Tony Buzan uses mind maps to get a million things done.

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When your brain gets bored, it goes to sleep.

TONY BUZAN IS a British psychologist and the author of several books on the subject of memorizing and effectiveness, such as the international bestsellers The Mind Map Book and Use Both Sides of Your Brain.

He advises multinational companies like HSBC, Oracle, Barclays International, and Hewlett-Packard, and is best known for pioneering the Mind Mapping technique that helps you improve the way you structure, memorize and recall information.

The Main Takeaway

In this workshop hosted by Buzan for Learning Technologies, it explored how the two hemispheres of our brains stores and processes information differently, and the eventual impact this has on our productivity.

Buzan posits that traditional forms of note-taking (in other words, linear chunks of words and paragraphs) are not ideal, as the processing of such information usually only involve the left side of our brains – the “serious” hemisphere.

This inadvertently puts us in a state akin to a semi-hypnotic trance as it is not in tangent with our natural thinking patterns, and therefore does little to aid efficient recollection.

As Buzan asserts that our brain’s natural preference is to scan a page in its entirety, mind mapping is an effective way to tackle a multitude of issues – from idea brainstorming to content memorizing to information processing.

Obstacles and Difficulties

However, some cynics have argued that the lateralization of brain function is a scientific fallacy, and that Buzan’s mind mapping claims seem to compared against a theory that humans only utilize 10 per cent of their brains. This has led critics to believe that the cumulative usefulness of mind mapping, according to Buzan, is aggrandized.

Using a Mindmap

However, with the semantics of brain function theory set aside, it is clear that mind mapping has proven time and again to be a simple and effective way of processing thinking. Critic and author Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein – The Art and Science of Remembering Everything) has, despite his stance, endorsed mind maps for being a tool that “encourages mindful thinking”.

In fact, it was for this reason that led to Buzan’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2011. That mind mapping is a thinking and processing tool which helps individuals “to learn, to think, to understand understanding and come to good conclusions” will ultimately cultivate within us more peace, more creativity and more intelligent thinking.

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