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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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    Last Updated on January 6, 2021

    14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

    14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

    Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

    In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

    For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

    For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

    Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

    Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

    Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

    How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

    Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

    1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

    Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

    For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

    2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

    Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

    Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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    Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

    3. Create a System

    Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

    This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

    You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

    Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

    Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

    4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

    We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

    If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

    Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

    5. Use a Ratings Scale

    Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

    Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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    It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

    6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

    This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

    You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

    You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

    7. Offer Feedback Forms

    Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

    First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

    Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

    You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    8. Track Cost Effectiveness

    This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

    Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

    Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

    9. Use Self-Evaluations

    Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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    Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

    10. Monitor Time Management

    This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

    Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

      The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

      While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

      11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

      We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

      Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

      For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

      Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

      Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

      From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

      12. Utilize Peer Feedback

      This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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      Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

      Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

      It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

      13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

      When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

      Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

      Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

      14. Use an External Evaluator

      Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

      They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

      While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

      Final Thoughts

      These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

      The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

      The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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      Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

      Reference

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