• How a Brain Dump Increases Productivity and Creates a Peaceful Mindset

    Do you suffer from headaches, sleepless nights, or have trouble winding down at the end the day? For years, I had trouble being in the moment with my family because my brain was constantly fretting over my mental to-do list. If someone was talking to me, I could not focus on what they were saying because I was more focused on what’s next!

    If you don’t learn to clear your brain, eventually exhaustion, anxiety and burn-out will rule your days. I started doing some research and developed a 4 technique process called a Brain Dump. Start practicing these methods outlined in this blog as soon as possible. It will change your mindset, lead to increased productivity, and let you truly enjoy time with your family.

    Think on Paper

    Do you sometimes catch yourself at night thinking about what you need to do the next day? Do you often worry that you might forget to perform an important task? The trick to dumping all of this worry out of your brain is to write down all the things you want to accomplish the next day. By simply writing it down, allows your brain to relax and shift focus because you no longer have to worry that what you did not do today, can be easily accomplished tomorrow.

    Write all of your thoughts on paper. I have a 70 sheet notebook that I label Brain Dump. If you are techy and like to do things on your phone, set up a Brain Dump file on your smartphone. Be sure to back it up so you don’t lose any of your ideas and tasks!

    Get Organized

    Once your list is on paper, it’s important to organize it. Otherwise you are left feeling overwhelmed by a huge list of thoughts and tasks. Color code, highlight, or number using these for methods:

    1.      Must Do

    I label a must do task when it has a positive influence on my business and home. Sometimes, a must do task has a deadline attached such as:

    • Follow up with a customer
    • Introduce a new product to a contact
    • Submit permission slip for child’s class field trip
    • Load the dishwasher because you’re out of glasses.

    2.      Need to Do

    A need to do task is a task that can wait at least next 24-hours before you get to it. You will normally find the following on my need to do list:

    • Return non-urgent phone call
    • Check email
    • Work on the family budget
    • Unload the dishwasher
    • Meal planning

    3.      Delegate

    When your must do and need to do lists are too long, it’s time to delegate activities. Your number one priorities deserve your undivided attention. Pulling yourself in too many directions leads to mistakes and anxiety. If you are a small business owner, consider bringing in a college intern to help with the small tasks such as filing, run errands, sorting, mailers, and general correspondence.

    If you are overwhelmed at home and need help keeping up with the chores, start delegating to the kids. Delegating chores teaches your kids to clean up after themselves and helps them learn the importance of household responsibilities.

    4.      Want to Do Task

    A Want to Do Task has no impact on family or business. This list is about YOU. I sometimes put everything else first and forget to take care of myself. Putting it in writing is a constant reminder of things you can do and things you deserve:

    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Lunch plans with friends
    • Get a new pair of sandals
    • Start or finish a craft project

    How a Brain Dump Helps

    Documenting what you need to do and prioritizing it helps ease your mind. Look at it this way, you now have on paper all of the 1’s you need to focus on. Pre-planning your day allows you to be more productive and allows you to increase your business related activities. As you complete each task, your brain feels a sense of relief, calms down the adrenalin and helps clear your mind. The more you clear your mind, the stronger you become with each task you face.