The Whys and Hows of A Brain Dump

The Whys and Hows of A Brain Dump

Your brain is for thinking, not for storage.

This has been my mantra for years. As the boys have gotten older and then we decided to add another one to the bunch, it has definitely become a necessary reminder to myself that I need to maximize my mental energy in every way possible. I don’t know about your mind, but mine can go from barely-functioning-head-fog one day to creative-burst-overload the next.

Enter the need for a Brain Dump.

We all have a finite amount of mental energy; why waste that precious energy hanging on to random ideas and loose threads when we could let those things go and reallocate that energy into action instead?

Personally, I have three “rules” for doing a Brain Dump:

  1. Have it in one convenient place that is always with you. If I have multiple Brain Dump lists in multiple places, I’m undermining the entire point of doing a Brain Dump because, instead of reallocating mental energy into action, I’m using mental energy to remember where I wrote all of those lists.
  2. Don’t organize, just write. If I stop in the middle of a Brain Dump to write something elsewhere instead of just putting it on the list, my brain seizes up and I lose all of the other things that were “in line” behind that particular appointment or idea.
  3. Be proactive. I’ve been able to make a ginormous creative leap since I began scheduling a Brain Dump at least once a week rather than waiting for the impending mental overload. Use an Incompletion Trigger List like this one from GTD Portal or this very detailed list from Mungo’s Adult ADHD Blog to guide you to an extremely thorough mental housecleaning.

Want more Brain Dump info? Go check out both Rhomany’s and Vicky’s Brain Dump Videos!

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