Mind mapping is a great way to sort out your thoughts, coax out the hidden ideas in your mind, and gain perspective on things you’re working through or brainstorming about. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time and space; you don’t want to feel hemmed in when you’re trying to think expansively!
1. Get a big sheet of paper – 8.5 x 11 or preferably larger.
2. Put the topic you’re feeling stuck about or want to brainstorm on in the center of the page.
3. Let your thoughts go stream of consciousness and start writing all that comes to mind about your topic. Write as fast as you can, without stopping and without edits. This is your chance to really let the ideas and whatever is coming up fly.
4. Put one thought per branch and follow each branch until you’ve gotten everything about that thought stream out of your head and onto the paper.
5. Each time you finish a thought stream, go back to the main topic and ask yourself what else is roaming around in your head, thoughts and feelings you can capture on the map. Create a new branch for each unique thought stream.
6. When it seems you’ve come to a stop, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, ” What else?” to make sure you’ve gotten all you can out onto the paper.
7. Repeat this until your entire page is full or your head is empty, whichever comes first.
8. Below is a super simple mind map I created in about 2 minutes regarding ideal clients. Notice how stripped down it is – nothing fancy. Note that all the places where it says “etc.” are places I would keep going if I was doing this map for reals instead of as an example.
9. Once you’ve completed the mind map, look at all the information in front you; it likely looks a bit random and disorganized, like a big brain dump. Congratulations, you’re on the right track! You can now sort through it with colored pens or pencils and note which thoughts group themselves together, what patterns emerge, what themes are present. These patterns, themes, etc. can be used to let go of limiting beliefs, develop a plan for action, and take whatever step is next for you.
10. Above all, enjoy making and working with your mind map! It’s a creative way to develop new ideas, uncover blocks, and add some fun to your business and life planning.