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How to Use Bubble.us to Make 2008 Your Most Productive Year Ever

How to Use Bubble.us to Make 2008 Your Most Productive Year Ever
mindmap of lifehack article thoughts

    Bubbl.us has been featured on Lifehack before as a top web-based tool for 2007. Now that we’re moving into 2008 it’s time to really kick this app into gear and show you ways to use it to make 2008 your most productive year.

    A little background on Bubbl.us

    bubbl.us is a flash-based mindmap creator, which enables you to create interactive mindmaps, which can be shared and added to. It is a free tool, which is fantastic as it is one of the tools that has been great for me towards the end of this year. The mindmaps can be exported, like the one above, and can be as small or as large as you want them to be.

    The above example shows a quick brainstorming session for articles to write on Lifehack. Whilst jotting down a few ideas in their various categories, I decided to write on the tool itself as I had found it so useful for so many other things in my life.

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    5 ways to use Bubbl.us to explode your productivity

    1. Brainstorming ideas for business

    Brainstorming is a process whereby one or more people come up with and record as many ideas as spring into their minds, whether they are ridiculous or brilliant. Every new idea can lead to another idea, which can eventually lead to the winning idea for your business.

    The process of using Bubbl.us to brainstorm is quite simple. You designate someone who is familiar with Bubbl.us (and it only takes 5 minutes to get familiar with it) to enter in all of the ideas that they and everyone else comes up with. Once each session is complete, the session can be saved for future use, it can be printed out, and it can be saved as a jpeg or PNG or exported for use in a website or as an XML sheet.

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    1. Use for family tree building

    With the ability to create multiple ‘parent’ boxes and ‘child’ boxes, Bubbl.us is a fantastic tool for creating family trees quickly and easily. What would be good is if it could insert images into the child and parent boxes; however, it is still a good tool for this activity. So for the genealogists out there, you could start collecting your family data from anywhere in the world and add to your family tree map from anywhere in the world — and nvite other family members, wherever they are, do the same.

    1. Creating flow charts

    This is another extremely useful way to use Bubbl.us. You have seen flow charts in technical books and software manuals, and they are great visual representations for training employees to use software, follow business processes, or anywhere a yes/no situation might occur. And when processes or policies change, they can be esily updated from any computer.

    1. For creating lists

    I used Bubbl.us to create my Christmas list this year and it was a great way to visualize the list. I usually do this on a piece of paper which is then thrown away only to be done again the next year. Using Bubble.us this way means I always have a saved copy of my Christmas list and I never forget anyone. Plus, I can easily add more people whenever I need.

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    The same goes for birthday card lists. Again this is something that rarely changes; now I have my birthday card list with one box for each month, and around each all the people we need to send cards to each month.

    I have also created lists for shopping, which I can use repeatedly as we tend to buy the same things every month.

    1. Money making ideas

    I am always on the lookout for new ways to make money (legally, of course) but I find that ideas pop into my head at the most awkward times. Now, whenever I have one of these ideas I write it down in the notebook I carry around and transfer it as quickly as possible to my Bubbl.us account.

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    when I look at the Bubbl.us account under the ‘money making ideas’ file I brainstorm how I could make money from any particular idea. Then I either reject it and delete or keep it saved on the file.

    This has helped me tremendously in my online money making activities as I have carried out a lot of research after brainstorming and this allows me to reject or keep an idea.

    It also helps my conscious mind to stop rejecting ideas immediately, which tends to happen with many people. You know what I mean: you think you have a great idea and you say ‘yeah that could work’ and get all excited and then 2 minutes later your conscious mind rejects it and you forget all about it. Now every idea is a viable option and your conscious mind has been bypassed, to a degree, allowing your unconscious mind to work on the idea.

    What other uses can you think of?

    If you haven’t already done so why not visit Bubbl.us and let us know other ways you could use this versatile web app.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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