Have you ever felt mentally constipated, a state in which you are trying hard to think of solutions or creative ideas but your mind just refuses to co-operate? This can occur due to various reasons. Your mind has either tired out or the task that is demanding your brain to function doesn’t have your interest, or there are multiple things on your mind that are making it difficult for you to focus. Whatever be the reason, we all experience this mind block quite often. Taking a break definitely helps, but sometimes you might need more than just a break to get your mind thinking. This is where mind mapping comes into the picture.
Mind mapping is in itself a creative activity/exercise to help one to think creatively. It is visual in nature and helps one to approach a solution or idea creatively by the use of mental images. Mind mapping involves either noting down, drawing or scribbling an object closely or fairly related to the main subject at the centre of the paper and then expanding on it.
Mind mapping is especially helpful for content creators who are always on the lookout for creating engaging content. For best results, here are a few helpful steps to go about the exercise.
Take a blank paper and some coloured pens. Draw an object in the middle of the paper which relates to the main theme or problem. For example, if you are told by your employer to come up with a social media activity for women’s day to drive engagement, you can start by drawing certain elements related to women like lipsticks, heels, purses, shopping, etc.
Once you are done scattering all the elements that you can possibly think of related to your topic, start picking out the keywords/key elements that catch your attention the most. You can later rewrite or bolden the keywords you choose to go ahead with, like for example a purse or shopping.
Further, start thinking of sub-elements or sub-keywords related to the keywords you pick. For example, if you choose a purse, then start drawing everything related to a purse, like pepper spray, deodorant, scarf, a compact, etc. Chances are that you might develop an idea around a woman’s purse and its importance in her life and plan your social media activity around it for women’s day.
While this is a very generic example of how mind mapping works, it helps in a much larger way. Make sure you use the least amount of words and avoid using sentences altogether. Try using bright colours instead of using a normal pen or pencil as colours stimulate the mind and help in thinking actively.
The idea of map mapping might seem lame at first due to the fact that it doesn’t involve a structured and linear process of problem-solving, but it will definitely work wonders if you decide to give it a shot. To practice mind mapping, you don’t need to be good with words nor art. You just need to have a willingness to try out an activity to be able to analyze and solve a particular problem or to generate creative ideas/pitches.
Mind mapping can be used by anyone and everyone for multiple reasons right from studying, memorizing, problem-solving, understanding complex concepts, pitching/presenting ideas or just simple brainstorming. Mind mapping helps in structuring thoughts when you see ideas revolving around one main theme scattered all over the paper, it helps the mind in navigating all the important streets of the main theme leaving very little chance of you skipping the important aspects. It helps in untangling all the messed up thoughts and helps in getting a clear idea. It also helps in honing ones thinking, problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
There aren’t many who are aware of this unconventional method of cracking down the creative block, but the ones that are aware of it, will speak highly of this activity because it is not just worth trying, but worth adopting.