This strategy is excerpted from my new e-book, Power Tips & Strategies for Mind Mapping Software – Second Edition. I hope you find it to be valuable in your personal planning efforts!
Many people spend more time planning a party than planning their life. Why? Because it’s hard work! If you’ve been putting off planning your life’s future direction and scope, why not try utilizing mind mapping to bring clarity – and some fun – to this process.
A mind map is an excellent tool for life management because it can help you to clearly define your values, life goals and the strategies and step-by-step plans to achieve them. Here are some tips on how to manage your life planning with mind mapping software:
1. Define your main goal as the central topic of your map.
2. Next, add your primary values to your map as free-floating topics. They don’t need to be connected to the central topic, but they are positioned like this because they ought to have an influence on any plans you make.
3. Add primary topics, one representing each of the major life roles or domains in your life (i.e., work, family, church member). Life is cut from one whole cloth. In other words, changes you make in one role of your life inevitably influence other parts of your life. So it’s smart planning to consider how your main life goal may be realized through the lens of each of your major roles. Also, because the mind mapping format helps you to see your goal in the context of all of your roles, it should help you to achieve improved balance in your life.
4. Then add secondary topics, the steps and strategies you will undertake to achieve your goal within the context of each life role.
If your life planning map becomes cluttered with too many goals, consider creating sub-maps where you can engage in detailed planning for each life role.
Don’t forget that you can not only use your mind mapping software to define your goal implementation plans, but also to monitor and track your progress. Many mind mapping programs enable you to attach dates or deadlines to branches (several even enable you to transfer them as tasks to Microsoft Outlook).
You can attach numerical rankings to the action steps in your plans, making it easy to see what you need to do first, next, and so forth. In addition, some mind mapping programs enable you to attach symbols or markers to branches, which show you what percentage of completion you have achieved for each action item in your plans.