Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the power of mind-mapping. If you are like me and struggle with organization, mind-mapping is a great way to get a hodge-podge of thoughts onto a board where you can turn them into something beautiful. (If your life is expertly organized into properly located and named binders, this blog is not for you. Reading this blog will only confuse as you endeavor to comprehend a mind that is foreign to your way of thinking.)
I am in starting phase of writing a book to help disorganized, yet creative right-brain types maintain sanity in a left-brain, logical world. The mind-map I share here is the first step in putting ideas on paper. In a few days, I’ll have the walls in my writer-man-cave covered in sticky sheets full of what looks like a scene out of A Beautiful Mind. But hey, it makes sense to me and helps get my ideas out of my head onto paper.
Outlines don’t do me any good. They’re way too organized. The only way I can develop an outline is to write the book, the research paper, or whatever, first. Then go back after the fact and construct the outline.
Living Your Priorities
With email, phones, the knock at the door, and a thousand other interruptions during the day, how do you make sure your priorities don’t get knocked off the front page of your life by someone else’s story? Well, it’s hard.
If you want to fulfill your agenda, make it a point every day to complete at least one of your goals. Not someone else’s goals for you. Not what you have to do when you’d really like to be doing something else. This is one thing that you need to do to move the ball toward the goal line of your dream.
Modern Marketing Built Around Interruption
Modern marketing is built around the concept of interruption. If you sometimes feel like your day is constantly being interrupted by a banner add, an unwanted email or a phone call, it’s by design. If you’re sort of unorganized like me, the barrage of daily interruptions can kill your productivity. Kill enough productivity and your dreams die too.
I struggle to get my ideas out of my head and into organized form. Mind-mapping is a useful tool to organize my thoughts in a chaotic world. If my mind-map looks chaotic in itself, that’s the whole idea. I’m disorganized so it makes perfect sense to me.
When I tell my left-brain, logic oriented co-workers about mind-mapping, they look at me like a tree full of owls. After all, why would I want to scribble on sticky sheets when I could enter it into a spreadsheet?
Just try mind-mapping. The act of writing on a big sheet gives voice to those “out in left field” ideas that we usually think are too crazy. The world needs our “out in left field” ideas.
How to Mind-map
How do you mind-map? My method is quite simple. Go to the local office supply store, get an easel and some large sticky sheets. You’ll also need some markers. Start throwing your ideas onto the sticky sheets. Then stick them to the wall and start on your project. I keep them on the wall until the project is finished.
If you are a slightly un-organized creative type, please know that even your organized logical friends need you. In fact, they need you much more than they realize. That crazy idea in your head may be the next book, business, song or poem that could change someone’s life.
Think about your dream, whatever it is. Envision a small project that will move you one step closer to that dream. Mind-map that sucker, throw your sticky-sheets on the wall, and make it happen. The end result will boost your self-confidence, help someone else, and believe it or not, will make you appear super-organized.