Organize Your Hectic Schedule With a Brain Dump

Woman doing a brain dump

Clear Your Mind with a Brain Dump – Includes a FREE Template Download!

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with everything you need to do to you just sit there and don’t do anything at all? Instead of getting things off your mind, the same things just swirl around over and over. Your brain is full of to-do lists, chores, appointments, errands, groceries, and the list goes on and on. While I can’t get rid of all your to-do’s, thoughts, and worries, I can share my favorite way I instantly reduce stress and overwhelm. The answer; a brain dump.

A brain dump has been a game-changer for my stress and anxiety! Doing it daily gives me instant mental clarity, reduces anxiety, and frees up space in that scattered brain of mine! According to Psychology Today, “mom brain” aka overwhelm, comes with being overwhelmed by new and challenging responsibilities that invade the same space where our old responsibilities still reside.

If this sounds like something you want to try, grab a piece of paper and pen (phone is okay too if you absolutely have to put pen to paper is always better!!), and let’s get to writing!

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What Exactly is a Brain Dump?

It’s exactly how it sounds, you are dumping everything out of your brain and writing it onto paper. It can be anything. Need to get gas? Is preschool tuition due? Does your partner need to take out the trash? Put away 5 loads of laundry? Write it ALL down, you want to get everything out of your head and on to paper.

(I specifically love using these erasable gel ink pens, so I can erase errors as needed!)

While some may get it confused with a to-do list, here is the difference; there is no way you will do everything (or anything) on your brain dump. This is not a to-do list, just a big mental dump.

I typically have the same things on my brain dump again and again, but I always end up feeling like a weight has been taken off my shoulders.

A Messy To-Do List

You can also think of a brain dump as a messy to-do list. I am assuming everything that’s swirling around in your brain could not be done in a day, which is why a brain dump is great! There is zero pressure to get everything done off the list. It is only a way to get it out of your head and on paper. I am guessing you have laundry to do every day, but sometimes that is not the most important task that needs to be done today. Putting it on a brain dump gets it off your mind, but it’s not something you necessarily will need/want to prioritize that day. It *can* wait.

What a Brain Dump is NOT

This is not a to-do list and it is not a schedule or a timeline. A brain dump shouldn’t be the only place where important dates are kept, but rather a place to vent and get things off your mind. If something really important comes up while doing a brain dump make note of that (put a star/circle/or highlight) and put it in your calendar or on a note that can be kept in a safe place.

Why a Brain Dump is Great for Mental Health

As moms, we are constantly thinking about everything. Groceries, chores, after school programs, homework, bills, etc… and they just sit there…basically until we explode. What if every day you could start your day with a brain dump and release all the stuff you are thinking about? It would be amazing right?!

Notebook and pen

How to Do A Brain Dump

Luckily this is such an easy practice! I will give you an example below, but you can really make it into whatever you want.

  1. Write Everything Down

Write down EVERYTHING that is on your mind that needs to get done, or you are just thinking about. You don’t need a fancy journal. You can use a basic notebook like this or get something fancier like this.

And that is it! 😉

It’s literally as easy as that. Here are some examples of what might be on your brain dump:

Laundry, dishes, mop, trash, get the mail, meal ideas, groceries, that doctor appointment you need to make, those shoes you wanted to shop for, that hobby you wanted to start, the workout plan you need to actually plan, etc…

Now What?

When you are done with your brain dump there are a few things you can do…

    1. Look through your list/thoughts and circle anything that stands out as urgent and needs to be done today, or needs to be remembered for a future date i.e. specific dates and deadlines.
    2. As an option, you can take your brain dump and create a to-do list from it. Categorize it into home/personal/work/health. List out what your priorities are and go from there.
    3. Toss (recycle) it! You do not need to keep it. As I mentioned earlier, it shouldn’t have anything extremely important on it. I throw mine away every evening when the day is over.

Beyond the Brain Dump

Once you get all the overwhelm out of your head, you will be able to think more clearly of what really is important and needs to be done. This will allow you to create a productive to-do list, organize work to-dos, or create a schedule for you and your family.

Free Template to Organize Your Thoughts with a Brain Dump

I created a brain dump template to make this even easier for you! Give it a try, for free!

The Best Planners and Journals to Help You Stay Organized

Here are some well-known journals and planners people love when getting their life organized! They say the best planner is the one you will actually use, but it doesn’t hurt when they are pretty and functional 😉

Rachel Hollis Journals and Planners

Rachel Hollis Planner

Start Today by Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis Journal

The Future Is Yours by Rachel Hollis

Calendar Planner

Emily Ley


Emily Ley Simplified Planners “At A Glance”


A Plain Notebook!

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