How To Set Productive Goals Using Mind Maps

Whether it’s getting fit, learning a new skill, setting KPIs or developing a business strategy — goal-setting is an integral part of our personal and professional lives. 

But how many times have you set goals and failed to achieve them?

It’s certainly not enough to jot down your goals on a piece of paper. What you need is a more organized approach and a realistic action plan. One of the most effective techniques you can turn to for goal-setting is mind maps.

This powerful visualization tool helps you organize your thoughts, make meaningful associations and continually track progress, enabling you to set (and achieve) productive goals. 

Let’s take a look at how you can use mind maps to set goals in five simple steps. 

Brainstorm goals

The first step is to brainstorm all the possible goals you want to achieve. Jot down everything that comes to your mind. 

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What does success look like to you?
  • What drives you?
  • Where do you see yourself (or your business) in 5 to 10 years?

Asking the right questions will help you discover and brainstorm meaningful goals. At this stage, don’t think about how realistic or achievable they are — just focus on getting all your thoughts out on paper. 

Establish focus areas

By this point, you should have a laundry list of goals. While traditional goal-setting ends here, this is where the mind-mapping technique begins. 

When you go through every goal, you’ll start identifying common focus areas. For instance, if you’re setting business goals for your newly found startup, the key areas of focus are likely to be financial, marketing, and recruitment goals.

So, find common threads and establish key focus areas that will give your goal-setting exercise some direction and simplify task management

Make meaningful associations

Now that you have the key focus areas laid out, categorize the broad-level goals and assign them under their respective specific areas.

For example, if one of the goals you wrote was strengthening your website marketing or content strategy, put that under ‘marketing’. Similarly, setting up a campus hiring plan will sit under ‘recruitment and human resources’. 

This process of divergent thinking and making associations helps you visualize your thoughts better without getting overwhelmed. 

Create action plans 

The best goals are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. 

“Increase revenue” might be one of your broad goals but you can’t leave it at that. It’s essential to drill it down further and turn it into a SMART goal. 

“Increase revenue by 30% in 6 months” on the other hand is an example of a SMART goal.

So, look into every branch and set specific action plans with timelines for each of the goals. A detailed plan will pave the way for a clearer roadmap to success.

Monitor progress

Once you’ve broken down goals into actionable tasks using mind maps, you’re in a better position to dive right into it without wasting time or overthinking. 

That’s not all, this productivity tool also gives you the flexibility to add or remove tasks as you proceed while monitoring progress along the way. 

It’s a good idea to take a print out of the mind map and paste it where you can see it everyday or save it as an image on your phone so you’re constantly reminded of your goals.

Conclusion

There’s a lot we may want to achieve but the only way to make that happen is by setting productive goals — and mind maps help you get there. 

So, work smart — use mind maps to visualize and attain your goals in an organized manner.

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By: Simki Dutta

Simki Dutta is a content marketer at Venngage, a free infographic maker and design platform. When she’s not working, she can be found refreshing her Twitter feed and binge-watching Netflix shows.  

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3 Things Successful People Do To Leverage Failure (Infographic) – Terina Allen

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I am scared way more often than I am brave. I am uncomfortable much more frequently than I am comfortable. I am unsure about so much more than I am certain of. I have dropped many more balls than I have ever caught, and I have failed at more initiatives than I have succeeded. And it is because of this, not in spite of it, that I thrive. We know that successful people, like everyone else, make mistakes, feel pain, quit, cry, lose and have all the same insecurities and self doubts that all human beings experience. We know success is not synonymous with perfection………………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/terinaallen/2018/11/16/successful-people-leverage-failure/#45e8907072bc

 

 

 

 

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The Scientific Argument For Waking Up Early – Leon Biss

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If you want to become elite at what you do, you need to consistently get better. High performance is all about putting in more and “reps.” Doing the same workout every day won’t make you stronger or faster. Just showing up to work every day and doing your job won’t make you better at your job. It’s been shown that most doctors become worse at their job over their career. They are at their height when they come out of medical school and slowly get worse over time…….

Read more: https://medium.com/thrive-global/the-scientific-argument-for-waking-up-early-b3d93c4d74cd

 

 

 

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How to Stop Wasting Your Life Watching TV & Do Something Worthwhile With Your Downtime – Elizabeth Grace Saunders

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You get home from work, eat dinner, clean up, flop on the couch, and doze off watching TV or mess with your phone. Then you repeat the same routine Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Before you know it, you’ve hit the weekend, and it felt like all you did all week was work. In reality, you had an hour or two to do whatever you wanted each night. But because you didn’t consciously invest that time in meaningful or satisfying activities, every day felt like a grind……

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90244574/how-to-stop-wasting-your-life-watching-tv-do-something-worthwhile-with-your-downtime

 

 

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The Annoying Habits of Highly Effective People – bartleby

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ONE of the time-honoured tropes of writing on business is the detailed description of the life of a corporate titan. Readers are expected to marvel at the stamina of Tim Cook, for example. Apple’s chief executive rises at 3.45am to deal with emails. Spare a thought for his underlings, whose iPhones buzz at 4am every morning. Some subordinates may have the fortitude to sleep through it all; many will be guilt-tripped into answering the boss. Highly effective people often inflict all their idiosyncrasies upon their hapless juniors…….

Read more: https://www.economist.com/business/2018/09/29/the-annoying-habits-of-highly-effective-people

 

 

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9 Odd Morning Rituals That Will Supercharge Your Day – Bryan Collins

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Would you like to get out of the starting blocks faster when your alarm clock sounds? If so, you need a morning ritual or routine you adhere to without question. Beethoven, for example, went for an early morning walk each day with a pocket notebook to capture ideas before composing. He did all right. In The Creative Habit, American choreographer Twyla Tharp explained, “It’s Pavlovian: Follow the routine, (and) get a creative pay off. So what rituals can you follow to rise up and start the day the right way?…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryancollinseurope/2018/09/20/9-odd-morning-rituals-that-will-supercharge-your-day/#636290ac7a8e

 

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22 Microhabits That Will Completely Change Your Life In A Year – Brianna Wiest

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Breakthroughs don’t change your life. Microhabits do.Benjamin Hardy compares this concept to compounding interest, and how, given the choice, most people would take $1,000,000 in their bank account right now as opposed to a penny that doubles in value over the course of the month.What most people don’t realize is that those who take the big payout end up with significantly less money than those who opt for the cent per day…..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/briannawiest/2018/09/18/22-microhabits-that-will-completely-change-your-life-in-2-years/#15a337731035

 

 

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18 Things You Need To Give Up To Become A High Achieving Person – Brianna Wiest

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A secret about success is that it is just as much about what you give up as what you gain. Are you willing to give up late nights out for late nights in working? Are you willing to turn a deaf ear to blind criticisms? Are you willing to listen to helpful ones? Are you going to be able to give up the doubt, the resistance, the uncertainty, the avoidance mechanisms? As Mastin Kipp says: Are you willing to live as other people won’t, so maybe you can live as other people can’t? High achieving people understand that the foundation of life is the white space – and that because our energy is limited each day, what we spend it on will define us in the future…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/briannawiest/2018/03/20/18-things-you-need-to-give-up-to-become-a-high-achieving-person/#7f172e1211fa

 

 

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Why Sitting May Be Bad for Your Brain – Gretchen Reynolds

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Sitting for hours without moving can slow the flow of blood to our brains, according to a cautionary new study of office workers, a finding that could have implications for long-term brain health. But getting up and strolling for just two minutes every half-hour seems to stave off this decline in brain blood flow and may even increase it.

Delivering blood to our brains is one of those automatic internal processes that most of us seldom consider, although it is essential for life and cognition. Brain cells need the oxygen and nutrients that blood contains, and several large arteries constantly shuttle blood up to our skulls.

Because this flow is so necessary, the brain tightly regulates it, tracking a variety of physiological signals, including the levels of carbon dioxide in our blood, to keep the flow rate within a very narrow range.

But small fluctuations do occur, both sudden and lingering, and may have repercussions. Past studies in people and animals indicate that slight, short-term drops in brain blood flow can temporarily cloud thinking and memory, while longer-term declines are linked to higher risks for some neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia.

Other research has shown that uninterrupted sitting dampens blood flow to various parts of the body. Most of those studies looked at the legs, which are affected the most by our postures, upright or not. Stay seated for several hours, and blood flow within the many blood vessels of the legs can slacken.

Whether a similar decline might occur in the arteries carrying blood to our brains was not known, however.

So for the new study, which was published in June in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers at Liverpool John Moores University in England gathered 15 healthy, adult, male and female office workers.

The scientists wanted to recruit people who habitually spent time at a desk since, for them, long hours of sitting would be normal.

The researchers asked these men and women to visit the university’s performance lab on three separate occasions. During each, they were fitted with specialized headbands containing ultrasound probes that would track blood flow through their middle cerebral arteries, one of the main vessels supplying blood to the brain.

They also breathed briefly into masks that measured their carbon dioxide levels at the start of the session, so that scientists could see whether levels of that gas might be driving changes in brain blood flow. Blood carbon dioxide levels can be altered by changes in breathing, among many other factors

Then the men and women spent four hours simulating office time, sitting at a desk and reading or working at a computer.

During one of these sessions, they never rose unless they had to visit the bathroom, which was close by.

During another visit, they were directed to get up every 30 minutes and move onto a treadmill set up next to their desks. They then walked for two minutes at whatever pace felt comfortable, with an average, leisurely speed of about two miles an hour.

In a final session, they left their chairs only after two hours, but then walked on the treadmills for eight minutes at the same gentle pace.

Scientists tracked the blood flow to their brains just before and during each walking break, as well as immediately after the four hours were over. They also rechecked people’s carbon dioxide levels during those times.

As they had expected, brain blood flow dropped when people sat for four continuous hours. The decline was small but noticeable by the end of the session.

It was equally apparent when people broke up their sitting after two hours, although blood flow rose during the actual walking break. It soon sank again, the ultrasound probes showed, and was lower at the end of that session than at its start.

But brain blood flow rose slightly when the four hours included frequent, two-minute walking breaks, the scientists found.

Interestingly, none of these changes in brain blood flow were dictated by alterations in breathing and carbon dioxide levels, the scientists also determined. Carbon dioxide levels had remained steady before and after each session.

So something else about sitting and moving was affecting the movement of blood to the brain.

Of course, this study was small and short-term and did not look into whether the small declines in blood flow to people’s brains while they sat impaired their ability to think.

It also was not designed to tell us whether any impacts on the brain from hours of sitting could accumulate over time or if they are transitory and wiped away once we finally do get up from our desks for the day.

But the results do provide one more reason to avoid sitting for long, uninterrupted stretches of time, says Sophie Carter, a doctoral student at Liverpool John Moores University, who led the study.

They also offer the helpful information that breaks can be short but should be recurrent.

“Only the frequent two-minute walking breaks had an overall effect of preventing a decline in brain blood flow,” she says.

So consider setting your computer or phone to beep at you every half-hour and get up then, she suggests. Stroll down the hall, take the stairs to visit a restroom a floor above or below your own, or complete a few easy laps around your office.

Your brain just might thank you years from now, when you’re no longer tied to that office chair.

 

 

 

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Tsundoku: The Art of Buying Books & Never Reading Them

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Do you have a habit of picking up books that you never quite get around to reading? If this sounds like you, you might be unwittingly engaging in tsundoku – a Japanese term used to describe a person who owns a lot of unread literature.

Prof Andrew Gerstle teaches pre-modern Japanese texts at the University of London. He explained to the BBC the term might be older than you think – it can be found in print as early as 1879, meaning it was likely in use before that.

The word “doku” can be used as a verb to mean “reading”. According to Prof Gerstle, the “tsun” in “tsundoku” originates in “tsumu” – a word meaning “to pile up”. So when put together, “tsundoku” has the meaning of buying reading material and piling it up.”The phrase ‘tsundoku sensei’ appears in text from 1879 according to the writer Mori Senzo,” Prof Gerstle explained. “Which is likely to be satirical, about a teacher who has lots of books but doesn’t read them.”

While this might sound like tsundoku is being used as an insult, Prof Gerstle said the word does not carry any stigma in Japan. Bibliomania is the title of a 19th Century novel by Thomas Frognall Dibdin which claimed to explore “book madness” – the act of being unable to stop collecting literature.

By his definition, those afflicted with bibliomania were obsessed with unique books such as first editions and illustrated copies. But two centuries later, the term would no longer be about obsession – according to Oxford University Press, it has been shifted to “passionate enthusiasm” about collecting.