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5 Reasons To Stop Mind Mapping Immediately

5 Reasons To Stop Mind Mapping Immediately

Let’s explore five important reasons why you can or must stop mind mapping immediately. Even though many people are using mind maps to help them in business, in education, or at home, a large group continues to work on their map even if they should or can stop doing so. You will learn right now when you have to stop mind mapping and move on.

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    1. Stop mind mapping when you reach your goal or you find the answer

    This must be the first reason to stop mind mapping, I think. The map served its purpose. The goal has been reached, the answer was found, the crisis was averted, you won, etc…

    Among the reasons for people to stop creating their mind maps, this one is probably the least motivation for most novice mind mappers. They stop just before they are successful. Strange? Maybe, but really understandable.

    They start mapping with a thought in mind that this is the one — this is the tool that will bring them success on a silver platter. But after a while, they stop because it seems like real work to do it. What happens is that they stop before they succeed.

    When you use mind mapping and combine it with a clear strategy, you will see that it is really easy to plan, organize, capture, understand, and use information. When using a mind map properly, the answer is not that far away. When you know that and mind map right way, you will use this reason time after time as the one to stop mind mapping!

    2. You understand the situation or problem

    You’ve stumbled upon a difficult situation. This could be at work, during a personal crisis, or just something you don’t understand. What do you do? You create a mind map (of course).

    The map can consist of branches that give you insight into different angles of the situation. For instance, you can have branches like:

    • What if I do nothing?

    • What can I do right now to solve this?

    • What is the logical solution?

    • What is the emotional solution?

    • Who can I ask to assist me?

    • Why am I in this situation?

    • Why do I allow this to happen?

    • What have I learned from this when I look back one year from now?

    Put at least 3 different sub-branches next to all of these questions. Find at least those three answers. Most of the time you find the answer to understand your problem, and usually this happens while mapping out your situation. When that happens, I suggest you stop working on the map and start implementing what you’ve realized.

    If you are still not successful, you can also take information from the map and put it in a new map. Don’t use the questions now for the different branches. Simply take the top 5 words that have the biggest impact on you from your first map and make these your new branches. Now add your thoughts on these powerful keywords and see what the result will be.

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    The reason this works most of the time is because you create a different angle on the same situation and, therefore, a higher level of understanding and clarity.

    3. A better method for finding an answer came up

    Hey… if there is a better way, you should make use of that. It could be that there is another tool or a person who can help you with this. If so, make sure you are not stuck in the mind map. Embrace the new opportunity.

    Don’t just throw away your mind map yet. You don’t know if the other person wants to learn about your progress and insights. Also, if the other person or tool doesn’t turn out to be that big of blessing in disguise, you can always go back to where you were.

    For most people, mind maps aren’t even the tools they should use. But since they’ve heard that a mind map can (or will) work miracles, they just use it. For instance, in keeping their agenda, they use a mind map. What do they do? They create a map with branches called Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc… Really??? I am pretty sure there is a tool called agenda or calendar for that in Outlook or Google.

    Every time you mind map, you should be objective in your approach.

    By the way, you can always check your approach by sharing the map with other people and ask them if they think this is the right tool or method to use. They might know a better way for you to reach your goal. Or they may tell you something about your mind map that wasn’t very clear to you before. We could call this mind map blindness perhaps. :)

    Anyway, you can recognize this from now on and stop mind mapping when you need to (or change your approach).

    4. The map has served its purpose and is no longer useful

    You know what? This can be really fast during the process of mind mapping thoughts, ideas, and information. I always say that a mind map is just another way of looking at the same information. Often, when you look at a piece of information differently, you might just get the insight you need to move forward.

    Just outlining a situation, goal, or problem and planning it in a map creates a different perspective. Sometimes simply creating a basic outline creates so much clarity that it can help you arrive at a solution.

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    It is really important that once you’ve reached your goal or destination, you stop working on the map.

    By the way… a quick tip for you: it is never about the map. A mind map is just a tool. Sometimes people lose track of their goal while mind mapping. They really want to create a beautiful map with lots of colours and images. They spend way too much time on the map itself and not on the reason for using a mind map. Just keep this in mind.

    Again, stop mind mapping if the purpose is no longer there!

    5. When the map is crap

    My apologies that I write this so bluntly. But sometimes you just have to admit that a map is not working out for you. There could be many reasons for this:

    • Too much focus on the map and not the content

    • Focusing on the wrong topics

    • Too many branches, making the map blurry and unreadable

    • The map is too big, with too many details

    • The information is not properly organized

    Whenever this happens, you have to act quickly. Figure out the cause of the crappy map and fix it. Don’t waste time on a map that is not working. You have many more important things to do.

    Now it is time to take action and, perhaps, stop mind mapping

    I would like to conclude by giving you a number of action points which will help you to determine if you are still in need of a mind map or if you, perhaps, need to change your approach.

    Action point 1: Every day that you start mind mapping, look at the map and ask yourself: “Is this the right tool? Does it serve me best?” If not, change methods.

    Action point 2: Different maps create different insights. Change the layout of the map to create a new understanding when dealing with a problem. Or ask a friend to examine the map and give you their findings in a new map.

    Action point 3: Ask a mind mapping expert to have a look at your map. I often receive maps from my clients that won’t help them move forward. A fresh perspective and a few (important) changes often make a difference between giving up and achieving success!

    Action point 4: Start using a mind mapping tool today if you are not doing that already.

    I wish you lots of success in mind mapping, and remember to stop mind mapping if there is no need to continue doing it. :)

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    Published on July 17, 2018

    How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

    How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

    I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

    You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

    But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

    What is compartmentalization

    To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

    In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

    However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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    Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

    Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

    The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

    Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

    Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

    How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

    The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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    Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

    My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

    Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

    Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

    One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

    If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

    The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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    Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

    This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

    If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

    Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

    Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

    Reframe the problem as a question

    Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

    One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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    For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

    Choose one thing to focus on

    To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

    Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

    Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

    Comparmentalization saves you stress

    Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

    This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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