My Rashionale: Simple decluttering of the brain helps when overwhelmed


October 23, 2019


Have you ever tried brain dumping — writing down what is swirling around in your brain?

It really is simple and can be a quick exercise of jotting down what has to be done that day or a longer, diving-in-deep type experience. 

Either option works based on how overwhelmed you might be and both options always prove therapeutic when practiced.

While brain dumping really can be done anywhere at anytime, I find it provides the most calming effect when I pull away from everything happening around me for a few minutes.

A quiet environment helps the mind focus and fire off the items needing urgent attention, random things you should or want to do, concerns, fears, frustrations, various ideas to develop and anything else that surfaces.

Writing them down on paper or putting them in a document on your phone, tablet or computer declutters your mind and thoughts. It allows you to focus and feel less frantic.

The calming effect takes away the fear of forgetting something or the overwhelmed sense of not being able to get it all done.

A calm, clear, decluttered mind will be more productive and more energized which allows you to tackle your to-do list with purpose and confidence.

 Brain dumping can be done as often as needed and the list that results can then be organized and prioritized.

Sometimes I start with a calendar and walk through the days and other times I let all that I’m attempting to remember flow out in whatever order it wants.

Using bullet points helps me as I jot down the items and transferring them to my calendar or a priority list ensures they actually get done.

One negative side effect of brain dumping happens when I don’t prioritize the list or look back at it often — I will likely forget to do something because my mind has “released” it.

Using the same notebook or document for the lists each time helps as does reviewing the information frequently. 

Transferring the items to a daily list and crossing them off the original list also helps keep them front and center.

Taking a few minutes to tackle several of the easy items always helps me feel a sense of accomplishment.

 And if you want the items dumped from your brain to actually be accomplished before you drown in the lists you are making then it is important to select at least one major item on the list each week to dissect into manageable parts. Develop a game plan for completing the project and work the plan, adapting and adjusting as needed along the way.

Of course all of us have different situations, environments and responsibilities that impact how, when and where we do what we do each day as well as what all clutters our minds.

Even the basic form of brain dumping without the extra effort toward productivity brings a calmness we all need which adds the ultimate bonus — more room for Jesus.

  • David Garrard Magic