4 Steps to Time Control – Get a Grip On Your Workload

October 2nd, 2012

Walking into the office on a Monday, you’re already performing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how you’ll get through your task list for the week, only to be confronted by twenty equally urgent and demanding emails, messages and the phone ringing off the hook. Sound familiar?

Managing the bombardment of info you receive everyday and juggling the resulting tasks is in itself a full time job. There just aren’t enough hours in the day – so what can you do? Well, you can start by creating more hours.

Using Mind Maps can streamline your working week and improve productivity by 20% – that means you can gain an extra working day every week!

How can Mind Mapping save me time?

One of the simplest and most effective ways to use Mind Mapping and boost your productivity is to begin each week by spending half an hour creating a Mind Map version of a to do list. This will give you a snapshot overview of your tasks that you can prioritise according to deadlines and importance. Having it laid out visually can also help you split your workload into realistic chunks of time.

1. Begin by creating a central idea with the date at the centre.

2. Add on main branches for key tasks or projects that you need to accomplish or work on that week.

3. From these main branches, draw child branches with names, events, sub-tasks, deadlines or other keywords that make up the specific actions needed to complete the bigger task.

4. Look for links between different tasks. Does one task directly impact another? Draw relationship arrows to demonstrate this.

Weekly Task Map

As you build your Mind Map you can get a clear picture of your workload and view each task objectively. You can determine what’s important and what’s not, see how certain projects will relate and impact on other tasks, and block your time to achieve optimum productivity.

The Mind Map format means you can see the whole picture in one glance, which can be invaluable when time is short. Whilst your colleagues are tearing their hair out, lost in the scribbles of their messy To Do List, you can maintain a serene air of calm and control as you know exactly what needs doing and where you are with it.

Now here’s the kicker… If you need to be completely ruthless with your time, follow on with optional steps number 5 and 6…

5. What is the main goal of your job right now? Is it to generate revenue, satisfy customers or ensure product quality? Figure out one key goal and replace the date in the centre of your map with it.

Generate Revenue

6. Review the tasks on your map. How many directly correspond to the goal in the centre?

Any tasks that will not help you achieve that goal, delete them.

It sounds brutal, and it is, but it is also a very good cleansing exercise to help you re-focus and give you more time to spend where it matters. So much time is wasted by just assuming that something has to be done; that it’s important because it is part of the routine.

Get ruthless and take courage from the knowledge that if anyone demands to know why you have decided not to do a certain report, or attend a particular meeting, you can say that you are focusing your time on something far more beneficial for the company.

Have a go at using Mind Mapping instead of your usual To Do List and try making time bend to your will for a change.

Download iMindMap’s free desktop trial today to get started.

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  1. Abdullahi TLI, TSLI


  2. alistair

    Can you import your own graphic for the Central Idea,or can you only use the ones supplied.

    • ThinkBuzan

      Hi Alistair – yes you can import your own image files to use for Central Ideas. You can also copy and paste images from files or webpages.

  3. Barry Hall

    When I have compleated my MindMap how do I send it by email to my computer at work?
    Kind regards

  4. Barry Hall

    Thanks I don’t subscribe to to iMindMap Freedom, all I want to do is send my map by email to my computer at work I don’t understand .imx file?
    Thanks Barry

    • ThinkBuzan

      Hi Barry,

      An imx file is an iMindMap file. When you finish a map and save it to a location on your computer (File > Save), it will be saved as an imx file. To send this to yourself at work, simply select Attach in the email window and browse to the location on your computer where you saved your map and select it. This should now be attached to your email. Once you’ve sent the email to your work address, you can open it on your work computer and open the map in iMindMap. If you have any issues, please let us know.

  5. Yesu

    If need to send an iMindmap file (By e mail) which having links, Images and Notes etc what format is best to use? Other person does not have iMindmap Software.

    Will he be able to see all detaisl including links, Images and Notes?

    • ThinkBuzan

      Hi Yesu,

      You can send an image version of the map by exporting to image (File > Export > Image), but without having iMindMap he will not be able to access features of the software, like links or notes. However, he can download iMindMap Basic for free here – http://www.thinkbuzan.com/download.

  6. Peter

    Good graphs. Thank you. I have been using what you refer to as a TO DO LIST and I break it down by main subject, then order of importance under each subject heading and then i go back to identify the importance of each heading as it relates to my business development.
    Of course you are right in that it takes focus to be brutal to stick to the plan re the order of importance.
    Thank you for your layout ideas.
    Just great

  7. Can I use iMindmap cloud on my cellphone

    • Elinor

      Hi David,
      Many thanks for your comment.
      If you have an iMindMap Cloud and Mobile subscription, you can get the premium features on the mobile and tablet apps.
      Go to app.imindmap.com and create your user id, sign in to the app to access the cloud and premium features.

      To download the iMindMap mobile and tablet apps, please navigate to the ThinkBuzan website: http://thinkbuzan.com/products/imindmap/#Cloud

      Many thanks

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