work smarter, not harder' this year, my next thought was... all well and good, but how?
And then I remembered Kate Sykes. Kate is the co-author of Career Mums, my little blue guide for working mums. We had a great time writing our book, and some very interesting conversations. I particularly remember the discussion we had about 'mind mapping'. "It's really great, Al, you should give it a go," she urged.
The premise is that you get out the butcher's paper, several different coloured textas and some quiet time. You sit down, put a big circle with 'ME' in the centre, and then use the questions that Kate provides to really hone in on your thoughts and aspirations.
This is very not me.
Kate was adamant that it go into the book, however, because she's seen it work. Hundreds of times. So in it went.
Call me a late-adopter, but I've finally seen the light. With my new goal in mind, and various sub-goals in the 'might like to achieve this year' category, I decided to pull out my textas and actually give it a go.
Kate has provided us with a whole range of questions to answer:
•How would you describe yourself (tired)
•What are you good at (procrastinating with textas)
•What skills have you accumulated to date (Tweeting)
And so on and so forth. While my answers here are flippant, I've done my best to be serious on my actual map. I guess what it's given me is an overview of where I'm at and where I'd like to be. I've included a little section on projects I'd like to complete (stay tuned), people I admire and why, where I want to be in January 2014. (Note I use the word 'want' there, not 'like' - part of my new ethos to be more upfront about what I can do.) It also contains some of my best doodling work. Possibly ever.
It's not a roadmap by any means. But it's a starting point.
Because writing things down makes them real. Everybody knows that.
If you'd like to map your own mind, you can buy Career Mums here to help.
Have you ever tried mind mapping or any other tools to help you work out what you're doing? Did it work?