Drawing Your Way Out of Procrastination

One of the main causes of procrastination is confusion about what to do next. When we do not know the best next, small, discreet step we can take to move a project forward, we become overwhelmed with details, lost in possibilities, or stymied by what seem to be insurmountable obstacles.

The cure is remarkably easy: mind mapping. A mind map is like an outline. Both let us break big ideas into smaller chunks and break these chunks into even smaller ones. But an outline is harder to work with because it is linear (A, i, ii, 1, 2, iii, B…up and down the page), tough to rearrange, and heavy with text. Outlines force us to think about topics from top to bottom.

And if we could do that, we wouldn’t be overwhelmed, lost, or stymied!

By its graphical nature, a mind map lets us think through things better. It is more open and more visual. It helps us group ideas graphically across the page and it makes moving ideas around a snap. Mind maps let our ideas unfold completely. They help us brainstorm, see the big picture, and not lose any details. And they make navigating and communicating our ideas much simpler.

Next time you find yourself stuck, try mind mapping.


In your corner,


PS: Mind mapping works great for team brainstorming and planning, too.

PPS: Here is an overview of mind mapping and how to build a mind map.

PPPS: You can draw mind maps on paper or a white board. I prefer using apps such as SimpleMind on my laptop, projected on the wall for team work, or on my smartphone.

PPPPS: The mathematically minded will see that a mind map and an outline are basically identical structures. But the visual aspects of mind maps make them so much more effective.


Today’s photo credit: Chris Gladis cc

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