What is a brain dump?
A brain dump is when you spill out all the nagging thoughts in your head by journaling or making a to-do list. Brain dumps can improve your clarity and concentration and are a source of great stress relief.
After you finish your brain dump, you should feel more focused and in-control. Having a list of identified tasks to accomplish should reduce your stress levels and leave you with a greater feeling of clarity.
Start writing down everything on your mind. Each and every thought. Things that have been bothering you? Errands you need to run? Phone calls you need to make? Anything that’s on your to-do list, that you need to remember for later, that you’ve been putting off, or that’s been stressing you out. Write it down. The ideas will flow pretty quickly. When you’re having a hard time thinking of more things to write down, set the paper aside.
As you continue working on a different task, more thoughts will interrupt you. Write them down, and keep working. Eventually your mind will process through all of these tasks and stressers that have been bothering you and leave you feeling more clear-headed and in control.
When you’ve finished your work, go over everything you wrote down.
Separate the list into:
-quick tasks that you can do right now (writing an email, setting up an appointment, checking the status of something)
-ongoing projects with several steps
-tasks that you can’t do yet (if you’re waiting on information from someone else)
-location or object-specific tasks
(for example: if you have to mail a package and buy stamps, those are location-specific tasks because you must be at the post office to accomplish them;
if something on your to-do list is “clean the windows at home,” that might be object-specific because you need to find the Windex before you can tackle that task)
-and sources of stress
Once you have this tidy list, do the quick tasks. Right now. Now. Do it.
Done? Now tackle the list of projects, one at a time.
Snap a picture of your brain dump and turn it in.