Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"My Life In Graphs: A Guided Journal"

"My Life In Graphs: A Guided Journal" (created by Knock Knock and distributed by Who's There, Inc.!) is the title of a book I received for my recent birthday. The reader is prompted to reflect on her personality, goals, friends, and many other aspects of life and then represent these thoughts in various graphs. It's the perfect gift for me, really, (Thanks, Sue) since I delight in visual organization tools so much. There are no mind maps in the book so far, but bar graphs, venn diagrams, flow charts, and pie charts.

I have only completed three charts--I'm tackling one per day--and some require more reflection than others. Yesterday's pie chart asked me to estimate how much time I spend on each task in my morning routine. It is no surprise that my commute takes up almost half of my time. It was illuminating to look at this budgeted time represented in colorful pieces of pie. I had to think mathematically, too, to fit my ninety minutes of morning preparation into a pre-drawn circle marked in equal divisions of ten. Also, those ninety minutes have to add up to 100 percent. Tricky.

Today's bar graph had me think of four childhood dreams and then plot on the graph how close I have come to attaining them, if at all. This was an interesting exercise, because my natural inclination was to list current bucket-list-type goals. That's not the task, though; I had to come up with childhood dreams. Also, taking stock of what I've accomplished as an adult and then listing them as childhood dreams would create a colorful chart but would not be realistic.

As the cover says, the book is 76% reflection and 24% naval gazing. So far I find that to be accurate, but I have also found it to be 60% fun and 40% thought-provoking, and 100% perfect for us mind map types.

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