When we say the words ‘mind map’ you might be instantly transported back to school, where you were forced to sit in groups and add increasingly random thoughts to a spiders web of colour. Well, we’re sorry to say that, while the sometimes pointless nature of classroom mind maps has been left behind, the premise itself has not – and more and more businesses are seeing the advantages of mind maps in their day to day running.
Why Mind Map Your Business?
The modern business person is incredibly busy – between answering the phone, attending meetings, writing up paperwork and actually doing their job – and this leaves little time for planning and thinking. Taking some time out to let your thoughts flow and your brain recover can be incredibly beneficial, and this is the time you should use to review and improve your business. If you own your own business, or are high up in the chain, it’s vital that you keep generating new and creative ideas. Mind mapping is a great way to:
- Gain clarity around your thinking. They are a great solution if you are feeling overwhelmed with ideas and suggestions, and need to find a way to join them together.
- Plan around projects. This helps if you aren’t sure where to start with a project or a particularly daunting set of tasks.
- Let your creative side out. Break away from the normal routine and get creative to generate new and exciting ideas for the business.
- Structure and organise. When a new project lands on your desk, it can sometimes be difficult to sift through it all and figure out what belongs where.
- But most of all, remember to have fun with it. Letting yourself go and writing down every idea (even the silly ones) will open up more possibilities and let you enjoy some time away from the daily grind.
So, How Do I Get Started?
Step 1: Decide on the topic for your mind map. It could be an objective (like ‘increase sales’), a topic or even just your companies name. The topic should be the base the everything in your mind map comes back to.
Step 2: Grab a piece of A2 or A3 piece of paper and turn it to landscape. Find all the coloured pens you can find and draw an image in the centre of the page that describes what you are working on. Don’t worry if you aren’t the most artistic – this is just for you so let your imagination go.
Step 3: Start to draw multiple branches going away from the image in the centre. These should each be ideas for progressing your goal. They could be ideas for building a website, new marketing strategies, a restructure in the business – anything related to your central topic.
Step 4: From those main few branches, start drawing individual twigs. These twigs break your topics and ideas down into sub topics, helping you understand your goals and processes more clearly. You can repeat this break down as many times as you need to until you are happy with the results. You can make your mind map as colourful, themed and interesting as you like – anything you need to do to get your mind free and exploring new ideas.
It really is as easy as that! Just a piece of paper and a few pens can open up a whole new world of business thinking. So give it a try, and let us know what comes of your mind mapping sessions!