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  • Monica Marie Jones

Matrix Mapping


I’ve observed that one of the little loved ones in my life, like many of us, has a learning style that is out of alignment with traditional classroom and school system methods. This has inspired me to create a customized summer learning curriculum to meet her unique needs. It will be filled with fun experiences and explorations that include movement, music, art, and nature. She won’t even realize that what we are doing is learning, but her teachers will see the difference in skill growth in the fall. In my study of best practices in education, youth development, and adult learning across many years, I’ve realized that a lot of the ways in which information is delivered to us doesn't meet most of our learning needs. This prompted me to infuse nontraditional activities into my approach to coaching. I’ve found that using a matrix, grid, or table works well as I support individuals and groups in thinking through or organizing complex thoughts, ideas, and information. I often use the Zone of Genius grid to help leaders and their teams look at their roles and responsibilities to think through the best use of their time and talents. I use the Desire Zone grid to help them look at their daily tasks to see which ones spark desire and which ones lead to disinterest, distraction, or drudgery. The Eisenhower Matrix supports people in deciding what they should do now, schedule for later, delegate, and what they must delete. These methods along with the common challenges that I see my clients facing have inspired me to create several more matrix or grid-based activities like these. Here are a few that you might use as strategies to support you in the areas of time management, mental health, and reflection on your community of friends and colleagues. Time vs. Capacity. Availability on your calendar doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the capacity for certain undertakings. In this activity I have my clients consider the opportunities that are before them and map them across a matrix that looks at time vs. capacity. In this context capacity looks beyond literal time and considers the mental and emotional energy that is required and available for each endeavor. For example, while I may have open time in my schedule, it doesn’t mean that I have the emotional space to listen to someone who needs to vent about a problem. This is particularly true when I need to be in a clear or positive state of mind for my next client or commitment. The Grief Grid. While reading the book, Codependent No More, I had the opportunity to revisit information on the stages of grief. This made me realize that grief, especially in these last few years, is not always based on a singular incident. One could be grieving multiple things at once and thus in multiple stages of grief at the same time. This moved me to create a table with the various things I was grieving simultaneously along the side, and the stages of grief along the top. I then placed an X in the box for the current stage of grief I was in for each incident. After analyzing that, I began to enter dates in the remaining boxes to represent the previous timeframes for which I was in the other stages. This helped to shed light on some of the emotional weight I had been feeling at various times over the last few years. Circle of Influence. I designed this activity to support my clients in examining how the people they spend the most time with impact their energy. I created a table with several columns. I had them start in the first column with a list of people they admire. In the next column they listed all the people they spend the most time with. Before we moved on, I had them compare those two lists. Next, they narrowed down the longer list to the top five people with whom they spend the most time. We then used numerical qualifiers such as annual income, or the grade point average of each of these individuals, and literally added them up then divided the total by five. We looked at that final number symbolically as we considered the Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Afterward we determined the extent to which each of those five individuals gives them energy or drains their energy. We closed the activity by identifying five people that they have access to who they’d like to meet or be in community with that might energize them and contribute to their growth. This week I challenge you to look at information in a different way. Things that might feel overwhelming or impossible may be transformed for the better when they are examined through a different lens. Consider creating more clarity by mapping your responsibilities, tasks, ideas, or the people in your life through one of the methods above, or through a matrix of your own design. Manifestation Affirmations I am surrounded by energizing individuals. I am giving myself grace as I move through multiple stages of grief. I am considering my capacity before I make commitments.

Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide

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