Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of developing a mind map, you may come face to face with a mental block that prevents you from thinking through the problem, challenge or situation any further. When this happens, there are a number of techniques that you can use to smash through these mental barriers and re-energize your thinking in fresh, creative directions.
Here are some blockbusting tips culled from the writings of mind mapping expert Tony Buzan and my own experience:
Add blank topics: This will challenge your brain to complete what is unfinished and will tap into its powerful associative capabilities. These blank lines in essence become “hooks” upon which you can hang fresh ideas. It’s a curious fact about our powerful brains: They don’t like to view pictures that are incomplete; our subconscious minds instinctively try to complete the picture, catalyzing your thinking in the process.
Ask questions: Questions are the main tool that the brain uses to accumulate knowledge. By asking questions, you challenge your brain to come up with block-breaking responses.
Add images to your map: Images represent powerful triggers for creative association and recall, and can take your thinking in fresh new directions. Review your program’s image library for inspiration, or conduct a Google image search on the topic or challenge at hand. Whatever strikes you or appears to have meaning to you, add it to your map, and spend some time thinking about its relevance to your map’s topic.
Take an incubation break: Walk away from your mind map for several hours or several days. While you are away from your map, your subconscious mind will continue to mull over your situation or challenge, generating fresh insights, associations and ideas, which you can then add to your mind map.
I wish you much success in breaking through your mental blocks!