The brain dump list

Brain dump list - Hello Little House

Meet my ultimate stress relief and brain saver.  The brain dump list. 

We’ve all been there – you’re treading water and feel like you’re about to drown in the hundreds of things that are weighing on your mind.  At night, you lie awake listening to a brain that won’t stop buzzing and wonder if you’ll ever get to sleep.

Enter the brain dump list.

You probably already have a daily diary and/or family planner to keep track of appointments and day to day tasks, but think of the brain dump list like the ultimate download of every single thing you’ve got bouncing around in your head.  Not just the things you need to get done today or by the end of the week, but all of the other bits and pieces that are taking up space in your head.

Like… book a dentist appointment.  And… consolidate our superannuation.  And… apply for a passport renewal.  And… Ebay furniture in garage.  And… sort toys and donate to charity.  And… update family photo album.  And… setup savings accounts for the boys.

Like I said, all of the bits and pieces.

I’ve been doing brain dumps for a long time now but I didn’t realise they were a recommended stress relief technique until it came up during one of my Diploma subjects last year.  It really does work and I know that when I unload in a brain dump list…

  • I instantly feel lighter and calmer, like I’m regaining a little control
  • I realise that I don’t have a hundred things to do – more like a manageable 22
  • I realise that some of the tasks can be crossed off the list with a quick phone call or email and they’re really not the monumental jobs I thought they were.

This isn’t my go-to list for everyday life.  It’s something I turn to during times that I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed.  Once I’ve had a brain dump I can review the list, start prioritising, transfer some of the simpler tasks to my daily diary and start getting stuff done.

When I’ve been working through the same list for a while and new bits and pieces are starting to fill my head, I know it’s time to grab a fresh piece of paper and start the process all over again!

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3 Responses to The brain dump list

  1. Emily 12 March, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    What a good idea!! I’m definitely the brain-buzzing can’t-fall-asleep type, and I haven’t figured out a good solution, except to read before bed until my eyes start to close. I’ll have to give this a try!!

  2. hellolittlehouse 12 March, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    It really does lighten my brain load Emily. I hope it works for you!

  3. Kristy 3 June, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I don’t know why I never thought of this. Like you I am a “list person” because I’m sure I’ll loose my marbles if I don’t have one.
    I’m starting this today as I’m a new mum who has just returned to work and I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing half the time because me mind is so full of stuff!
    Thanks!!!!