Do you ever have a goal or project that feels too big or overwhelming? You know you have to do it but you just don’t know where to start or how to move forward.
This fun exercise will help you get it all sorted out.
Photo by Nathalia Rosa on Unsplash
Let’s get you from Sticky Ideas to Action Plan in 3 Simple Steps.
My go-to exercise when my clients are unclear on how to move forward is with a mind map and while I typically do this with a digital app, you can also do this on a whiteboard, with pen and paper, or simply using sticky notes.
One of my favorite ways is actually with sticky notes. It’s a fun way to get things out of your head and on paper so that you’re able to look at “your thoughts’ and easily move them around. 💭
Photo by Ravi Palwe on Unsplash
What you’ll need:
- A stack of sticky notes
- A pen or marker
- Clear space to post your stickies
(a wall, window, or mirror works great).
STEP 1. DOWNLOAD YOUR IDEAS
Write down your main goal or project on a stickie note and stick it all the way to the top right side of your space. Next, start writing down all the things that come to mind when thinking about this goal or project. Each thought, idea, or to-do gets its own sticky note. Stick them below your main goal stickie (all the way to the right of your space).
Don’t overthink things, just get it out of your head.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pixels
STEP 2. ORGANIZE YOUR STICKIES
Now that you’ve cleared your headspace and have all your to-do stickies, i’s time to get organized. There are a few ways you can do this and it really depends on your main focus. Here are two examples to give you an idea of how you can organize yours.
"Project is due August 1st" example
Since it’s April 25th, you have 3 months to complete this project, so your main focus is time. Create a sticky note for the months you have to complete this project (May, June, and July) and stick those next to your Goal stickie. Next, move all your to-do stickies to the month you want to complete them. Once you have all your stickies with their month, it’s time to take a step back and make sure everything is in the right place. Sometimes it’s good to take a break at this point and come back later. By having everything on a wall in front of you, it’s easier to visualize and decide how to best organize these time-wise.
"Write my book" example
You decided you want to write a book but you have no idea where to start or how to organize the chapters in your book. Your main focus here is organizing by category and even if you don’t know all your categories, just start. Create a few stickies with some initial categories and start moving your to-do stickies over. While doing this, you’ll notice you’re either missing some categories or maybe you’ll need more ideas for a specific category.
Again, the idea here is not to overthink things! Just start organizing them and things will start taking shape and make sense to you.
STEP 3. IMPLEMENT YOUR SYSTEM
Now that you have all your to-do’s organized, the next step is to implement them into your project management tool.
The stickie ideas are just one way of organizing your thoughts and ideas. Want to learn more about Mind Mapping? Click here.