What is a brain dump?
A brain dump is exactly what it sounds like, dumping all of your thoughts, dreams, ideas, and tasks out of your brain and onto a sheet of paper. Getting everything you are thinking about out of your head is proven to increase productivity, plus who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashion to do list. Brain dumps keep you moving forward instead of always thinking about what you missed. GTD-Get Things Done- Attitude.
Brain dumping is not the same as brain storming. Brain storming follows more of a process and is a set time to develop ideas whereas a brain dump allows your creative juices to flow without following any guidelines.
Think about all of the room you would have in your noggin if it wasn’t swirling with ideas that you aren’t able to implement. When you get things out of your head and onto a piece of paper, there are far less distractions allowing you to focus on the task at hand. It’s kind of like when you walk into a room to grab something only to completely forget why you are there or what you wanted to grab. Does this every happen to you? The answer…. all the time.
When is the best time to brain dump?
I do my brain dump first thing in the morning. If the room is light enough, try to avoid turning on a light so you don’t fully wake up or use a small bed side lamp if needed. They also make those nifty pens that have a light on them so you don’t have to wake up your significant other, I mean we really don’t want them to interrupt our creative flow!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t fall asleep or I wake up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep because I start thinking about something. I ALWAYS have a pen and paper next to my bed so that I can write down what I am thinking about. Just getting it out of your head and onto paper is instant therapy. It helps to address things instead of letting them stew and fester until they are huge issues.
Essentially any time you are able to day dream is the best time to write it out. That’s right- no phone, no TV… just you and your thoughts. Scary right?!
Where to brain dump?
You’ll think of an awesome idea and never remember it again if you don’t record it, so always carry a pen & paper in your purse or in your car. I get some of my best ideas when I am driving. If you are driving and just can’t wait to spill the beans, try using the voice recorder on your phone or call your own number and leave yourself a voicemail (like that episode of Friends, where Ross calls himself after his near death experience). There are also apps for your phone, like Evernote and Notes. I go old school style with a post it, special note pads, spiral notebook, or a journal.
After the brain dump?
Prioritize your list into must do’s, wants and perhaps. Another option is to sort by business, home and social. My method is to arrange my list by tasks, ideas, appointments, grocery lists, and to-dos.
I’ve never tried this version, but if you are more of a visual person you can try separating your list into columns. Using the right column for needs to be done, the center for dreams from the night before or ideas, and the left for things that you are concerned about and wish to address. I’m also a huge fan of pre-made notebooks/lists that help to organize the day.
Want more organization ideas or help creating a brain dump? Shoot me an email or check out vphilli_fitness Facebook page. Links below!