Last night, my dad called to chat about the2020 King of the Baggers Race that I had sent him a link to (Indian Motorcycles won, so this girl is quite happy). The conversation then turned to everything that needs to be done when him and my mom sell the house. Which led to brain dumps…what exactly is a brain dump?
A brain dump is a fun little exercise that helps to take the clutter that’s in your head. It’s a great opportunity to write everything down that you’ve been trying to keep track of in your head, but unsuccessfully doing so. All you need is a pen and paper, a laptop, or your phone…open your notes and just start writing down everything that comes to mind.
We had this conversation a year ago when they originally put the house on the market and he was stressing out about all that needed to be done…well a year later, we’re still in the same spot. But the house being sold is actually happening this time.
Last night, Dad said “I feel like I’m just constantly going in circles and I’m getting nothing done. I can start working at 6am and finish at 6pm and feel like I haven’t accomplished a thing.”
So, the life coach in me and being the loving, caring daughter that I am, suggested that he make a list, to do a brain dump and get EVERYTHING that is swirling around in his head out on a piece of paper. That way he can see what needs to be done, he can prioritize items on the list, and cross them off once they’re finished.
The responses I received from him:
- “I don’t need to write it down, I have the list in my head”
…yeah, no shit. But has that method proven to work very well thus far? NOPE
- “Making a list means I’m old, I don’t want to have to rely on writing things down to remember”
…not the point, Dad. The list isn’t because of age and inability to remember things, it’s for the purpose of being organized and getting things done. Prioritize your time, stop wasting it.
- “Okay, I’ll make a list and send it to you”
…Dad, I’m still waiting for that list.
What’s the Purpose?
The purpose of a brain dump is to become organized in a less chaotic way and to start getting shit done.
There’s no better feeling than crossing off a thing or two on your To Do List. AND being able to look back at it and see what you did throughout the day or week.
What are the Benefits?
- Clear the clutter! – it doesn’t have to be things that need to get done. It can be anything that’s in your head, tasks, thoughts, feelings, etc.
- Creates a visual – of what’s on your mind and what you want/need to do, what is occupying your mind.
- Allows you to prioritize – to pick and choose what to focus on.
- Decrease stress! – you don’t have to constantly remember things, you can just look at your notes.
- Creates a sense of accomplishment – complete a task and cross it off.
- You can look back and review it, see how much you’ve actually done.
This morning, I took my own advice. I went to the beach to start my week off, had my notebook and wrote out everything that came to mind. I did make this brain dump specifically the tasks that I wanted/needed to get done within the week.
When I felt finished with the brain dump, I wrote out what my top 3 priorities were for today. I chose the 3 that I did because I knew that they were something I could put 100% focus into and accomplish today. If I had time / energy, then I could pick another task on the list and do that as well. But I kind of want to keep it to just 3 a day, so I actually have things to do to fill my week.
So, if you’re feeling stressed, unorganized, or like you can’t focus clearly on a task / thought – open your notes on your phone or grab some paper and start writing everything that comes to mind down!