Too Many Things to do and not Enough Time? Mind Mapping to the Rescue
by: Dr. V J Mariaraj
Time management is a pet topic that has been explained ad infinitum. Yet, many people go about their lives struggling to keep time and maintain balance amongst their personal, business and social needs and responsibilities. This invariably leaves a great many people stressed, exhausted and overworked, and alas, nowhere near achieving their goals or objectives.
Although there are innumerable articles on the same, there are subtle aspects that need looking into. At the heart of any effective time management is the need for focusing on the core elements for achieving the desired results. As a norm, we tend to spend a great deal of our time on peripheral issues that we end up giving 80% of our time for achieving 20% results, and the remaining 80% of the results are achieved with just 20% of our time. This no doubt, brings in its wake, all the stress syndromes.
So the first step for improving efficiency is segregating the most important from the unimportant and devoting your time and attention to the vital issues and effectively delegating or outsourcing those of less importance or consequence. You can even maintain an activity logbook to note the time spent on different activities of the day, including making coffee, talking over the phone, etc. Examining your log book at the end of the day will reveal where you are spending time disproportionate to its value and those areas where you need more padding of time for achieving your main goals.
Of course the inevitable ‘Action Plan’ and ‘To Do List’ are enduring methods for achieving your goals. By breaking them into simple tasks, Action Plan focuses only on those basic steps for attaining your immediate goals. . ‘To Do List’ is of great help to map out sundry tasks for the day or week. Your ‘Personal Goal List’ will cover your long-term goals in different areas of your life.
Although you may be familiar with all these methods, what is of significance is that Mind Mapping can be a great tool to help manage time at every step in the process. Be it Action Plan, or To Do List, or Activity Log book or even Goal setting, Mind Maps are an excellent tool for not just efficient handling of your time but in attaining your larger goals as well. As Mind Mapping allows for a free flow of ideas and associations, you will find a whole new creative way to tackle different aspects of time management.
By providing a broad picture of your goals and tasks, Mind Maps help to keep you motivated and on course. While the other methods of time management is more of scheduling your time, in Mind Maps you go beyond the mundane and the immediate, as the larger goal is always kept in your perspective. This motivates you to greater efficiency and application. Therein lays its efficacy and viability.
By connecting all the elements of your short, medium and long-term goals into a single Mind Map, it provides a comprehensive picture and you are aware of the different parts of your activities. It helps you to see the relational aspects between your different tasks and lends meaning and impetus to achieving your goal and objectives. It is not just about listing but a meaningful exercise that lends depth and action. It is an ideal tool for raising your efficiency as it provides the flexibility to tackle short, medium and long-term goals. It is a simple device for an organized way for achieving your ambitions.
You will need to know and apply the technique of Mind Map to realize its full potential. Unless you learn and apply the technique in your daily life, you will not be able to comprehend its potent force. It is the simplest device to scheduling, monitoring and controlling different aspects of your tasks, to ultimately lead to goal achievement.