By Joel Roberts
With all the daily demands working adults face today – endless meetings, ever-increasing work responsibilities, kids’ soccer games and parents’ doctor’s appointments – it’s practically impossible not to get stuck in a rut, especially if you are a small business or start-up owner, and you want to set all energy towards nurturing and building up your business. When your routine starts to grind away at you, you need to wake up and take action to shake up the schedule to get more out of your daily life. While you can’t set many of your daily duties aside, you can use tools like mind mapping and other organizational tricks to make them easier and increase productivity. Mind mapping software can help you get started using this helpful technique.
Before going on to explain the benefits and reasons why to start using this popular visual technique, let’s just start with a few guidelines of what is a mind map, to those vaguely familiar with the term.
According to Tony Buzan (the inventor of modern mind mapping), “A mind map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, color and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner.”
A mind map starts with a central (main) topic around which the user builds up connected bits of information. It eventually ends up looking as a neural network, connecting those correlating bits of information / subtopics, with the main one. What is interesting about a mind map, especially when building one with a mind mapping program, is that you can have limitless space to graphically elaborate a topic, and visually organize the related information. You can include graphics, links, notes, relationships and colors to build your mind map and make information, ideas and plans easily understandable and memorable.
Here is how mind mapping can help you to be more productive and reach the long yearned equilibrium by many, the famous work-life balance.
Organize Your Thoughts
If you’re working on a big project or have the pleasure to multitask, use visual tools like mind maps to help organize your thoughts.
Plan Your Day the Night Before
Before going to bed, it’s useful to think about your tasks for the next day and decide when and where various activities will be done. By planning out a few of the basics the night before, you’ll have a game plan for the next day, and you may also realize potential obstacles ahead of time.
Budget Your Time
Don’t just plan for tomorrow, plan for the whole week. Use your calendar to set times for your various appointments and tasks. Be sure to allow a little lag time, should unexpected circumstances arise.
Eliminate Time Wasters
Audit your daily activities and find things that you find wasteful of your time. It could be the 30 minutes you spend on social media, or time spent in line at the bank. Once you’ve found the “time leeches,” work on ways to reduce or eliminate the time spent on these activities.
Break Big Projects into Smaller Components
Big projects can be daunting; often so daunting that you end up wasting time procrastinating on getting started on them. By breaking big projects down into smaller components, you can make them less intimidating, and provide yourself with measurable milestones and goals.
If you’re trying to better organize your time, mind mapping tools can be of huge help. Mind maps are versatile visual representations that are easy to manipulate and arrange, providing users with a useful tool to create plans and schedules. Mind mapping also makes memorizing all the various tasks on your agenda easier, as the visual representations provided by the program’s mind maps are much easier to retain than mere items on a list. Take advantage of the power to organize your life and work by trying out mind mapping today.