This issue we’re focusing the mind on an essential creative and organisational technique for studying members and practitioners alike – mind mapping.
Like to be more creative at work?
Marketers can be logical, analytical left-brainers or free-thinking, intuitive right-brainers. Often we are expected to be both. Find out which you are by entering our Brain Awareness Week Prize Draw. If you’re not as creative as you’d like to be, try using mind maps to get your creative juices going. Here’s how:
- Centre first: Our linear, left-brain education system has taught us to start in the upper left-hand corner of a page. Resist! Mind mapping begins with a word or image that represents what you want to think about placed in the middle of the page.
- Lighten up! Let go of the idea of writing the perfect exam answer or writing the perfect report for a few minutes. Mind mapping is a brain-dumping process that helps stimulate ideas and connections. As thoughts emerge, jot down one or two word descriptions on lines branching from the centre.
- Think fast: Your brain works best in 5-7 minute bursts so capture that explosion of ideas as rapidly as possible. Key words, symbols and images provide a mental short-hand to help you record ideas as quickly as possible.
- Break boundaries: Break through the mentality that says you have to write on white, A4 paper with black ink. Turn the paper on its side, use bright pens, or stand on one leg!
- No ideas are bad ideas: Put down everything that comes to mind even if it is completely unrelated. Otherwise your mind can get stuck in a rut and you’ll never get those useful ideas out.
- Keep moving: Keep your hand moving. If ideas slow down, draw empty lines, and watch your brain automatically find ideas to put on them. Or change colours to re-energize your mind.
- Organise only if it comes naturally: Sometimes you see relationships and connections immediately and you can add sub-branches to a main idea. Sometimes you don’t, so you just connect the ideas to the central focus. Organisation can always come later; the first requirement is to get the ideas out of your head and onto the paper.
Source: Greater London-CIM