Productivity

Free Printable: Brain Dump Planner

Do you ever get those days where stuff keeps getting thrown at you? Maybe you’re trying to juggle too many things at once and there’s just too much stuff to keep track of. Maybe it’s just an average day but with all of the bits and pieces floating around in your head, you find yourself forgetting stuff. Maybe you’re about to plan something exciting and you don’t know where to start first. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, foggy and stressed.

I’m terrible for getting swept up in massive DIY projects. I spend far too much time on Pinterest and before I know it, I’ve planned out a huge project involving some serious crafting and careful budgeting. However, real life doesn’t stop and it’s not long before I’m frantically trying to juggle all the demands of being a working mom and my new passion project. It’s never that long before I’m in need of a brain dump session; I chuck it all down on paper, without any structure or logical thought – if it’s on my mind it gets written down. From here, I sort it and then plan a time slot for everything. It’s so therapeutic. Even better with a cup of coffee.

I love how it makes me feel like I’m on top of stuff, without actually doing anything. Who doesn’t need that? Fancy having a go? Download these printables to get you started. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the PDFs.

The first page is your brain dump space. Don’t even try and sort anything out at this stage; just get it all down. Include tasks, bills, appointments, dates, shopping items, meal ideas, random thoughts… anything. You may like to start this off and come back to it later; I always need a few attempts before I’ve completely emptied my head. Your mind is not a notebook, or a to-do list; the more you hold in there, the more overwhelmed and frazzled you’re going to get. Just write it all down.

The next stage is your task sorting page. Go back to your brain dump and have a read through; is there anything on there that you just can’t be bothered with? Don’t be afraid to just cross it out. Consider sorting these items into categories – this may be stuff like ‘dump on someone else’, ‘urgent’, ‘house tasks’, or whatever works for you. When you’ve done this, transfer your tasks, in order to the task sorting page. Group these into the columns on the sheet; firstly those quick things you can just do today and feel smug about, then those tasks you can’t avoid for much longer, then the long-term ones.

This is where you get to feel like you’re super-productive. Give yourself half an hour or so, and do as many of those immediate tasks as you can; we’re not even going to bother taking those any further. Take a moment to thank yourself for that coffee. After this, fill in the month and dates on the Plan Your Month sheet. Grab your diary. Add any appointments, events or blocks of time where you’re anticipating being too busy for anything else, or when you’re going to have some total rest. Around this you can then add those items from the middle column, making sure it’s evenly spaced, and realistic for the time you’ve got. If you’ve got many long-term ones, print out a few more of these sheets and repeat.

This is the best bit. Switch off and relax. You don’t need to think of what needs doing, or wonder how you’re going to fit it all in. You’re done.

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