Do you ever feel like your mind is your own personal planner… only the pages keep falling out, there are no titles and every now and again, someone could just set fire to it?! We’re all trying to do and be more than ever and it seems like we’re just racing towards burnout. As much as you may feel like it’s an inevitable part of living the life you want to, it’s not. You can have all you need and not feel like you’re just barely managing. A big part of this is calming your mind and making time to mentally sort out all of those random and seemingly-important intrusive thoughts. This is where brain dumping comes in.
Let me just be clear: this is not my idea, I’m not the first one to do it, I don’t have a unique way to show you, I’d just like you to consider it if you’re someone who sees themselves in that exhausting little picture I painted back there.
What is a Brain Dump?
A brain dump is taking time to intentionally sit and write down ALL of the thoughts you’re having. In one go, without reserve, usually in one big scribbly mess. It’s okay, you’re not going to keep it or post it on social media alongside a beautifully curated flay-lay. Just get all of those fuzzy, disorganised and random bits out of your head; the emptier it is, the better you’ll feel after. When you’ve written everything down, you’re going to sort it all out, but without feeling like you’re going to forget something. It’s kinda like when you tip out your underwear drawer, pick out and chuck the bits that should never see the light of day, organise it into sections and then arrange it beautifully.
How do I do a Brain Dump?
I have a small stash of brain dump inserts in my planner at all times. My favourite quick way to do it is based on the Alastair Method. I write down all of the bits and pieces I’ve been carrying around in my head, and alongside each one I tick off whether I can do them now, next week, schedule for much later, or delegate them. It’s really quick to do and it’s one of those really useful inserts to keep in your inbox section.
Having said that, sometimes I just need a few prompts to get me going – especially if I’ve gone a little too past being frazzled. I’ve just made an A4 brain dump tear-off pad that I’m going to be building into my planning routine. On there, I’ve added headings for tasks, how I’m feeling, dates, ideas, and how I’m making progress with my projects. I’m so much happier with just a teeny bit of organisation thrown in! The beauty of this is that it gives me enough space for everything and when it’s all sorted and transferred to my planner (or ideally, my husband…) I can just tear off the page and throw it away, and go back to feeling calm and organised.
How Often Should You Brain Dump?
I like to do this sort of thing at least once a month if I’m on top of my planning, but if it’s been really crazy, once a week helps gets things under control. Why not make it part of your planning routine? Remember that underwear drawer scenario? It’s not like that’s going to stay organised forever, is it? Your mind’s the same. Take time to stop and organise it… preferably with coffee, and you’ll soon feel the benefits.