Brain Dump Worksheet To Organize Your To-Do List
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 Is A Brain Dump
A Brain dump is exactly how it sounds. You are dumping everything out of your brain and writing it onto paper. Meaning, it is a great way to get all that clutter out of your head. It can be anything. Need to get gas? Worried about forgetting your dentist appointment? 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.
Benefits Of A Brain Dump
- Mental clarity
- Less overwhelm
- Less stress
- Ability to begin a to-do list
Common Brain Dumping Questions When It Is Your First Time
Before we get started, let’s discuss some common brain dump questions that may come up.
*Can it improve my mental health?
Absolutely! There is something freeing about putting your thoughts on paper. No need to worry about forgetting because it is all right there for you.
*What should I use for my brain dump? Can I use sticky notes, a piece of paper, or digital products?
Anything that works for YOU and your own personal use is going to be great. I have free printable templates, instant digital downloads, and digital planners to help with your brain dump. A blank piece of paper also works fine!
*Is this good for busy parents?
Honestly, its the BEST for busy parents =)
*Should I do a daily brain dump?
I do them almost daily. However, you do whats best for you! The first step to any healthy habit is doing it in a way that works for you. Otherwise, the likelihood of it becoming a habit is slim.
*Do I need to list out different categories?
This is up to you! I do both ways. I have a free instant digital download for multiple options.
*Are there different ways to to do a brain dump?
Ultimately, you are wanting to get everything out of your head. How (and where) you do it, is up to you.
*What is the best way to do a brain dump list?
The easiest way is going to be the best way. If that means using the notes app on your phone, then do that! If a plain piece of paper works, then great! Want to create a brain dump planner? Fantastic! It is a simple technique that you can make work for you (which is why it is so great!).
*Is a brain dum and a mind dump the same thing?
*Is a brain dump list form?
It can be list form, bullet points, or journal style entry.
5 Steps to Your Own Brain Dump Exercise
- Choose Your Brain Dump Page
Will you be using paper? A Notebook? Blank page? App? Google Docs? Pick one and try it out =)
- Write everything down.
Racing thoughts, overwhelming thoughts, random thoughts, future to-do’s. Nothing is off limits here.
- Decide What To Do Next
You can be done after step 2, or if you’d like, you can make a to-do list out of your brain dump sheets. Sometimes I will do this if my brain dump is heavy on my to-dos vs big projects/thoughts.
How to Make A To-Do List Out of Your Brain Dump?
When you are done with your brain dump there are a few things you can do…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Brain Dump Ideas
There is no wrong way to do a brain dump. The list is endless, but here are some things I often brain dump!
Daily chores, home projects and their timelines, what is going on this week, personal goals, professional goals, kid’s upcoming activities, etc.. It can really be ANYTHING!
Brain Dump Journal Prompts for Your Brain Dump Session
If you are interested in making your brain dump more of a journal style writing here are some prompts you can use.
- What is overwhelming me today?
- What do I feel like I need to be doing?
- What are my goals for today?
- What are my goals for the week?
- What are my future goals?
- What am I most worried about?
- What are some fun things I would like to be doing?
- What type of self care would make me feel good?
- What important tasks would move my goals forward?
- What new thoughts are coming up as I do this exercise?
- What would it feel like to have a clear mind?
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 Brain Dump Template to Organize Your Thoughts
I created a brain dump worksheet pdf and 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 😉