What is a Brain Dump, and Why Do I Need It?

September 1, 2022

What is a Brain Dump, and Why Do I Need It?

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain

On average, humans can have up to 80,000 thoughts per day, and the National Science Foundation says that 95% of those are repetitive thoughts. That’s a lot!

With our never-ending to-do lists, new information coming our way every minute, and a lot of other things on our plates, at work, at home, and in our rooms, our minds can start to become cluttered and get overwhelmed. Every now and then, you’ll find it hard to focus on what you are currently doing because your brain is nagging you about something.

One way we can take care of ourselves and declutter our minds is by giving our thoughts (something abstract) a concrete form. You can either write it down with a pen and paper, type it on a computer, or doodle a mind map on a napkin. The important thing is to dump those thoughts that are inside your brain onto something physical and tangible so that you can get a clearer headspace.

Brain dumping is one of many activities that can help you reduce stress, manage your anxiety, and increase your focus, productivity, and creativity, and it is actually a very simple exercise that can get the brainstorming going.

Our brains are wired to hold information, and when we subconsciously believe a thought to be important, it tries to get our attention by reminding us every few seconds.

Getting into the habit of writing those thoughts down and processing them helps scratch that metaphorical brain itch. It is like we are telling our brains, “Okay, I got the memo. You can calm yourself down now.”

It is a good mindfulness system for reflecting on what's on top of our minds, assessing our priorities and keeping track of ideas that might be useful now, later, or someday.

Brain dumping can help you get organized, refreshed, and ready to start your day with more focus and peace of mind.

It also helps you see a clearer big-picture of what’s important, helps you decide how to manage your time, and breaks down seemingly complex tasks into smaller, more manageable, and actionable steps. That way, we can make sure we are on top of everything that needs to be done, not drowning under the weight of all of it.

What about you? What are some practices that you do to help you stay focused and organized?

Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.