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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 March 21, 2019

    11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

    11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

    Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

    You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

    But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

    To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

    It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

    “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

    The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

    In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

    Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

    1. Start Small

    The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

    Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

    Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

    Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

    Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

    Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

    It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

    Do less today to do more in a year.

    2. Stay Small

    There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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    But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

    If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

    When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

    I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

    Why?

    Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

    The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

    Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

    3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

    No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

    There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

    What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

    Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

    This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

    This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

    4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

    When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

    There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

    Peter Drucker said,

    “What you track is what you do.”

    So track it to do it — it really helps.

    But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

    5. Measure Once, Do Twice

    Peter Drucker also said,

    “What you measure is what you improve.”

    So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

    For reading, it’s 20 pages.
    For writing, it’s 500 words.
    For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
    For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

    Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

    6. All Days Make a Difference

    Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

    Will two? They won’t.

    Will three? They won’t.

    Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

    What happened? Which one made you fit?

    The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

    No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

    7. They Are Never Fully Automated

    Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

    But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

    What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

    It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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    The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

    It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

    It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

    8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

    Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

    Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

    When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

    The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

    Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

    9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

    The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

    Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

    You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

    But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

    So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

    If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

    This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

    The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

    Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

    10. Punish Yourself

    Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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    I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

    It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

    You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

    No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

    The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

    But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

    11. Reward Yourself

    When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

    Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

    The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

    After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

    If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

    Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

    If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

    In the End, It Matters

    What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

    When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

    And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

    “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

    Keep going.

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    More Resources to Help You Build Habits

    Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
    [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
    [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
    [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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