We all need to declutter our minds first thing in the morning. The brain dump is a perfect way to achieve clarity so you can organize the random thoughts plaguing your mind and keeping you from being more productive.
If you’re anything like me, a mom, wife with a full-time job outside the home, you understand busy. There is so much to do each day that I never feel accomplished. Get 10 things done and there are 5 more things on my to-do list that I couldn’t even start. Busy is just another word for overwhelm. I feel it every day.
The Morning Struggle
The moment I wake in the morning, I’m already behind. Of course, this is simply my own view of the world. As a working mom, I feel obligated to be everything to everyone. That means, signing the permission slips, making the lunches, prepping for the 8 AM meeting, creating the grocery list, planning tonight’s dinner and getting the car inspected.
How did all of this land on my shoulders? I can’t really say but some of it has to do with my own desire to please and be productive. Somehow my own sense of self worth became attached to my ability to get things done. The problem is there is way too much to do so I’m always doomed to fail no matter how much I do.
In the grand scheme of things, I could get through a reasonable to-do list. The real issue was the disorganization of my thoughts and the many distractions I had all through the day. In the morning, my mind was swimming with thoughts of what I needed to accomplish. Every time I started a task, I would distract myself with something else that needed to be completed. Maybe I’ll just take a moment and start on that new project. Well what about the one I was working on currently? I’ll get to it later. Then an email reminds me of yet another unfinished project and I’m tempted to drop everything to get it moving again. To make things worse, one of my kids will text me with a reminder to transfer money to their lunch account. Now I drop everything because I can’t let them miss lunch and go hungry, can I? Does any of this sound familiar?
My mind was like a junk drawer and each distraction was one more item creating clutter. So just like a junk drawer, my mind needed to be declutter so I could organize and tackle tasks based on their priority and not when they happened to pop up.
It was my work that led me to discover the power of writing to clear my mind. On my best days, I would simply write down my thoughts and ideas ahead of trying to do anything. The act of writing things down allowed me to sort through my ideas on paper. My stress levels would drop, I could organize and determine my priorities for the day.
Eventually I adopted the morning brain dump as a daily ritual and gained control of my mind clutter and mastered my morning.
What is a brain dump?
A brain dump is an effective tool that allows you to immediately declutter your mind by recording ideas and thoughts on paper. You can organize and process at a later time but your mind is now clear. It’s like catching fish in a muddy river. Once the fish is out of the muddy water, you can examine it, clean it, and set it aside to cook later.
What you need
- Journal or Notebook – avoid getting too fancy. I’ll admit that I’m a bit addicted to pretty journals and notebooks but anything will do. I started my first brain dumps using one of my kids’ marble covered composition books.
- Nice Pen (Blue or Black) I like having a smooth gel pen for easy writing. Starting your brain dump with an old pen that’s drying out or hard to read is demotivating. Who needs that?
- Colored Ink Pens
- Just write! Don’t worry about organizing your writing because we’ll do that later. It’s amazing how much space you can fill. It’s ok to for your writing to just be a stream of consciousness exercise. Write down all your thoughts, ideas and things you want to accomplish without regard to order, priority or when they need to get finished.
Determine your categories
- You get to put those colored ink pens to use now. Create a key so you know what each color means
- Orange=Side Hustle
Review your dump
- Go through your list and mark based on category. Cross through items that don’t make sense.
- Use a daily priority sheet to determine your top items to accomplish (limit to 2 or 3), items to delegate and items to defer until later.
THE DAILY PRIORITY SHEET
GET IT NOW
The act of doing a brain dump will declutter your thoughts and allow you to accomplish more with less distraction. Writing also helps memory and the ability to process and learn. You’ll be able to recall ideas and information that you write down. Additionally, this writing and brain clearing exercise relieves stress while unlocking your natural creativity. Give it a try and let me know what you think.