Last week alone, I launched my 2020 Unlock Your Potential Planner. I was managing painters who were in and out to paint my ENTIRE house. I took my son, who happens to have a broken ankle at the moment, back and forth to school. And, I hosted a baby shower for my sister, on top of a women’s Life Group meeting I facilitated for church. This is all while dedicating eight hours or more of my day to my job. I could go on… but I’ll stop there for now.
My point is… Life gets overwhelmingly busy sometimes. You’ve got so much on your mind that it seems impossible to sort it all out. Focusing on how to live your best life certainly seems out of the question when you’re just trying to get through each day.
There’s an exercise I do each week to help sort things out and to give me a fresh, renewed perspective. It’s called a brain dump, and it’s a super easy way to control all of the chaos, by getting the stuff that’s floating around in your mind out into an organized format you can more easily process. Let’s take a look at what it is, how it works, and its benefits.
What’s a Brain Dump? A brain dump is actually a very simple activity that offers tremendous results. It involves writing down all the things that are currently in your mind and on your to-do list so that they’re out of your head and can be processed and analyzed. It frees up your brain for more important tasks and allows you to move forward with a clear head. I even offer a free Brain Dump Worksheet to walk you through the process.
How It Works. A brain dump doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. You can simply take some time in the evening to write down everything that’s on your to-do lists for Work and Life. Just getting it out can be enough to ease your mind and provide some stress relief. The exercise is most beneficial, though, when you have time to work through it and organize your brain dump so that you can analyze the results and prioritize your tasks.
Once you’ve gotten everything out, divide all your tasks into three categories:
MUST HAVEs: These are the essential tasks you must get done…no exceptions! You are the only person who can complete them.
NICE TO HAVEs: These are tasks that are important and should get done, but they can be delegated to someone else if you wish.
SCHEDULE: Everything that needs to be scheduled, including appointments and meetings.
Now it’s time to make a plan of action. Take the tasks from your three categories and put them in your weekly schedule. This will help you to make time for what’s important and to prioritize, helping you to move forward and to get un-stuck.
Benefits of a Brain Dump. Brain dumps have a number of benefits. They provide mental clarity and allow you to make sense of everything that’s rushing around in your head. By taking proactive steps to act upon what you’ve written down, you’re empowering yourself and providing the motivation you need to accomplish your goals. You’re also better able to prioritize and start truly working toward your purpose. A brain dump can help alleviate stress and increase self-awareness, as well.
Can you see how a brain dump can be a tremendous tool for sorting through the chaos of daily life? My life would be a crazy mess if I didn’t do a weekly brain dump before I set my schedule! It’s the reason why I made it a key component of my Unlock Your Potential Planner.
Go ahead and download my BRAIN DUMP WORKSHEET and WEEKLY SCHEDULE WORKSHEET for free. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’m confident you’ll find it’s a worthwhile investment of your time.