If you're feeling stuck, if you can't seem to move forward on a project or idea, or if you're just feeling mentally overloaded and need a break from all the stuff in your head, there's a simple solution that can help: brain dumping.
A brain dump is where you take an empty page, or several pages, and write out everything in your head. It's not just a list of things—it's a way to organise everything you're thinking about so that you can make sense of it.
What do you do with all those thoughts?You can use them to create plans for yourself, goals for the future, or systems for how you do things now. You may also find that some of those thoughts are already organised into lists elsewhere (like in your journal or on your calendar). If they are, great! Just add them to that list or calendar instead of writing them out again.
Why do I have to do this?Because when we're stuck on something, we tend to get stuck in our heads. We start thinking about all the things that could go wrong, or how much time we'll spend doing something else, or how this task isn't really worth our time— and then we get anxious about the whole thing and can't move forward anymore.
But if you take some time to organise your thoughts through a brain dump—to get them out of your head and onto paper so that they don't bother you anymore—you're likely to find that things start coming together much more easily than they did before.
Here are two tips on how to do a brain dump:
1. List your thoughts as they come to you, in no particular order. Don't worry about grammar or spelling—just write whatever comes into your mind. You can even use emojis if you like (but don't overdo it).
2. Once you've listed all of your thoughts, look at them again and see if there are any themes or ideas that repeat themselves. These will be the best place to start organising your thoughts into categories that make sense for how they relate to each other.
The brain dump is among the simplest tools to organise your thoughts. It is a straightforward and easy-to-implement process which can be done alone or with someone else. Brain Dumps work because they are not focused on getting things done. They are an open expression of your thoughts and ideas, helping you to get in touch with what's really on your mind, rather than focusing on the next task or project.
Check out some of the amazing brain dump spreads out there:
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