Mind Maps - The Right Tool To Make The Procurement Professional More Productive Managing Supply Chains

Randall Mauldin
03-28-20 02:39 AM Comment(s)

Procurement teams are an essential part of finding solutions in the current situation, so you may feel like there are a million things you want to do, need to do. Still, you can't make any progress on anything. The job requires you to fill requirements or renegotiate agreements with vendors because demand has dropped or shifted, all the while you're worried about your family. The current situation is not something we consistently experience. Still, we can use the habit of setting goals and completing to-do lists daily to identify what needs to be done and marking things off our task list. 

Click here to get your free guide to mind mapping: https://cpsmtraining.com/mind-maps-for-procurement/

A way to maximize the hours and days is to clarify and organize your goals so that you can work the list to complete the most urgent tasks. Mind mapping is a great technique I've used for years to define and plan goals. Just like a road map on your smartphone, a mind map tells you where you need to go to attain your goals and complete tasks. I've used mindmaps to brainstorm ideas, plan events, make presentations, and teach procurement training to supply chain professionals.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map uses colors, words, and pictures to create a visual illustration of information. The reason mind mapping works so well is that we think in terms of images, colors, and words, not paragraphs. Your map develops from a central idea as the theme of the map then branches out to nodules, which are related ideas.

Mind maps simplify complex ideas in an easy to understand illustration that's easy to understand. You understand information on a mind map within a few moments. 

Mind mapping is a tool we use for thinking and looking at problems from different angles. You can use it to organize, plan, brainstorm, and more. In fact, I use mind maps for almost anything. 

Mind mapping was invented by Tony Buzan, an author, and educational consultant, in the 1960s. He felt the human brain did not function in a linear mode with lists or notes. Instead, the brain works with pictures and colors as they relate to different ideas. Mind mapping was a tool created that allowed the brain to function naturally.

You may be familiar with mind maps because millions around the world use them for many different things in their personal lives and businesses. As a standard, mind maps give business professionals, entrepreneurs, creative types, and regular people an ability to be more efficient without creating more stress.

Create Mind Maps To Be More Productive

Mind maps are a great way to set up and manage your to-do list and be more productive. (Click here for a Guide To Mind Mapping) Here's an to build a simple mind map for identifying daily goals and detailing action steps you need to take to complete tasks. 

Click here to see a short video for mind mapping your daily tasks using Ayoa ...

1. Start by writing 'My Daily Plan for ' in the middle of a piece of paper.  

Use the date so you can keep track of your day-to-day activity. Maybe select a theme for the day with a word or phrase that inspires you. Draw a shape, such as a rectangle, circle, or star around the central idea. This is the starting point of your map.

2. On either side of the map, write "Work" and "Family." We'll use this to identify Work Tasks and Family Tasks. Then write down the things that must get done in each area for the day using simple words or phrases.  

Enclose each goal in a rectangle or circle as you did with the central idea and draw a line from each goal to the center. 

3. Add all the tasks you need to get done in the day. Again, try to be as non-specific as possible with minimum details. 

Use as little text as possible on your mind map to make it much easier to understand, visualize, and recall. 

In this example, we are going to break down tasks in two areas, Work and Family. If you want to add other areas, that's great, but for now, let's focus here.  

Work examples might urgent requirements, meetings, phone calls, and maybe some tasks on a long term project, such as...

  • Buy Power Generators
  • Identify Vendors for Cleaning Supplies
  • Call Vendor CEO about delivery
  • Meeting at 10:00 am with the product team
  • Develop an idea for supply chain crisis planning

Family examples might be grocery shopping, home school arrangements, doctor's appointments, and maybe relatives to call, such as...

  • Buy toilet paper for 30 days
  • Check expiration dates on perishables
  • Make sure computers work for homeschool
  • Call a doctor about immunizations
  • Call sister about mom's care plan 

4. For each task, consider what you need to do in order to mark it off your to-do list 

What are the action items for each task? In the same way that your tasks branched out from the center, branch out from the tasks you've written.

5. If you can break up the tasks into smaller tasks, than do it. 

Continue branching out until all action steps are noted on the mind map. The ends of each branch should be specific achievable tasks. 

It's okay if some tasks have many branches coming off, while others have only one or two. 

6. To each task, assign a deadline and be as specific as possible. 

If possible, give each a time. Begin with appointments, such as meetings and phone calls. Then note no later than times, such as 12:00 pm (before lunch) or 4:00 pm (end of the day). Make sure you leave time at the end of the day to do your mind map for the next day. 

7. An hour before the end of the day, mark off completed tasks and start the next day's mind map.

Begin with step 1 above, and start with tasks not completed. This ensures you complete tasks. Next, add the next day's tasks in the same way as before. 

Follow the process every day to create your daily routine. You can create Mind Map for the week, month, and year for tasks that take more time.

Make Your Mind Map Colorful

The mind works best with pictures and colors, so visuals help mind maps communicate information and become memorable. For daily routine, use color-coding in the following way... 

You can color-code tasks by date or urgency. Maybe consider color-coding categories like red for business, green for family, and blue for leisure, so the mind map is easier to understand. Possibly designate a certain color for milestones where red might be upcoming and blue is completed.  

Definitely create a branch as a parking lot for ideas. You will find additional ideas popping up in your mind as you build each day's mind map. You don't want to forget these, so write them down to be categorized later. This keeps your mind map focused on the day without the clutter of tasks not required for action today.  

When possible, use pictures to make your mind map easier to understand and recall. Images directly affect our mind's ability to recognize and understand the entire mindmap at a glance. As you use mind maps more and more, you may find yourself looking up in the sky to recall the picture of your tasks, instead of checking your list several times an hour to make sure you're on task. 

Mind Maps for Brainstorming 

Brainstorming is the main reason I love mind maps. With an idea, the central idea, I create branches as new thoughts come to mind. You can do this for any reason. The reason it works so well is you don't have to complete your thoughts to build the map and generate ideas. Use a simple word or phrase about your idea on the map and build out the branch until another idea comes to mind to start another branch. 

Moving Toward Your Goals

Mind maps can help you manage your progress as you move toward a particular goal. Use one single goal as the center of your map and make a detailed map that includes all tasks that need to be completed and the date it must be completed. You may also include branches for resources you need, potential problems you'll face (and ways to combat them), a timeline, and so on.

Your ability to think and plan improve as you use mind maps because the limits are boundless in regards to what you can do with them. Regularly using mind maps, make using them more fun and exciting. Considering your need to be more productive and efficient, why not have a little fun!

Click here to learn more about the mind mapping software I use to stay organized and get things done https://cpsmtraining.com/mind-maps-for-procurement/