Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s how to do a brain dump and get your thoughts out of your head. This simple technique is an effective way to help you destress and regain focus.
Do you ever feel like your brain is just too full and on an information overload? Like you can’t think straight because you’re overloaded with information? If so, you need to do a brain dump! A brain dump is a way to clear out your brain and organize your thoughts. It’s a great way to get rid of distractions and focus on the task at hand.
Doing a brain dump regularly can help improve your thinking process and make it easier for you to focus on one task at a time.
What is a brain dump?
Put simply, a brain dump is dumping out the thoughts into your brain onto a blank page. Think of your head like a full purse. When it’s too full, you dump it out onto the counter and get everything in one place so you can sort through it and organize everything.
A brain dump is doing the same thing. You are spilling out your to do list, things you are bothered by, and everything else. You let your thoughts flow from your head to paper until it is all written out right before you.
Your brain dump session will be a safe place that can be through bullet journaling, on google docs or through a word document, on your notes app, or a special brain dump notebook. Just start writing.
Why do brain dumps work?
Brain dumps might sound a bit silly. After all, just writing things on a sheet of paper isn’t proactively doing anything about your problems or worries. However, brain dumps can help you take those abstract thoughts and feelings and put them into words. It can help you pin down how you’re feeling by capturing those thoughts and putting them out into the world.
In your head, things might be just out of reach or a tornado all around you. When you turn to a blank page, you can nail those things down. Once you start you build momentum and you find yourself writing page after page. Once it’s all laid out there, you can work through it when you’re ready.
What should I write in a brain dump?
The daily routine of brain dump can be a powerful tool to help you organize your thoughts.
So you might be wondering how you can do this? Well it’s actually shockingly simple. First you write things down in your head. You can work through each thought at a time, or just spill whatever is in your head.
You can put things like your to do list, groceries, bullet journal ideas and more. From there, take those thoughts and start to organize them.
It doesn’t have to be task oriented and could just be little reminders such as positive thoughts or feelings. If it’s something eating at you on a regular basis, write it down.
How Do I Know I Am in Need of a Brain Dump?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you can’t keep up with all the things swirling around in your brain, it might be time for a brain dump. Your ultimate goal is to have you feeling comfortable to complete big tasks. Your mental health will thank you!
Tips for overcoming resistance to doing a brain dump
Here are a few tips for overcoming resistance to doing a brain dump exercise:
- The first step is to get organized. This will help you to feel more in control and less overwhelmed. Spend some time organizing your notes, papers, and folders so that you have a clear idea of what needs to be dumped.
- Set a timer. Start with just five minutes and work up to 20 or 30 minutes. This will help you to stay focused and not get bogged down in details.
- Clear distractions so you are not interrupted into the middle of your brain dump list.
- Make it a habit. Like anything else, brain dumping takes practice so make it a regular part of your routine. Dedicate a specific time each day –- for example, first thing in the morning or right before bed –- to allow yourself enough time to really purge your mind of all the clutter.
- Be patient – it may take some time for your brain dump habit to form and for the benefits to start showing up.
Brain dump prompts to help you get started
Sometimes the hardest part of something is just getting started, and this can be the same with brain dumps. If you’ve never done it before, you might feel overwhelmed or stuck by the very idea of it.
There are no set rules for how to do an initial brain dump. The best way is to start by writing down all the things that are on your mind—all the tasks you need to do, all the ideas you have, everything. Don’t worry about sorting them or making sense of them; just get them all down on paper.
Here are some prompts to help you get started with a brain dump:
- What is something that you’ve have been worried about?
- Is there something you are forgetting to do?
- Is there someone you need to follow up with or contact but have been forgetting to?
- What makes you unhappy? What is making you happy?
- What is the best thing about your day?
- This week’s grocery shopping list
- Phone calls you may need to make
- What are random thoughts rand different ideas running through your head.
- What are my goals for the day/week/month?
- What are some things I need to get done today?
- What are some of my top priorities?
- What can I delegate or outsource from my to do lists?
- What can I eliminate from my schedule?
- What’s my plan for handling distractions?
- How can I better manage my time?
- What are some things I’m grateful for?
- What lessons have I learned from my failures?
- What are your top 3 priorities for the day?
- What is your plan for tomorrow?
- What were your successes from today?
- What were your failures from today?
- Who do you need to apologize to and why?
- Are there any changes or new habits you’d like to implement starting tomorrow?
An effective brain dump will give you the feeling of a clear mind.
Whenever your brain feels full or you start to feel overwhelmed, take out a spare piece of paper and a notebook and see what thoughts you can get out on paper.
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