mind maps

7 Mind Maps for Self-Growth

As you wake in the morning, try to hold on to your dreams and note them down. Stay in tune with your creative brain – Tony Buzan

P

rofessionally speaking, some weeks I find myself going through the motions and not thinking critically about how I am spending my time and what I hope to achieve during that week. These weeks are usually the weeks where imminent deadlines are upon me. I am just focused on meeting the deadlines. It is easy to be lured away from your own professional roadmap.
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I don’t like this feeling. I notice this in myself and use mind mapping as a mechanism to dig myself out of this hole whenever I need to. Let’s say you are completely under water at work, you are temporarily immobilized by the stress and do not know your next move, do this – create a mind map like this one.
 
www.mindomo.com

Courtesy of Mindomo.com

Spending the time to think through all the things on your plate can be calming. You have to make a date with yourself and cut out all noise from other people including phone calls and emails for about 30 minutes to an hour to really pull this off. Thinking about your commitments forces you to figure out your true deliverables—what you owe someone else. It also forces you to determine what is most important, what is less important, and what can wait or be cancelled. This mind map can be used in times of severe schedule trauma however I don’t like to spend my days in this state of emergency and I’m guessing you don’t either. You are in luck because here are 7 mind maps that will help you get back on track in your personal and professional life and ultimately back in charge of your actions:
 

Maps to help you understand your current self

  1. Create a “Who I am/ who I am not” mind map. This mind map is a great tool for gaining feedback from others about yourself. Complete the map yourself before sharing it with anyone. Here is a starter map for you. Perhaps you may feel that you are not the most assertive person so you put assertiveness in your “who I am not” column. However when you ask others about your assertiveness they wholly disagree with you. Perhaps you are more critical on yourself than others.
    Courtesy of Mindomo

    Starter Map – Courtesy of Mindomo.com

  2. Create a mind map to store your personality test results. Who doesn’t like to think about themselves? I have my own Enneagram results stored in a mind map for easy access. During these times where I feel like I am treading water I only have to open up this mind map to remember who I truly am and why I may feel like I am running in circles at that very moment.
    Enneagram Results - Courtesy of Mindomo.com

    Enneagram Results – Courtesy of Mindomo.com

  3. Create a mind map to catalog your current strengths and weaknesses. Be real with yourself. You can’t be great at everything. Force yourself to have this discussion with yourself and you will be glad you did. If you don’t know your own limitations you may inadvertently set yourself up for a future failure. Here is a starter strengths and weaknesses mind map.
    Strengths/Weaknesses - Courtesy of Mindomo.com

    Strengths/Weaknesses – Courtesy of Mindomo.com


Maps to help you understand your future self

  1. Create a mind map to plan and track your work week and your work month. This will help you to visualize how you want your week and month to happen. If you are not thinking about how you want it to go down, your week and month at work will happen to you, instead of you making things happen the way you want them to happen.
    Track your work week - Courtesy of Mindomo.com

    Track your work week – Courtesy of Mindomo.com

  2. Create a mind map to plan and track your personal goals for the year. Very much similar to planning your work week, this map will help you to set goals for yourself.
    Plan your personal goals - Courtesy of Mindomo.com

    Plan your personal goals – Courtesy of Mindomo.com

 

Maps to help you Understand Others

  1. Create a mind map to store your human connection points. Create a list of friends, co-workers, customers and potential customers. Now see how much you can remember about each person. Your potential customer may not remember your product the next time you talk but he may pay more attention if you remember the ages of his kids and that they like to go to Disney World once a year.
    Store Connections - Courtesy of Mindomo.com

    Store Connections – Courtesy of Mindomo.com

  2. Create a mind map to help you plan your next communication. When you truly plan a communication it forces you to think about the person you will be communicating to. If you need to set expectations with a subordinate at work and you know that person does not like to be managed it will make you think about your word choices when you sit down with him. Try to set up a feeling of teamwork instead of a feeling of “you do as I say.”
    Plan your next communication - Courtesy of Mindomo.com

    Plan your next communication – Courtesy of Mindomo.com

 
Certified Professional in IAM
 
Everyone likes to think about themselves. It is perfectly normal and needed if you hope to learn from your experiences. The trouble is that much of your introspection can be lost if it is not documented in some manner. Mind maps are documents that are easy and fun to create. But more than anything they are virtual documents just like MS Word documents that you can revisit any time you want to. You don’t need to keep your introspection documentation in your head at all times!
 

Michael Stratton
Michael Stratton has 15 years of experience as a business analyst, project manager and business owner. Over the years, Michael has consulted for Fortune 500 companies, Big 4 consulting firms, mid-size companies and many startups. He is a strong advocate for the clear identification of problems, requirements and processes before the purchase and implementation of technology solutions. Project managers are doers. Project managers make things happen. Project managers are some of the most valuable people in an organization. They know who’s doing what and when. They know what’s holding the company back (people, processes or technology). They have process improvement suggestions. They understand how to be efficient. They have industry knowledge. They understand many different business functions within an organization. They track information. They have insight and valuable knowledge geared to help company leaders achieve their vision through action. Organizations that listen to their Effective Project Managers succeed in the marketplace. It’s that simple. Michael has an M.S. in Technology Management from the University of Denver (2005) and a B.S. in Anthropology from the Missouri State University (1998).
  • Hi Michael, Thanks for this brilliant post. Well! i want to let you know that i really appreciate your idea. When i was reading this article, i just hold down and thought is this article written on me? I have faced the same situation which you have written above. I just got what i was looking for. Thanks.

    • I’m Not Alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy to hear this Christine.

  • Susan Gruber

    Excellent post. I also found a full blown site for latest version of PMBOK mind maps here at MindMapify dot com on project management. I used it continuously for 3 days before my PMP certification exam.

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