Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Mind Mapping Unmasked

It's interesting that Richard Branson states that one of his top ten tips for success is making lists which Lisa commented on in her post  Lists are the Tools of the Successful,  but for me making a mind map is a crucial first stage of the process for without it, a list will be, well just a set of things to do in linear form.
If you are trying to make sense of thoughts that whir  around your head when you embark on a new project, just giving yourself the freedom of putting your thoughts down on paper without worrying where they fit, fuels the creative process.

Here's my top 6 tips for getting started...

Step 1 Relax
If you can, take yourself away from the PC and  find a spot where you can spread out without someone looking over your shoulder. Set the scene, put some inspiring music on and have a stretch. 

Step 2 Time Box this activity
Which basically means give yourself a defined amount of time to complete it.  Set your alarm and go for it.  Don't worry I'll tell you more Time Boxing soon.

Step 3 Prepare your Toolkit
Experience has shown me that however big the paper is, it will be filled, so probably flip chart size is the max you will need. Now's also the time to get your coloured pens out for adding definition and emphasis. Allow yourself to draw even if you think you can't ......remember no-one's looking over your shoulder.

Step 4 Be specific
Start in the middle and write down specifically what you want to mind map. Draw 4 arrows radiating out ready for your thoughts.

Step 5  Get those thoughts down
It works like magic ...once you have 3 or 4 thoughts down the next ones will come thick and fast. You will see instantly where they belong  then link them with an arrow and /or a different pen colour. Be creative .......it doesn't matter how curved  your arrows are as long as YOU can see which thoughts link together.  It doesn't matter how neat it looks.  

Step 6 Step Away
Remember you are time boxing this activity. After the allotted time, have a cuppa, you can highlight anything that needs actioning very quickly and then refer back to Lisa's bit for more on the benefits of list making.

I forgot to mention, you can get some nifty software packages to do the same if you just like to sit at your PC (see link below) ...................but really where's the fun in that?   


Let me know how you get on.

1 comment:

  1. I have a colleague who always uses mind maps. It's inevitably the go-to document for the whole team.So much easier to visualize what needs to be done from a graphic, rather than a list of demands. Great advice. Keep it coming.


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