draw through the whole thing. 

After the talk wrapped up, Armstrong asked to see what Parker was sketching. 

"He turns the pad over and shows me this perfect shoe," Armstrong recalled.

Parker has said that the doodles help clarify the brainstorming process. And, increasingly, scientific research backs up that claim. 

"[D]oodling can help people stay focused, grasp new concepts, and retain information," the Wall Street Journal reported this week. "A blank page also can serve as an extended playing field for the brain, allowing people to revise and improve on creative thoughts and ideas." 

Here's what the studies say: 

• Doodlers had 29% better recall of a recorded telephone message than a control group when given a surprise memory test.

• Doodles help guide the "default network" of the brain, which allows you to better pay attention.

• For people who have a higher optimal level of stimulation — like those with ADHD — doodling helps them focus.

Doodles help people express emotions that are hard to fit into words.

From what this research suggests, doodling can be an exceptional form of multitasking. Unlike thumbing at your phone — which destroys your ability to recognize what's going on around you — doodling seems to support your ability to pay attention. 

See Also:

SEE ALSO: This 15-Minute Activity Will Make You More Successful At Work