Consider the situation…
You’re walking to a class, earphones in, but you can’t hear your music. Instead, you’re caught up thinking about a homework assignment for one of your classes. After class, you sit at your desk to complete your homework only to have the picture on your textbook’s cover remind you of something you need to finish for one of your organizations. You pause to write yourself a note to work on the task later when suddenly your phone goes off. It’s your friend updating you on upcoming plans you two need to organize. As you reach for your phone to respond, you are met with the glaring red circle that guides your eyes to your email app showing you that you have more messages to answer. As you check your email, you find a message from your professor telling you about another homework assignment.
Sound familiar? Time for a solution!
Hello, my fellow Type A overachievers! You’re not alone in your desire to do it all and maintain a busy schedule. With this need comes the side effect of struggling to juggle everything at once. This is why I want to talk about mind mapping.
How it works:
Mind maps can be used to organize anything in a visual way. I personally enjoy using the app iThought, but find that mind mapping on paper is just as useful if that’s your style. Honestly, this method for organizing your thoughts and plans can be a lifesaver. It works by starting with your main topic or subject in the middle of the page and then expand your plan outward like a brainstorm map. By doing this with your goals and plans, you can visually see everything you have to do and how it connects to the different aspects of your life. Below are the different lifestyle maps I use in order to help you get started!
Life Map: The first map I recommend making is the overall “Life Map”. This is where you write down all your commitments. As a college student, this can be all your different classes, extracurriculars, internships, jobs, or anything else that you have on your to-do list. By having a general map of everything going on in your life, you can confront all the things you have taken on as a whole. This method also allows you to break down all your commitments into smaller tasks in order to visualize the time commitment and responsibilities for each involvement. By having everything preplanned out, you can spend more time working toward accomplishing your goals, instead of worrying how you will complete each one.
Educational map: Especially for anyone trying to find a visual way of understanding a concept, mapping out the information presented in your classes can be a great way to learn. These maps can show you how vocabulary and concepts connect together. It, also, can help you visualize any processes you are learning about in class. Another way educational maps can be helpful is using them to break down individual tasks for group projects. By clearly laying out who is responsible for what, you can make expectations clear from the beginning.
Inspiration map: This is your own personal quote map. This map can come in handy on those days when you need some quick motivation or inspiration. The Inspiration map can be a great way of designating a single spot to write down all your inspirational quotes and visually see how all your quotes connect to your different struggles. Also, you can break up your inspirational quotes into different sections on your map to quickly access certain ones.
Ideas map: This can be great for keeping your stream of great ideas close while also maintaining focus on your current task. This map is simply a place to store your ideas and build off of them. Since mind mapping allows you to easily build on topics and connect them to one another, you can store your ideas in one place and see how far you can build on them before acting on your idea.
Overall these maps can help you keep your mind clear in order to be more productive! I hope these tips help and happy mapping:)