Advertising
Advertising

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.

stop-mind-mapping

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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. :)

    More by this author

    If You Can Stay Calm Even in Hard Times, You Will Be Successful Take Control Back Over Your Smartphone 5 Lessons From Successful People: Simple Changes Create Amazing Results How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping Saving 2 Hours Per Work Day is Easy!

    Trending in Productivity

    1 How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work 2 Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 5 How to Concentrate and Train Your Brain to Focus Better

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on January 16, 2019

    How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

    How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

    We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

    You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

    You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

    That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

    Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

    1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

    Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

    We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

    To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

    At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

    The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

    2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

    Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

    The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

    In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

    It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

    It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

    Advertising

    So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

    • Are you a great strategist?
    • Are you an effective planner?
    • Is Project Management your strength?
    • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
    • Are you the ideas person?
    • Is Implementation your strength?

    Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

    3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

    One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

    Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

    Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

    Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

    4. Take Time for Planning

    “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

    One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

    You can take the time to think about:

    • What’s the purpose of the project?
    • How Important is it?
    • When does it need to be delivered by?
    • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
    • What are the KPIs?
    • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
    • Who is working on this project?
    • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
    • What tolerances can I add in?
    • What are the review stages?
    • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

    Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

    5. Focus on Priorities

    Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

    Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

    One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

    1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
    2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
    3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
    4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

    James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

    Advertising

      The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

      If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

      If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

      6. Take Time Out

      To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

      If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

      Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

      In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

      Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

      7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

      Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

      I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

      Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

      If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

      8. Stop Multitasking

      Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

      So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

      When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

      Advertising

      If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

      9. Work in Blocks of Time

      To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

      I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

      Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

      Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

      Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

      Then take another 10-minute break.

      Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

      By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

      10. Get Rid of Distractions

      Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

      “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

      Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

      If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

      11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

      You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

      Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

      Advertising

      Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

      12. Take a Time Audit

      Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

      Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

      You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

      Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

      Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

      At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

      If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

      13. Protect Your Confidence

      It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

      When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

      Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

      When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

      Final Words

      A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

      The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

      If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

      Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next