Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mapping my mind, one doodle at a time

You know you're losing the plot when you're reading your own books and learning from them. But that's where I found myself this morning. When I made my decision to '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?


  1. Replies
    1. I am thinking of you as I map Kel - it is all colour-coordinated and organised. You would be proud.

    2. Who are you? And what have you done with my words, not pictures, sister?

  2. It will come as no shock to you to know that I am a mind mapper. Bloody invaluable. xx

  3. It would be the last thing I would think of doing too. But you have inspired me. I may give it a try. Sometime....

  4. I am a teacher (and writer) I get the students to do this at the beginning of each term- I should do this too. Why haven't I?? Great idea- thanks Allison :)

  5. I looove to mind map! The only way I can make an idea come to life. Great post!

  6. Mind Maps, Brain Storming, are the best tool, you learn to have fun with them to. You can then see a beginning and an end, enjoy. xxx Rae

  7. I looove mindmapping. I do it all the time. It's like your brain gets to vomit and it comes out in pretty colours.

  8. Procrastinating with textas is a fundamental part of any successful endeavour, I feel.

  9. I never understood the "work smarter not harder" thing. My supervisor at the shoe factory years ago was very fond of telling us to "work smarter not harder", but I just didn't "get it". Still don't. Unless it means organising your work methods so everything flows smoothly and is completed without any hitches. Which I already did and still do.
    The only other way I can see to do that is to delegate my jobs to minions, then sit back and watch while they do them. Smart and not at all hard.


Thanks for popping by the Fibro. I love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...