If you don`t know where you are heading, you will get nowhere

This is a short post about how I started structuring my life by utilizing mind maps. Sharing with you examples of how it looks for me and a recent result, that I have achieved by mind mapping and prioritization.

If you don`t know where you are heading, you will get nowhere
Photo by Jake Blucker / Unsplash

I have been living without any kind of planning, road mapping, and identifying my goals for almost 20 years of my life. It was always easier to go through a mindless slave cycle: get up, go to school/uni, go to additional classes, go training, come home, sleep and repeat. Once I started getting into work ethics and exploring digital/IT sphere, suddenly I understood, that is pointless to live like that. If I just move forward without minding wtf I am doing today for my better tomorrow, I will probably end up existing, not living. This is when I started to mind map my life and it has become a lighthouse for my future well-being.

How to do it?

There are thousands of ways to structure life, according to certain values, goals, and principles, that you have. I like to do it simply with a pen and notebook, the fastest-easiest way of mind mapping. I will share with you an example of a hand-written/drawn mind map and I have also prepared one in canva (forgive me for the ugly designs, the main point is to show the structure) because it should be easier to read. I am not a productivity expert, but this approach helps me to get things done.

Canva version - easier to read
Enhanced hand-written version

I break down every day of my life into 5 simple parts:

  1. Health
  2. Business/Work
  3. Finances
  4. Legal
  5. Create/Enjoy

Important note - they all are interrelated and this was one of the most valuable insights I came up with. If you fuck up your health, most likely you can not enjoy your life or succeed at work. If you forget about paying taxes, you will probably have some issues with the legal side and finances, and so on. However, sometimes, you need to draw more attention to certain parts of your life, but try to devote some to all of them EVERY day and it is much easier than you think.

How I benefitted from prioritization with a mind map

This month I was going through the process of saving my Georgian citizenship. Since I was born outside of Georgia, I have not acquired my citizenship status in time. Now it takes some effort to become a citizen of my country and there are certain steps, which I need to take. So, I had to:

1) fill out a questionnaire

2) visit Georgian Public Service Hall multiple times

3) get prepared for an interview or tests (Georgian language, history, and law)

3) go through an interview and then get desired ID card.

As you can see, it requires some time and preparation. For such situations, it is essential to have good prioritization skills, because you need to make the right decisions with precise timing. I decided to sacrifice some time I devote to my hobbies (mixing music, anime, and video games) and use it to prepare for an interview or tests and fresh-up my Georgian speaking skills. Of course, it paid off, now I am waiting on President`s signature and I am a Georgian citizen. If I would not add this to my mind map, I would have missed the opportunity to get citizenship status this year and in 2023 procedure may change and become more complicated, than it is now. I can not see anything, but benefits in this practice.

This concept may seem obvious to you, but often we deal with certain tasks only when it is burning all around and it becomes harder (both mentally and physically) to achieve what we want. Keep in mind, that in the modern day we have so much to do, and we are overabundant with opportunities, so it becomes easy to miss the best moment to take them. In this case, mind mapping and prioritizing what you need to do today, tomorrow, and the day after is a  non-negotiable game changer.

What is needed?

Notebook, pen, 30 minutes - that's it. I think it is not too much for your better future, even if you do it once and then drop, it is valuable. Your brain will snapshot created mind map and it will be there with you forever, even after reading this post you already have some tasks or habits, that you know you should do or follow, so why don't just keep up with that?

I believe that this concept of 5 sides applies to most of us, but maybe in a slightly different manner of prioritization. As you can see in the photo of my enhanced mind map it is essential to move from big blocks to smaller things, which then are converted to strategic goals - tasks and even habits. I will cover this in new posts, hopefully, it will help you to get the most out of mind mapping.

Thanks for reading out, if you like to hear more from me, please subscribe to my newsletter (button at the bottom-right). Would be great to take a look at any other ways of life-structuring techniques, please share them with me, or if there are any questions you can connect with me here:

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Have a great and productive week ahead, ladies and gents!