Instant everything…news, texts, posts, tweets, photos…no wonder we feel overwhelmed. There is just too much going on, coming in, wanting, needing, must-ing and it’s all happening 24 hours a day.
Psychology Today tell us “…clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli causing our senses to work overtime on (things) that aren’t necessary or important.” The result of our not giving our brains a safe place away from all that stimulation is that our brains will preemptively shut down and “…we will, in turn, lose a lot of time and money.”
A positive solution to this “too much all the time” scenario is decluttering our brains through regular “brain dumps. ” According to Tech Target, a brain dump is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge about a particular subject from our brains to some other storage medium, such as a piece of paper or a computer’s hard drive.” To translate, write down everything’s that going on in your brain onto a piece of paper. That action of physically writing down what’s going on in your brain takes away the overwhelm and turns whatever mental paralysis you have about that overwhelm into action. You get to read what’s in your head and you get to then decide what’s important.
At the end of your day on a daily basis, take a ten minute brain dump. Write down whatever comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, write that down. No editing, no interruptions. Ten minutes straight. No crossing out. No throwing away the piece of paper.
Now, take two minutes to see if there are any themes, any categories, any tasks that go together, any new ideas. Connect the things/tasks/themes that seem to go together with lines and you’ll see very quickly, I promise, where and how you need to spend your time tomorrow. Also make sure to have a section for miscellaneous random thoughts. Keep those too…you may want/need those thoughts in the future.
If you want to take two more minutes, make a to-do list for tomorrow and then you’ll be off to a flying start the next morning. If you don’t want to take two more minutes, don’t. Put your brain dump paper in your bag, your briefcase, your pocket and you can make that to-do list next morning. Then you’ll be ready for the day tomorrow.
You’ll also be ready for your evening today…ready for your family, your friends, ready for that music you want to practice. Your brain dump will have decluttered your brain so you’ll be able to do all those things and enjoy them. You might even be able to have a decent night’s sleep.