There will be times in your business life, where you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Your head is a mess, you’re waking up in the middle of the night with a deluge of random thoughts and ideas, and you’re generally feeling like your head is going to explode. It’s times like this, when you need to grab a pen and carry out a brain dump!

A brain dump is a great way to clear that overwhelm in your head. Not only that, but it’s also great for your mental health and helps you gain clarity and focus. It’s one of the tools many successful entrepreneurs use, to ensure they’re able to work productively and stay on track.

But what exactly is a brain dump and how can it help you get organised?

What is a brain dump?

A brain dump is a great way to declutter your brain. The word ‘brain dump’ is given to the process where you get everything on a specific subject out of your head onto some other form of storage. For many, a brain dump will usually involve one of these three methods:

  • Writing everything straight down onto a piece of paper
  • Drawing a visual representation of your thoughts – usually with mind mapping software (such as Mind Meister or Mind View 7)
  • Typing your thoughts out, so you can save them to your computer hard drive or even an App such as Evernote

Brain dumping may be a simple technique, but it’s one that you really shouldn’t underestimate. The key to a great brain dump is to write down everything – no matter how big, small or irrelevant it may seem at the time.

Why you might need to carry out a brain dump

If you’re feeling stressed and not sleeping, it could be because you have too much going on in your head. Working for yourself often means that you’re not only responsible for what goes on in your business, but that you’re often the only one who can do everything that needs doing.

Your brain is not meant to consciously keep hold of every piece of information you have and need. When you try to remember everything, there’s going to be times when you forget something important or get something wrong. But you’re also going to end up feeling:

  • Unfocused – so much on your mind, you literally can’t think straight. When you do try to focus on something, you’re constantly remembering everything else that’s in your head. This leads to below standard work and a slow down in your general productivity.
  • Overwhelmed – juggling everything you have to do, worrying you might forget something and carrying a constant mental to-do list around in your head can lead to think there is too much to do and no way you’ll get it all done.

How a brain dump can help you get organised

A brain dump not only helps you get more focused and clear away those feelings of overwhelm, though. The process itself has numerous benefits, some of which are listed below:

Seeing your thoughts on paper can help

The physical act of putting down your thoughts can help you gain clarity and focus – and not just because you’re clearing a little head space so you can think straight! When you write down every random thought that is floating around in your head, you’ll often get insights into why you feel the way you feel or what’s stopping you from trying something new.

A brain dump often simplifies things

A brain dump gives you a picture of what’s worrying you, what’s important to you, and what things you need to stop holding on to. You may feel that you want to try a certain route in your business, but once it’s written down and you can see it, you may realise it isn’t a direction you want to take. Brain dumping has a habit of simplifying your true wants and needs!

It’s a great way to bring order to your thoughts

It’s far easier to rearrange your thoughts, when you see them on paper. You’ll often find it easier to dump everything down onto paper and then go through and put those thoughts and phrases you’ve written, into order. You can make connections between your thoughts, see how things are interlinked and work out an action plan for moving forward.

You’ll often uncover hidden gems

A brain dump is a great way to access conscious thoughts and ideas you have. However, the process of getting those thoughts down will also often bring up unconscious related thoughts too. This is why creative people like to mind map and brain dump – it’s a fast way to uncover those hidden ideas and gems in your head.

How to brain dump

Carrying out your own brain dump is easy. You simply grab a pen and notepad (or your keyboard!) and start jotting things down! It’s up to you how that looks. Some people like to bullet point random thoughts, others simply type a long continuous stream of words and phrases. What’s important is that you don’t stop and think about what you’re doing, nor do you try to put any sense of order to it, you’re simply getting everything down from your head.

If you need help starting your brain dump, Diary of a Journal Planner has a list of prompts you can use, whilst Hustle to Startup has an excellent blog on the topic of brain dumping. Not only do they explain how and when to do it, there’s also a toolkit you can download – so check it out!

A brain dump is a great way to clear that overwhelm in your head, and it’s no wonder so many entrepreneurs are benefiting from this simple tool. It’s great for your mental health and helps you gain clarity and focus – especially if you can then outsource those tasks you’ve written down, to your VA! Not only that, but it also ensures you’re personally able to work productively and stay on track too. So why not give it a try?

If you’ve carried out a brain dump and how have a list of tasks on your to-do list, why not get in touch and see how we can help? Not only will it free up some of your time, it’s one less thing you need to worry about – so get in touch – and let’s discuss how we can lend you a Virtual Hand to lighten your workload!