Tired of a house covered of post-its? Or a to-do list as long as your desk? Or a brain that keeps you up at night thinking of the perfect idea (or that thing you forgot to do)?
As mamapreneurs, we do so much for our family & for our biz every day, and we think of even more things we should do tomorrow. It’s no wonder that your brain is overflowing with ideas faster than you can get them done. You are busy, girl! And you know what you don’t need? The stress of never finishing. The frustration of not being able to focus.
Wanna know how to get rid of all of those ideas that keep popping up and finally focus & work toward your goals? You gotta start using a Brain Dump.
A Brain Dump is a safe place to get an idea, no matter how vague or how detailed, out of your head, that you know you won’t lose. Once your brain knows its safe, it can stop pestering you about it at the worst times. What’s better is that you can review your Brain Dump and see what ideas to start working on, & what need more time and planning before they are ready.
1. Find a Good Time
Before you start, you need to know that you can dedicate enough time to this process (at least the first time) to truly get all of those idea rattling around in your brain out in a safe place.
If your little one is asking to cuddle or you are trying to make dinner, now is not the time. I like to do Brain Dumps while my daughter naps or is in bed for the night so I can really focus.
2. Get a Notebook or Binder
Your Brain Dump needs to be somewhere that your brain trusts.
This is why my 20 million post-it notes didn’t work. There was no order.
I like to use a dedicated binder for my Brain Dump pages because I can organize the pages by category. I can also remove any pages that I am done with, or need to combine with another Brain Dump page.
If you have a spiral or composition book handy, those will work as well.
3. What pops up?
Take the first idea that comes into your head and write it as the topic of that page. Now, let everything related to that topic all flow out.
Feel free to format each page according to how you need it for your ideas. You may need to create multiple boxes to break down your ideas into more categories. Maybe you need a bullet point list
Remember, the purpose of a Brain Dump is to get it all out of your head. Like completely out. Really take your time and use all the space you need for that one topic before moving on to the next, so your brain can finally chill out.
4. Keep Going
Finished with the first Topic on your Brain Dump? Put that page aside & repeat the process for the next idea that pops into your head.
Take all the time you need, flesh out any of the ideas you have, and make sure you get all of the topics out.
If you need to take a break, or just want to write down the topic for each page and fill it out later, that’s totally fine. Depending upon how much is cluttering your mind will determine how long this will take.
You may find yourself coming back to add “just one last thing” multiple times after you’re done. That’s totally normal! It just means your brain is finally getting some clarity back.
5. Organize ’em
If you’re using the binder method, this is super easy. Just start sorting your Brain Dump pages into general categories. Maybe you have some pages about marketing ideas, or product ideas, or blog post ideas. You will start to notice some common trends, depending on your biz.
Next, grab some dividers for your binder, write out the categories you found in your pages, & toss in your pages.
If you are using a notebook, this can be as simple as creating a table of contents at the front.
6. Set a Review Day
The reason your brain trusts this process is because everything is in one place, awesome, right? But here’s the catch, for your brain to stop reminding you at the worst times, it needs to know that you will take a look at these pages every so often.
I like to set one day a week (or every other week depending on my schedule) to flip through my Brain Dump.
I like to check out all the ideas I’ve had. See if there is anything I can start working on soon, & if I have had any more thoughts to add since the last time I reviewed.