I’ve seen several sources recommend mind-mapping as a more effective way to organize your tasks than the traditional bullet-point to-do list. (If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a different way of taking notes, where you put the main topic at the center and all the sub-points branch off from it like a tree.) I was a bit doubtful it would help, but with several very long and complicated translation projects on my plate, I decided it was worth a try. I found a free mind-mapping app for my iPad and set to work organizing all the many tasks related to each project.
Well, it took a while to set up, but some time later I had multiple nicely organized mind-maps, so I got to work. And I was amazed at how effective it was! I didn’t realize how much time I wasted just muddling around trying to decide what I was supposed to do next with each project. Now I know exactly what needs to be done next, and I’m ready to just dive in and do it! Well, I admit the dishes are still piled up in the sink and the laundry basket is overflowing:blush:, but at least with the projects that really matter to me, I feel organized at last. I’m most impressed.
But now I have another problem. It’s too effective! Now I know what I’m supposed to do, I can’t find enough hours in the day to do it! I’ve worked two or three 12+ hour days this week, and I still don’t feel I finished half of what I wanted to do each day. I’m getting more done than before, but I actually feel less productive. It’s frustrating!
I suppose the solution should be to break up the projects into smaller portions, which I’ve tried to do with limited success. I tell myself I will work on this project for just half an hour, or check X number of vocabulary words in this list, or the like, and then I will move on to a different project. But then I fall into hyperfocus, and the planned half-hour becomes two hours, or the 20 words I was planning to check become 50… and before I know it, it’s past my dinnertime already.
So this mind-mapping technique is working great for organizing my tasks, but how can I use it to get done what I actually need to get done each day?