Categories | Features | Getting Things Done | Implementation | Software
A Community Contribution by Arif & Ali Vakil
I love GTD Connect. And within Connect, my favorite bit is the David Allen Teleseminars. In my early GTD days I would gets heaps of coaching and guidance from every single minute of the teleseminar. However recently it’s more of the stray comment that David mentions which gives me immense value and makes my entire Connect Membership totally worthwhile. One of those stray little things that David mentioned at a recent teleseminar is creating a “My World Mindmap”.
David Allen has a mindmap called DA’s World. He uses this to link everything in his life into one single overall mindmap. Using his cue, I’ve created one called Arif’s World, and below is a screenshot of that mindmap. (You can click on it to view it in full scale):
Some of the benefits I’ve received on creating and using this sort of mindmap have been:
1. One stop reference for everything in your world
As you can see I now have a one stop reference for everything to do in my world. If I want to peek into what’s my Area of Focus, I launch Arif’s World and then click on the 20,000 Ft Areas of Focus branch, which takes me to my Areas of Focus mindmap. If there’s something new that pops into my head that I’d like to do 2 years from now, I launch Arif’s World, enter into my 30,000 ft (2 to 3 year goal) mindmap and enter my new goal in there.
2. A place to park projects that have higher priority in the current week.
For me, the most useful branch of the Arif World mindmap has been the Current Projects branch. Although it involves a little double entry it’s been worthwhile for me to do so. I’ve got a minimum of 100 to 150 projects. There are times when that number can go up to 300. I find it difficult to keep focus on my key projects during the week. So a neat trick that I picked up from David is entering my high-priority projects once again in the Arif World mindmap. I do it in two instances, either when I’m doing my weekly review or during a regular day when a really hot, exciting new project pops into my life, I enter it into my project list as well as into My World mindmap.
3. A place to park “Areas of Focus” that need more attention.
Areas of Focus can broadly be divided into Work, Health, Family, Finance, Social Responsibility, Recreation & Creative Expression. You may have an Area of Focus that is not necessarily in cruise control and needs more um..focus. So, there’s a separate branch for Current Focus on the My World mindmap. To ensure that you look at it regularly enough, you may enter that particular Area of Focus in to the Current Focus branch of your world mindmap so that you look at it frequently enough to bring it up to the desired acceptable standard. For eg. your personal finances may not be at a very comfortable level. Sure, you may have a project to bring it up to the standard where you would like your finances to be, but you can also enter it in the Current Focus branch of your World mindmap to keep in view that, there is a particular standard.
4. I can create a world for any key area of my life.
I recently became a dad to a beautiful princess. David Allen says that managing each child is like managing a small little company of your own. And he’s so right. For the last month or so, I was constantly preoccupied with questions like, “Arif, you have to ensure that your baby gets her immunization shots on time, what about her education, oh you’ve also got to make your home baby safe now, blah blah”. And then it hit me, all I needed to do was create a World mindmap for my daughter. In that I can list out whatever are her long term goals, what are her current projects, etc. And of course, her World would be linked through mine. So under Arif’s World, I go to My Area of Focus mindmap. In my Area of Focus mindmap, I go to the “Family” branch, which has a sub-branch named Maryam (my daughter’s name) which then links to a completely new mindmap called “Maryam’s World”.
Similarly I’ve created a World Mindmap for my Company titled VHDC World (which you can see linked to Arif’s World above). You could create one for your job, a particular hobby that you are very passionate about, infact for any Area of Focus that you believe needs more fleshing out.
A key point to note in conclusion that, having a My World mindmap becomes really worthwhile only when it’s handy and accessible. When I want to launch Arif’s world, it’s really simple. I launch Quicksilver (Cmd+Space), I hit AW, and Arif’s World pops up open for me, no matter which program I’m running. Those who are running windows can do the same using Active Words.
Would love to hear your feedback/comments if you found this useful and/or if you have any other ideas on what else can go into a Your World mindmap.