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The Struggle is Real
You are on the verge of something big. You know this. You can feel it. It is SO CLOSE. If only you could grab ahold of all the ideas you’ve got running through your head, you’d be able to actually DO something with them.
You’ve tried making lists, but that hasn’t quite worked. Well, it ALMOST worked, but it was a little too restrictive, wasn’t it? You’ve tried other tools, too: project boards, pen and paper, they ALL almost work. And yet…
Lists and project boards are great when you know what you need to do. But if your ideas are hazy and you haven’t quite nailed down your projects yet, making a list is an exercise in frustration and a waste of time. You need to organize your thoughts BEFORE you make that task list or project board.
But how? Is that even possible?
Yes it is. You can absolutely organize your ideas and take control of your life with mind mapping.
What is Mind Mapping?
Mind mapping is a visual way to organize your thoughts, ideas, plans, and dreams. It starts with a central idea, then radiates outward in a circular pattern with topics, subtopics, and so on.
People use mind mapping to brainstorm, to take notes in class, to plan their marketing strategies, and so much more. Mind mapping is the most effective way that I have found to organize my ideas. Once I’ve done that, making a to-do list and taking action is EASY!
That sounds great, but how do you do it?
Mind mapping starts with a central idea. Whether you are brainstorming, project planning, or studying, it all works the same way. Start with the thing in your life that is most pressing, or taking up the most of your “thought energy.”
You can mind map using a sheet of paper, oriented sideways, so the long end is on the top. This gives you plenty of space for your ideas on the paper. Colored pens or markers are recommended because color is visually stimulating. It makes things easier to remember, and more fun to look at.
You could also create your mind map on a white board. This is a great way to mind map with your team; everyone can see it and take part in the process.
If you’d rather work on the computer, I recommend MindMeister. This is a great mind mapping tool, and the free plan offers everything you need to get started. It also offers a way to collaborate with others in real time, so if you are working with people in different locations, you can still reap the benefits of mind mapping as a group. I love this feature!
Here you can see an example of a “Central Idea” as shown in MindMeister.
Next, add your main topics, or ideas about your Central Idea. Don’t worry about doing this “the right way.” If you have an idea directly related to your central idea, write it down in a circular pattern around your central idea.
Next, add your subtopics. These are ideas related to each main topic you have surrounding your central idea. Do a deep dive. Add as many as you like. Remember, you cannot do this wrong. Don’t edit yourself. The important thing right now is to get your ideas out of your head and onto the paper/computer program. This will bring you the clarity and peace of mind you’ve been craving.
Now if you need to, add sub-subtopics. Keep going, layer by layer, until all your ideas are out of your head and onto your paper, whiteboard, or computer.
When you finish your mind map, you can you can SEE everything you’ve been thinking about. This makes it SO much easier to prioritize and take action on all the things you want to accomplish.
Once you’ve tried mind mapping, you’ll want to brainstorm this way every time. It doesn’t take long to master your thoughts and really get a handle on exactly what you’re trying to do. And now, you can take the pieces of your mind map to create an action plan that MAKES SENSE.
If you’re ready for more…
I invite you to check out my free resource hub, The Productivity Toolbox. There, you’ll find all kinds of tools and resources to help you fine tune your ever-evolving process.
From recommended reading suggestions, to video walk throughs of my favorite online tools, to printables and downloads that will help you organize your day.
Sign up for the The Productivity Toolbox today!