Monday, June 4, 2007

Mind Mapping Yourself Into Focus

Mind mapping can seem like such a disorderly process. You pull out a big sheet of paper, get the markers rounded up, and start writing, drawing circles and lines in
all directions. How can this help with focus?

Lack of focus is one of the key sources of struggle for most people. Sometimes it takes thinking "out of the box" to get some direction. Have you been avoiding the "hard stuff" and keeping busy with the routine tasks? Has not being sure of what to do next kept you stuck at the starting line?

Perhaps you feel pulled back and forth by stimuli in many directions. This could be caused by emails and phone calls coming in from people with other priorities. They want your input and they want it now! In an office setting you may have coworkers walking in to chat about work subjects or just their upcoming golf game. How do you decide where to focus your energy?

Are there too many ideas to implement all at once? How can you narrow it down to what you can manage?

There are a number of solutions to these challenges and today we are focusing on the mindmapping process.

Tony Buzan explains Mind mapping in his popular book, How To Mind Map: Make the most of your mind and learn how to create, organize, and plan. His book came out in 2002, but he wasn't the first to use this type of organizing. The Greeks developed many systems to organize and recall facts, using imagination and association. Imagination and association are two keys factors for why mind mapping works so well to organize and clarify your thinking.

Mind mapping gives you an overview, displaying large amounts of data in one place. You are able to see new creative pathways and integrating information. And a mind map is even enjoyable to look at and read.

Mind mapping recreates the way we were designed to think. We don't have outlines and structured charts in our brain. There are millions of connections going from one concept to another. These connections are what helps us to recall past learnings and integrate new ideas.

Although there are software programs for mind mapping on the computer, I prefer to use the tried and true method of a large sheet of paper and colorful markers. Once I start with a central core to an idea, I come up with lots of details going out from that core. These connect with other concepts that may give more understanding to that core idea. Then you can create connections for possible solutions to a problem.

What I find is that my thoughts then flow from these key "sentence starters". I find myself coming up with much fresher, more creative ideas than when I am trying to fit my thoughts into the linear outline form.

Would mind mapping be a help to you in getting your focus? I would enjoy sharing my experiences of mind mapping with you and develop strategies with you for your business using the process. You'll find me, Suzanne Holman, the Exuberant Productivity Coach on the web at I know you'll enjoy some of the other resources on my site to support you in creating a healthy bottom line plus quality time for family and FUN!
* 2007 Suzanne Holman, MAEd and Exuberant Productivity.Com

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