If you have ever been in the middle of a project, task for a client, or trying to organize the household budget and you can’t seem to focus then you have experienced the need for mind mapping. Mind mapping helps you take your jumbled mess of thoughts and organize them visually to help you focus on the task at hand and get to where you need to be with the task. If you have never used mind mapping, here are a few techniques and information about the process to help you get started.
Connecting the Chaos
One of the key benefits to using mind mapping techniques is to connect the chaos. Often times the chaos that seems unconnected actually is. For example, you may be thinking about the meeting you have the next day, but you are also thinking about your kids’ soccer practice alongside grocery shopping and dinner. Though this may not seem like a huge project to most people, to a busy entrepreneur and parent it can be uncontrolled chaos. Mind mapping helps you start at the center goal and work your way out, the whole time connecting the different aspects of your points of focus so you have a clear goal, starting, and ending point. You can see how your kid’s appointments now connect to the meeting.
Starting the Path
You may already know how things connect and what your end goal is. The problem for most people is getting started. When you do mind mapping, you can see where you normally would have started and work your way back from that point until you get to a more logical starting point. For example, you may know that your end goal is to produce a website for a client that allows for appointment scheduling. You may think that your starting point would be to just start with the basic template. With mind mapping you can discover that a more logical place would be to start with asking what type of scheduling and if drop down menus or fill in the blank are the best options for your client. This saves time that would have normally been spent reworking what you started with instead of starting where the client’s needs are based.
Finding a Goal
Sometimes you know what you want to do, but you don’t know exactly what the end goal needs to be to call the project complete. Your mind mapping can help with this. It can also help you develop a clearer path to that goal and a goal that is healthier and produces more happiness for you than you first imagined. You can see where the path is taking you and how the path may continue beyond your original thoughts.
You can use mind mapping for any task that you have. Don’t forget that mind mapping is not a set in stone method. If you need to adjust it or work on it, you can. You can adapt it to your new goals, changes, and what you need. It is to help you work out your chaos, not add to it.
Mind Mapping Resources
There are several free tools out there to help you get started with a digital mind map. However, I highly encourage you to take pens, colored pencils or makers to paper and create!