Playing for Productivity

Mindmap Magic from my Secret Playdate

Yesterday I participated in one of Maryann Devine’s Society of the Secret Playdate sample calls. (There’s one more left on May 14th. Go get signed up, I’ll wait.)

The idea of the Playdate is that you shift gears from traditional ways of working on projects and bring an element of play into it.

The first time I did it, I was trying to wrangle all of the details to get this new website, the Explore and Play at the Studios calls and my new coaching program online and announced. A traditional list wasn’t working. I kept feeling like I was missing something. I was stuck and frustrated.

So, for the playdate, I grabbed my favorite Mr. Sketch scented markers, some little friends and a big piece of paper. I made a giant color-coded mindmap of the site.

Big Picture = Better Focus

After I created the literal big picture, I could see much more clearly all the little details. It helped me see how it all fit together, what still needed to be done, and maybe most importantly how much I had already done.

I then was able to make a more traditional written list, and worked off of that until everything was finished.

Now of course, I still had moments of stuck with the list, but I could shift perspective, look back at the big colorful mindmap and get back in touch with how the little stuff fit into the big picture, and why I wanted to do it anyway.

Look a Pattern!

I’ve noticed this pattern of mine before. Years ago. And, more recently. In developing my new coaching program, You Creating You, I got stuck once again in traditional linear lists.

And then, I took the project to one of Havi’s Rallys and looked at it from a new perspective.

Stickers, colored paper, felt pens and lots of space let me see the big picture…get in touch with what I cared so damn much about coaching people in this way, and what kind of magic happens when I do. From that I could create the info page and all the materials that go along with the program.

It also helped me come up with an innovative way to make the program in reach for a range of people ad their particular needs.

Dropping Breadcrumbs

Now, that there’s no question that I have this pattern, that it is INFINITELY easier for me to alternate between linear planning and visual planning, I want to jump to doing it sooner. You know save myself the grief of stuckness and frustration whenever I can.

  • Having the big mindmap on my office wall is one great reminder.
  • Another is to add mindmapping in as a required step in my list of things to do when I’m creating a new thing.
  • And finally, make sure I have scheduled times where I can play and shift my perspective. Joining the Society of the Secret Playdate, guarantees that I’ll have at least one day a month set aside for working playing in a way that lets me be creative, have fun and get lots done.

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