{Time management} Get unstuck through mind-mapping

We all know that we each have a unique learning style.

I see this so often with some of my clients because a lot of them are really creative. Which keeps me on my toes because I have to challenge their thinking in a different way sometimes too.

I even adapted some of my organising forms to cater for the left- and right-brained thinking styles.

E.g. my 30-day goals form (which is in the free Time Management Purpose Pack) has a line-by-line page and a mind-mapping page.

I used to be a solid “line-by-line” girl but then I started experimenting more with mind maps and I found that they work especially well for the linear thinkers amongst us when we’re stuck.

We sometimes need a shake-up in our thinking process.


This is an iphone photo of a page in my daily notebook with a mind map in progress. This one answers the question: what do I do in this business? Coach, speak, write and create.

These days I often use a two-pronged approach with any planning:

  1. I start with a mind-map and I go wild….
  2. I then transfer all that crazy to the line-by-line approach

Both sides of my brain participate πŸ™‚ and all is well in the world.

I use this approach to plan out talks, brainstorm new products and even plan my blogging for the month. The blogging then gets transferred to an editorial calendar (nothing more fancy than a normal calendar with blocks where I write down the topic for the M W F schedule that goes on around here.

This is exactly how I planned my new Help! I need more time e-course. Mindmap and then wrote/ typed it all out.

Confession – I’ve tried to do mind-mapping on my ipad, iphone and computer, and somehow that feels more restrictive to me than a good old notebook and pen. So I deleted the apps.

If you’re a techno gal though, Lifehacker polled its readers on the 5 best mind-mapping tools.

Do you use mind maps? If yes, how?

3 myths about lists :)

There are two types of people in this world – those who like lists and those who don’t.

This post is for those who don’t like lists πŸ™‚

lists are boring

A list is only as boring as your imagination! You can and should put some fun things on there too as well as tasks to do.

I recently started putting things like “finish James Patterson book” on my weekend lists because all I was doing was chores. I loved the change so much that I now regularly put fun things like “phone _____ for a lovely, long chat” and “paint fingernails” on my lists just to jazz them up πŸ˜‰

lists are a bind because they have tons of items on them

Well, that depends on the type of list. A master list and a checklist often do have tons of things on them but a daily to-do list really should have no more than about 6 items.

I’ve shared before how when I only have 6 items on my to-do list, I get through them all easily but when I try to be SuperWoman and add lots more, I get even less than 6 done! I showed a coaching client my diary once and she was amazed.

When you find the right list, your life will change

No, no, no! The list is only the tool.

I used to subscribe to tons of productivity sites and really, many of them were all about the perfect tool. A tool is exactly that – something to help you get something else done.

Many people are so intent on creating the perfect list or finding the perfect planner that they get into an analysis paralysis mentality.

Because when you’re obsessing about the perfect to-do list, you stop actually doing the things on the list, right?

The truth is it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you get it down somewhere – whether on a post-it note, in a gorgeous notebook or in your phone.

So how am I doing with my lists?

I still use a weekly list and take off up to 6 items (sometimes a lot less) to do in a day.

My newΒ  favourite thing is doing a mind-map list for my weekly planning. I do a spoke for each area of my life – husband, babies, house, work, business, health and fitness, etc. And then, off each spoke, I make new mini-branches with things I have to do.

Do you have any other beliefs about list-making?

Do you make lists? What works well for you?

P.S. There are some lovely lists (standard ones and mind maps) waiting for you in the free Organising Success Pack

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