Over the years you may have encountered snarky comments around the web about our presiding bishop's pattern of doing embroidery in meetings. Katharine Jefferts Schori has embroidered at primates meetings, in the House of Bishops and elsewhere. The gist of the snarky comments is that she's not listening, and is communicating that she is bored.
In fact, she may be doing needle work to intentionally increase her attention to what is transpiring.
Andrade said more research is obviously needed to find out how doodling helps us maintain our attention. However, her theory is that by using up slightly more mental resources, doodling helps prevent the mind from wandering off the boring primary task into daydream land. This study is part of an emerging recognition in psychology that secondary tasks aren't always a distraction from primary tasks, but can sometimes actually be beneficial.Read it all.