Brain Dump

Posted by Sophie Ingleby on


When you have a lot going on, do you find yourself going from one thought to another?

For me it looks like this:
I need to make lunch. I would like some new plates, these are old. I can’t wait to decorate the kitchen. I can’t decorate until we have a new floor. Do we need a new floor in the bathroom? I should put an ensuite into my bedroom, that’ll increase the value when we sell. Should we move to the Lake District? OMG I really want a camper van. But I might need a new car. I need to go to the post office now. What time is it? I wonder what the kids are doing at school. Do the dogs need a wee? Oh yeah, I’m making lunch. I’ll have a sandwich. I would like a nice chopping board.
Does this sound familiar to you? Jumping from one thing to another, constantly thinking about things? It’s exhausting!

What is a brain dump?
The best way I deal with this is a ‘brain dump’. A brain dump is a technique used to declutter your mind. It helps to prioritise tasks and gain focus in your life.

Why should I do it?
Brain dumping is a simple task to help reduce stress and anxiety. It increases productivity, motivates you and helps you feel calmer and more in control. 
It can also be very refreshing. If you’ve spent days or weeks constantly thinking about tasks, then you’re not concentrating on other more important things. Brain dump allows you to get back to your enjoying your life

So how do I do it?
I grab a notebook or use the notes app on my phone, and I write and write and write. I write everything down that I’m thinking about for a good 20 minutes. I make lists about the house renovation we still have to do, plans for the future and what I need to do today. This helps me massively to get it all out of my head. I can think much clearer after I do this and I know what I must prioritise today.

Does it need to be organised?
You don’t need to make lists if you don’t want to. You don’t even need it to make sense. You just need to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Write, draw, doodle, sketch, whatever you want to do, just get those thoughts out of your head. 

How long should I do it for?
You can brain dump for as long as you need to. It might just be a quick 5 minute thing, or a good half an hour task.

How often should I do it?
Do it when you need to do it. When you feel yourself getting stressed, and your mind is racing, then it’s a good time to get your journal out and write.

When should I do it?
I like to brain dump before bed as this is when my head is racing the most. Clearing my head really helps with my sleep and I’d recommend anyone to brain dump right before bed for this reason.

What should I do once I’ve done it?
You could leave it as it is or you could look at it and try to organise it. What is coming up most on your brain dump? You could divide your brain dump into different lists and categories such as:
Daily to do lists
Monthly tasks
Important date tracker (such as car tax, MOT and insurance due dates)
Holiday lists
Gift ideas for Christmas
You get the idea. Your lists and categories may be completely different to those I’ve listed above, and that’s fine. Brain dumping is a personal thing and unique just to you. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, you just have to get started.
I’d love you to give it a try when your mind is racing and see if it helps you.

Brain Dump - The English Print Co

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