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Whether you are thinking about how you are going to achieve a qualification while juggling all your other priorities or whether you are working on a project within your personal job role, mind mapping will help assist you in organising all your thoughts on to one piece of paper (some might be larger than others).  Mind mapping can be a useful exercise in visually seeing and building on information that is affecting the direction in which you wish to be heading.  By placing your main idea (where you want to be) in the center of the paper, and then having lines coming off this box which start to become you field of mind thought.  Think about it like a map of streets with various directions and how they connect back up again.

Your information in your mind map will eventually all have connections to each other.  For example, if studying is your central box, think about one of the stems off this box as Support – who will support you with your studying, will it be family, partner and or friends?.  Another stem would be Time Management – how will you manage your time for studying, when, where and how?  Another stem might include Resources – What books do I need, what reading  techniques do I need help with understanding – second language, would I need further English support? – where will I get this help/support? back to family and friends maybe?, how long will it take, can I fit it in my busy schedule (Time Management) ?.

Now see how the connections start to build. Another stem = Finances – How will I pay to study (working – when, how, where?) , how much will it cost to study, how long is the duration of the course, what resources do I need? – See more connections are now building.  The idea is once you have populated your mind map it visually allows you see what you need to do to be able to fulfill your desire to study (as per this example).  From here you can then start to plan and make good informed decisions from what is presented in front of you.  You can ask family and friends to help, you can work enough to be able to cover the financial aspects, you can plan your time so that it can all be achievable.   Mind mapping is not a static document, you can build and add to your mind map, it is limitless and hopefully it may produce some innovative concepts that you had not thought of previously.   Give it a go, you might surprise yourself how this simple and adaptable tool can help you in many ways.

Jill Coates-Erkan

Advanced Diploma Trainer and Assessor