So it's almost the end of the year and hopefully you've got some 'down time' organised.

One of the ways to help clear your mind is by doing some mind mapping.

Mind mapping is a great technique to release thoughts. By connecting our seemingly disparate ideas and thoughts, mind maps create a visual disruption of the usual linear format we typically use when we write. Just like the brain, they intuitively connect what hierarchically makes sense in a semantic network.

Mind mapping organises initially unorganisable thoughts so that we can move on. While things may not be fully or even partially resolved, mapping allows us to free up our mind to do other things.

When I’ve had a big day with lots of ideas swimming around in my head I can find falling asleep a challenge. If on the rare nights I haven’t managed a physical activity to unwind after the day and am still unable to stop thinking about what keeps my mind busy, mind mapping is my failsafe strategy for getting to sleep. My experience is that it enables the conscious, subconscious and unconscious parts of the brain to work together to make sense of the stuff that’s floating around in my head, be it an overload of random thoughts about everything and nothing or about a particular issue. If you’ve ever shown someone a mind map of your thinking without explaining what it means, they won’t be able to - literally - get the picture. Naturally, it makes perfect sense to you.

The more you map your thoughts, the more you start to see the relationships between and the purpose behind your thoughts and ideas. It becomes easier to focus and articulate a direction and purpose of what you are doing, which is vital also if you’re working with others. Mind maps enable you to clearly communicate your thoughts to yourself so you don’t have to out-guess yourself as to what you’re on about.

I find that mind mapping is not just a great way of clearing the mind, it’s the perfect tool for capturing the ideas and mapping parts of a business you want to be creative about. If you were, say in the retail clothing business, you could use a mind map to map the customer service touch point experiences a customer would go through in a store. The applications are endless yet the value is the same, giving you an understanding of how things relate and therefore allowing you to clear your mind of the clutter.

It's worth reading up more on mind mapping from the man who coined the term Tony Buzan.

Here's a link to find out about all the great software out there to mind map digitally.mind mapping software

Have fun.



Innovation architect