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Amira McLaughlin

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Life gets overwhelmingly busy sometimes. You’ve got so much on your mind that it can seem impossible to sort it all out. Focusing on ways to live your best life certainly seems out of the question when you’re just trying to get through each day. 

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Photo by Keira Burton on

There’s an exercise I like to do to help sort things out and to give me a fresh, renewed perspective. It’s called a brain dump, and it’s a super-easy way to get all the stuff that’s floating around in your mind out into an organized format you can more easily process. Take a look at what it is, how it works, and its benefits. 

What’s a Brain Dump? 

A brain dump is a very simple activity that offers tremendous results. It involves writing down all the things currently in your mind so that they’re out of your head and can be processed and analyzed. It frees up your brain for more important tasks and allows you to move forward with a clear head. There are lots of reasons to do a brain dump. You may want to complete one when you’re feeling overloaded, are preparing for a big life event, or when you need to make an important decision. 

How It Works

A brain dump doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. You can take some time in the evening to write down everything that’s on your mind, from to-do lists to pent-up emotions to goals you’ve been contemplating. Just getting it out can be enough to ease your mind and provide some stress relief. The exercise is most beneficial, though, when you have time to work through it and organize your brain dump so that you can analyze the results and look for patterns. This provides you some insight into your thoughts and aspirations. You can use pen and paper or a notetaking app on your computer. Once you’ve gotten everything out, start a new page and sort your list into categories. Now it’s time to make a plan of action. Take items from your list and put them in your calendar as to-dos. This will help you make time for what’s important and prioritize, helping you move forward and get un-stuck. 

Benefits of a Brain Dump

Brain dumps have several benefits. They provide mental clarity and allow you to make sense of everything that’s rushing around in your head. By taking proactive steps to act upon what you’ve written down, you’re empowering yourself and providing the motivation you need to accomplish your goals. You’re also better able to prioritize and start truly working toward your purpose. A brain dump can help alleviate stress and increase self-awareness, as well. 

Can you see how a brain dump can be a tremendous tool for figuring things out? Give it a try this weekend or when you can set aside several hours to devote to the process. You’re sure to find it a worthwhile investment. 

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