If you have never heard of a brain dump, I HIGHLY suggest it. Especially, if you have ADD/ADHD or get overwhelmed easily. A brain dump list is extremely helpful when you have a bunch of things running around in your brain and you can’t figure out what to do next. A lot of times it can lead to paralysis and you end up getting absolutely nothing done.
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Using A Brain Dump List
There are a ton of reasons to use a brain dump list, but my biggest reason is to put on paper the things that are overwhelming me. Whether it is because my brain is going a million miles an hour or because I know we have this huge list of things to do, setting up a brain dump is the first step to getting a plan together.
It’s also a great tool to use when you are transitioning from one project to another. When the animals got into the fall garden, I struggled to switch gears because that was my project for the rest of the year… Until there wasn’t a garden to work on. With my brain dump, I was able to switch gears easier because I knew I had other things I could work on.
What Is A Brain Dump?
Simply put, a brain dump is writing out all of the things that are running around in your brain. There is no order, rhyme or reason. It is simply trying to dump all of the things in your brain onto paper so that you can focus.
For those that struggle with stress and overwhelm, this is a great tool for dealing with it. Lately, I have been using it every time I come home from work. I’ve got 3 major projects in the works this winter. Plus work, running the homestead and fitting in the boys homeschool in there somewhere.
When To Use A Brain Dump?
There is no bad time to use a brain dump. But if you are struggling to make decisions, pick a direction or dealing with decision fatigue, grab a sheet of paper and make a brain dump. I’m going to go over my brain dump below.
Even if you are not having any issues, a brain dump is great to just dump everything out and get it organized.
Does It Really Help?
Yes! There are times when I am stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and just mentally not able to do another thing. When that happens, I sit down and start my brain dump. Sometimes, I start my day with it. Especially, when we are dealing with a transition period. When there is a project that is coming to a close, or is done, I tend to feel stuck or struggle to switch gears into a new project.
A Brain Dump List In Action
Step one is to grab a pen and piece of paper.
I usually use a sharpie and blank piece of computer paper. I don’t want any distractions and if there are lines on the paper, I will make a list of things that need to be done vs a brain dump of all the things that are circling my brain. This is going to cause problems because when you are struggling to make decisions, prioritize, or dealing with overwhelm.
Step two is to organize all of your tasks
This can look very different for everyone. But for me, it means organizing this mess into columns or categories. Some of this stuff is clearly business related. Some is homesteading or personal. So I want to make sure it goes into the right categories.
Also, I want to make sure I’m not giving a ton of space and energy for things that just don’t matter right now. Or things that I WANT to do, but we all know isn’t going to actually happen. By making sure that we are being realistic with our time, it really does help us from becoming overwhelmed.
Step 3 is prioritizing your list
Making goals, steps, and all that is incredibly important and even satisfying, but if you can’t prioritize, you’re going to end up spinning your wheels. To be honest, before you start making your goals or steps, you should be prioritizing them anyways!
To give you an example from the Homesteading section, there are somethings that just aren’t that important. Blowing all of the leaves for example. I don’t really care if the leaves get moved into the compost. I would LOVE if it happened, but I’m not going to make it a huge priority. Having leaves covering the yard really isn’t on my radar of concern. Plus, it’s my favorite time of year, soooooo.
Using A Brain Dump List To Make Your Goals
When we start working on our 2024 project list, we will use a brain dump list. We will also do this when it comes to finding sponsors for the podcasts or brainstorming content. A brain dump is so helpful for a ton of reasons and these are just a few
- It allows you to see all the things you need to get done and prioritize the ones that are more important, can wait or just don’t need to be handled right now.
- A brain dump allows you to create an action plan with steps and deadlines because you start with the end goal in mind.
- Allows you to see how much, or how little, work you have in one area vs another. This means you know how to structure your time.
- A brain dump gives you a strange piece of mind because if it’s not on the page, is it really that important. If it is, add it in. But if it’s not? Cross it off and move on. Here’s looking at you leaves!
I hope this helps you stay organized and a little less stressed!
Comment below on how you stay organized and how you reduce stress!
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