Don’t get overwhelmed. Mind-map it!



Sometimes, when you’re not very far along on the Journey to Organisation, you may start feeling overwhelmed.

There are SO many places to start so you become indecisive.

Should I start in the kitchen? Should I start in the study? Should I start in my craft room? Maybe I should tackle the kids‘ rooms?


Okay, okay, re-lax…

Here’s what I suggest you do:

    1. Grab a piece of paper and go to one room. Do not leave until this is done.
    2. Draw a circle in the middle of the page and write the name of the room you’re in (let’s just say you’re in the office, since this is what I love organising).
    3. Then draw spokes like the rays of the sun for each section in that room that needs to be organised – e.g. desk, bookshelf 1, bookshelf 2, etc.
    4. Now look at each individual area and draw some more spokes off of each main spoke. For the desk you may have…top of desk, drawer 1, drawer 2, under desk, and so on….

Now you have a visual plan of EVERYTHING that needs to be done in a particular area.

Then you tackle each of those sub-spokes until all the little sections are done. As you finish a section, cross it off in a different colour.

The thing is, those little bits can easily be done in 15-minute segments and before you know it, you’ve sorted an entire room.

At least then there’s one room you can call a sanctuary – and then the next, and the next…

If you’re a more linear thinker and don’t like the “messy” nature of mind maps (for many years, I didn’t either but I seem to be “breaking loose” these days), may I suggest that you print out the master to-do list on my site under Free tips and downloads. Use a different page for each room and simply list all the areas, one after the other.

Everything is still contained on one page, just in a linear, logical fashion. You’ll still start working on one room at a time.

Has this post helped you? Leave me a comment and let me know how you prevent overwhelm.

About the author
Marcia Francois is a time management and organising coach who empowers small business owners and other busy professionals who want to make the most of their time. You’ll get simple, practical organising and time management secrets to help you work less and enjoy life more! Pick up your free Organising Success Pack.


5 thoughts on “Don’t get overwhelmed. Mind-map it!

  • August 15, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you! I do get very easily overwhelmed and I will be sure to use this! I am a teacher and love to mind-map (I’m teaching my husband who’s also a teacher and prefers the boring linear stuff).

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

    Krista’s last blog post..Last Names

  • August 15, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    You know, I home-schooled all three of my children and used these for story writing all the time. Never thought to apply it to my clutter.

    Thanks, Marcia!

  • August 16, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Eva, I didn’t know you home schooled your kids.

    I use mind maps for this purpose, to plan my talks, my seminars, my projects and then depending on the length of time to completion, I may or may not transfer them to a more linear form (my master to-do list ;))

    Marcia Francois’s last blog post..August declutter challenge – day 16

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