When it comes to planning, do you balk at writing out lists? Personally, I love lists and I make them all the time, but I know there are people who will resist making them. It’s not their thing.
I get it, I really do.
There are also times when a list just isn’t going to cut it, or there are too many different lists needed for a single project that it becomes overwhelming, and who wants that?
So, for those of you who want to set a goal and know what steps to take, all without making a list or too many lists, this creative tool is for you.
It’s called mind mapping.
Have you heard of it?
When I first came across mind maps years ago, my first thought was that they were complicated and way too much work!
And then I tried making one.
I love them! (For me, it’s like a super list of multiple lists!)
They’re as individual as you are, and extremely personalized. There is no ‘one’ way to make them; the only rule is to have one major goal, and then go from there.
Start off in the centre of the page and write your ultimate goal.
From there, create your extensions – each major step or segment of the goal.
From each extension, break that down into more detail, and keep going from there.
You won’t believe what you can use them for!
Something as complex as creating and building a business, to prepping for a job interview, or for something as simple as planning Christmas dinner for your whole family.
Mind maps really are that adaptable.
I’ve used mind maps to create new programs and workshops for my coaching business, I used them when I revamped my coaching business, and I used them when a group of us organized a small business fair.
The ideas and goals are endless!
Some people like to keep it really simple and just use words, with the steps written out, like having multiple lists on one page (like me).
Others like to be very creative and use pictures and diagrams to get their ideas down and make it much more interesting and visual.
Mind maps can be hand-drawn or computer generated.
When working in teams, each member can mind map their individual parts, and then bring them together to create a whole, as we did for the small business fair.
Mind maps are also very adaptable in that they grow as you move through the steps and the plan. They don’t need to be completed all at once.
Unlike a single list, which can be somewhat restrictive, adding new thoughts or revelations as they happen is easy to do with a mind map.
As you’re planning, or in the process of doing, steps that come to mind are easy to insert into your map without starting all over.
Likewise, with a mind map, it’s easy to see which tasks or steps may be connected to steps in another part of the plan, something you may not see with the traditional list.
This is helpful when you realize there’s another task that needs to be done but seems to be unrelated to the part you’re working on.
For example, let’s say you’ve mind mapped creating a new course.
You have the basic layout of the course, what each section of it is going to look like, what’s to be included, and what resources you’re going to need.
One section requires you to attend a conference or take some additional training in the subject to increase your knowledge in a particular area. Another section requires you to cite your resources for statistics you’re including.
There’s an overlap, or a connection between these extensions. One must be completed before you can complete the other.
You can still work on both sections, but knowing in advance how they overlap helps you to plan accordingly and to keep things moving along cohesively.
Have you heard of mind mapping before? Have you done one?
If you’ve never created a mind map, I encourage you to give it a try. Start with something fairly easy and go from there…or be bold and fearless and jump right in with something big!!
I’d love to hear your results, if you found them useful, and if you’re a fan of them, like I am!
featured image courtesy of unsplash/rawpixel