Have you ever had 7 billion things on your mind at once that you can concentrate on a simple task like checking your email? It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
Well, there’s a way to dump all that clutter out of your brain so you can concentrate and get things done faster, and it’s called a brain dump. (how creative huh, lol )
In this blog post, you’ll learn exactly how to do a brain dump properly so you can work with a clear mind and be more productive.
Let’s get started.
What is a Brain Dump?
Before we go any further, let’s define exactly what is a brain dump.
A brain dump is simply a tool to help you dump out all the thoughts clouding your brain by putting them on paper. It can help you organize, store, and process the information later.
This is a little different than a traditional journaling exercise, there are no prompts and no structure, just write anything you want to get out of your head.
By doing this, the hope is that you can:
- Rember things you’d likely forget without writing them down; like things you need to buy, or birthday gift ideas
- Put everything in one place to access later
- Encourages creativity and problem-solving by addressing concerns rather than ignoring or forgetting them
Brain dumping can help you start your day with a clear focus by writing out everything on your mind.
Why Does Brain Dumping Work?
I mean writing things down without structure at all doesn’t sound like it will give you much benefit right? Wrong!
There are so many benefits of brain dumping.
Writing things down can:
- Help improve memory
- Help you process emotions better. There are studies that show writing down emotions can help improve mental processing
- Put you in a better position that makes you more likely to achieve the things you write out. Notetaking is a more effective memory and learning aid because you’re taking the time to think about the process that you need to take to complete said task
- Helps organize information so you can clearly decide what the best action to take next is
In a way, brain dumping is almost like a functional stream of consciousness exercise.
Benefits of Using a Brain Dump
How can using a brain dump help you become a more productive person?
- Helps improve your focus and productivity levels
- Makes you more likely to remember the information
- Can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression since you aren’t keeping them in your mind
- A tangible place to access your extras when you have time and the ability
- Helps provide perspective and encourages problem-solving
- A great to-do list opportunity
Supplies to Start a Brain Dump
Traditionally, most people will simply use pencil and paper. Here are my favorite inexpensive supplies on amazon:
This journal is only 5.5″ by 8.15″ so it can fit nicely in your purse or bag for brain dumping at any time of the day.
I keep one of these on the kitchen counter as I always get my best ideas while I’m cooking dinner for some reason. The Five Star brand notebooks come in so many designs so you can have a beautiful brain-dumping notebook sitting out all the time.
These are by far my favorite pens to write with. They write so smoothly and seem to never run out of ink. And they’re super inexpensive, Bonus!
Now I prefer to write out my ideas as I find it better to remember things when I write them down. However, there are people who prefer technology for various reasons. One of them is that notebooks can take up a lot of room as you fill them.
Here are some ideas for digital brain dumping:
Google Docs: It’s free and you can access it from anywhere. What more could you want?
Notes App on your Phone: Your phone already comes everywhere with anyway so why not also make it a place to dump your ideas; maybe on the bus to work, or while you’re on your lunch break.
Notion: I LOVE Notion! You can do so many things with Notion other than brain dumping and it syncs to any device with the app. Brain dumping doesn’t have to look great but with Notion, you can easily organize thoughts by dragging them around the page. Seriously go check out Notion!
*not sponsored; I just really love using Notion more than any other digital note-taking app and I really think you guys should check it out!
What to Include in a Brain Dump
Really, you can write anything, the sky is the limit. But if you’re still not sure how to start here are some ideas:
- Things you need to do later this week
- Something that happened in your life
- Ideas for future travels
- Quotes/song lyrics you want to remember later
- Things you want to look up later
- Books you want to read
- Movies you want to watch
- Grocery list
- To-do list
The list can go on and on, Just start writing!
When to Brain Dump
Ok, you have a notebook and pen or a digital way to take notes, now when is the best time to brain dump? Well, honestly there really isn’t “the best time” to use one.
But here are a few different ways people use them throughout the day:
- In the morning: I prefer this cause it clears my head for the rest of the day and I can get out all the ideas I may have dreamed up overnight
- Before bed: same as right in the morning, brain dumping right before bed can clear your mind or put you at ease so you can fall asleep easier
- Anytime an idea comes to you: this is where it’s nice to have something to brain dump with at any hour of the day, cause who knows when that million-dollar idea is gonna come floating into your brain, and you don’t want to forget it!
Final Thoughts about Brain Dumping
Brain dumping is a great strategy to organize your thoughts floating around in your brain. It helps clear your mind when you otherwise might be afraid of forgetting something important.
Now a brain dump can become totally useless if you never come back to the notes you took. Try to put it into your schedule; just a short 15 minutes or so, to look over your notes from the past week and organize them or cross stuff off if it no longer applies.
Make a plan to go through your brain dumping notes on a regular basis. This is where it becomes super beneficial. Often times people write things down to get them out of their heads but if they never come back to them, they’re lost as if you never wrote them down.
Brain dumping can transform your life if you stick to it properly.
Have you been wanting to figure out how to clear your mind and focus better? Find a place to start brain dumping now. You won’t regret it!
Have you tried brain dumping before? How has it helped improve your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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