1. Sketching helps you clarify client requests. When a client tries to describe what they want, try sketching what the client is asking for during the discussion. It can help both the client and you clarify the request, because you both are visualizing the ideas. A good sketch can open doors of further dialog and getting clearer specifics.
2. Sketching helps you get ideas flowing quickly and freely. Even if you don't have any ideas when you begin, just the act of drawing forces you to generate ideas — even if they aren't very good at first. The more you do this the more you can generate and get those "a-ha" moments.
3. Sketching helps you visualize a complex idea or process. Sometimes words and explanations can be vague and hard to understand. But when you can sketch a diagram, you can get the big picture much quicker. And it can help you formulate the questions to get further clarification. The more your understanding grows, the more helpful your diagram will become. Who knows? The diagram might become the catalyst for a great project idea. Try this with mind-mapping techniques.
4. Sketching helps you plan better. Sometimes outlining helps when planning writing, actions, goals, or projects. But try to sketch first. Sketching will free you up to think in an unstructured manner. This will give you the creative fuel to make your plans more creative and thoughtful, rather than just structured.
5. Sketching can improve your health. Although sketching helps in many other ways, it helps you relax and think better. Next time, when you are pressed for time, pick up a pencil or pen and start sketching and doodling. You just might feel better.
Photo courtesy Steven Ung of Flickr.com