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May 26, 2022

What’s going on in your *life* mind map?

by Caragh Medlicott posted in Ayoa, Quick Tips.

Ayoa | What’s going on in your *life* mind map?
Is there anything more intimidating than organising your own life? As tasks go, making sure everything is as you’d like it to be in your daily life is a pretty big deal.

Oftentimes, it’s easy to let things tick by without stopping to take stock. Or, you can get lost in the abstract idea of future ambitions, and miss out on the here and now. As John Lennon said: “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” So if you’re looking to live with intention and achieve the things you want, keep reading to find out how mind mapping can help you make the most of every moment.

Understand what you want

Now I don’t mean what you want in a grandiose way. Forget lottery wins or luxurious holidays, to make the most out of life you need to understand what you want from your day-to-day – something which isn’t always simple. Mind maps perfectly facilitate unpicking problems and unlocking ideas. If you’re not entirely sure what your perfect day would look like, start by breaking things down into the things you like about your daily life and the things you don’t. From there, you can look at how you can maximise the good stuff and streamline the bad. And, if there are new things you’d like to add in to make your days better, you can do that, too. With the added visual element of a mind map, working out tricky emotional concepts becomes much easier – and the mind map naturally flows with your brain so that you can easily identify what you truly want to make life better.

Prioritise what matters

Prioritising what matters sounds like an obvious step, but even if you’re a whizz at being organised at work, people tend to be more reactive in their home lives. If you’re more likely to do chores before having people over, or go to the gym the day after overindulging, you’re probably not really working towards your true priorities and are, instead, reacting to your environment. Figuring out what matters most to you (and I really mean you) is of paramount importance. If you’re aiming for a big promotion, working hours might be the most important at the moment. If you’re planning on entering a race or sports competition, maybe training takes top bill. If you’re looking to create more work-life balance in your day-to-day, perhaps your priority is a new hobby or wellbeing activity done out of work hours. Whatever the case, try using a mind map to break down what really matters to you, and then section off related branches to build the rest of your routine and necessities around the heart of that priority – so you never lose sight of your real goal.

Hack life admin

Life admin is rarely fun, whether it’s paying bills, doing chores or budgeting, some parts of life are necessary but not enjoyable (which is why we often put them off). It may seem that there’s no way around these tasks, and while to some extent that’s true, you can certainly make things easier by streamlining life admin and “hack” it so that it’s faster and more efficient. Instead of having a single chore day, or leaving everything until the absolute last minute, why not try thinking of fun and more agile ways you can weave life admin into your everyday routine. Whether it’s listening to an audiobook while washing up – or coming up with a new system for paying your bills. Mind mapping is a great way to come up with systems that never occurred to you while running through your bog-standard to do list. Plus, with the added AI functionality in Ayoa you can get related ideas generated instantly, to help you “hack” life admin with an extra boost from machine intelligence.

Appreciate the here and now

You’ll likely have encountered the mindfulness craze which has swept the world in the last few years. Despite a woo-woo reputation, mindfulness simply refers to the act of being mindful of the present moment. It’s all too easy to keep going over past events or worrying about future ones all at the cost of missing the here and now. Mindfulness is associated with better memory and increased emotional regulation. One easy way to make sure you’re enjoying your everyday life is to practise daily gratitude. Using your mind map to practise gratitude – or, “gratitude mapping”, as it’s sometimes called – is a brilliant way to do just this. As opposed to journaling which can sometimes become mechanical and even boring, mind mapping is a visual medium allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the experience of gratitude. Plus, with more space to capture your feelings of gratitude and appreciation, you can see the highlights of your week at a glance using a single mind map. Keeping you always on the bright side of life.

Caragh Medlicott

Caragh Medlicott is a freelance writer and interim Editor of Wales Arts Review. After graduating with a First-Class Honours degree in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University she began a full-time writing career in Wales. She is the author of several published short stories and was shortlisted for the Lunate 500 award in December 2020, and a finalist in Narrative’s 30 Below competition in 2021. She is a regular contributor to BBC Wales' The Review Show.

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