If you’ve ever laid in bed with so many thoughts swirling around your head that you couldn’t sleep, there’s a super easy method that can help you calm your thoughts and allow you to get some rest. It’s called the Brain Dump Method, and it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
Moms are the worst about shouldering the mental load alone
We have so much on our plates and we feel that it’s our responsibility to remember everything on our own.
I always feel like I have about 25 million things I need to remember, which causes me to feel frazzled, stressed, and actually decreases my productivity.
When you’re working constantly to remember everything, you bounce from task to task without really accomplishing anything.
Enter the Brain Dump Method
The Brain Dump Method is the best way to remember everything without having to actually carry everything around in your mind. #winwin
It’s unbelievably easy to do and can be done in a matter of minutes.
What is a Brain Dump?
A brain dump is literally getting all of your thoughts and to-do’s out of your brain and onto paper.
It’s a disorganized list of all of the thoughts racing around your head.
Why You Need a Brain Dump
To get out of survival mode
We all have a million things we’re trying to keep track of on a daily basis.
“Stressed out” seems to not only be a way of life but a shiny badge that most of us like to wear and boast about.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to live life trying to keep your head above the water.
Sometimes all it takes is the simple act of allowing yourself to let go of all the things swirling around in your head to climb out of survival mode and put yourself into a place of peace, confidence, and stability.
To help you sleep better
You don’t have to go to bed with your to-do list bouncing around your head, and you don’t have to worry about trying to remember everything in the morning.
Think of your brain as a computer. If you have 57 tabs open, your computer is probably going to run slow, freeze up, and won’t work as efficiently as it could if you only had one tab open at a time.
As you brain dump, you are taking note of the open tabs, acknowledging them, writing them down so they aren’t forgotten, and then closing them.
Each time you close a tab (aka write down a thought, worry, idea, or to-do), you are clearing your mind and allowing it the freedom to work more efficiently.
To work through emotions
Stress oftentimes builds up and we aren’t always able to target what’s causing it.
A brain dump helps your subconscious express what is truly bothering you.
Does most of your brain dump revolve around getting the house clean before your company comes this weekend? Maybe you’re worried about your proposal you need to have ready by next Tuesday or you’re just stressed simply because you know you need to remember your child’s dentist appointment.
Now that you know what may be the target of your stress, you can make a plan, delegate, cut nonimportant or nonurgent items from your to-do list (or reschedule them), and tackle the items that are causing the stress.
To help you stay on top of your day/week
As moms, we tend to carry a massive invisible load.
Getting it out of your brain and onto paper allows you to set a portion of that burden on the table and go through it as you’re ready.
Your list is in front of you so you don’t have to carry it around on your mind and heart all day.
My favorite part: You don’t have to think about your entire list. You can focus on one single task at a time without worrying about what comes next. As you complete a task, you simply refer back to your list and move on to the next task.
To become more intentional with your time
A brain dump is a fantastic way to clear your thoughts and take control of the tasks you want to tackle in a day, instead of hopping from task to task as they come up.
Use your brain dump as a tool to help you be more proactive during the day.
When You Should Use the Brain Dump Method
I personally like to utilize the brain dump method right before bed in order to get my thoughts out of my head, as well as prep a little for the following day.
Some like to tackle their brain dump first thing in the morning.
Some make a weekly or monthly appointment for it.
Honestly, it doesn’t really matter when you decide to brain dump and you don’t need a set time. If you only need a brain dump every now and then, GREAT.
Figure out what works for you.
Fun tip: I like to keep a “running brain dump” available in a notebook for any tasks that I come across in my day that I want to acknowledge so that I don’t forget, such as purchasing more toothpaste or taking a load of items to be donated.
I also like to take note of the items I plan on accomplishing today, and which items need to be done on a different day or at a specific time (appointments, bills, etc.).
First, if there are small things that you can get done within a minute or two, do them.
As a friend of mine once said to me, try to avoid “last step syndrome.” That means you need to finish your task. Don’t leave the last step undone.
For example, when you fold the laundry, go ahead and put it away instead of leaving it on the couch for a week, or take the two extra minutes of time to hang your coat back up and put it away after you get home.
As moms, we’re often distracted and multitasking, but closing the loop and avoiding last step syndrome will help you stay on top of your day and home.
Make a separate list of things you want to do for other people, look at your calendar, and schedule them in. I’m the queen of thinking up great things to do for people, but I’m pretty horrible about follow-through. Go ahead and make the appointment with yourself, and then keep it.
A Simple New Habit Can Be the Key to a Happier Mind
It doesn’t take an entire lifestyle overhaul to improve your productivity and quality of life. All it takes is a simple shift in mindset.
Allow yourself to shift the burden you carry to a sheet of paper. Tackle each task with a clear and focused mind.
You’ll be amazed how much better you feel once you get it all out, mama.