Braindump Like A Pro - 6 Easy Steps to Re-Organise Your Life - Puja Kirpalani
"Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” John De Paola
A few days ago, I’m seated in an Uber on the way home from a meeting and suddenly, my mind just took a deep-end for the freezer.
Just out of nowhere and nothing, it froze. I blanked out.
Me, who clings to a diary for dear glory. Me, who is a regular meditator and who practices yoga almost every day. Me, who religiously like a marathon runner plots my week ahead every Sunday. Me, who drafts excel sheets in my sleep, even to schedule holidays.
From a racing mind of so many things going on at one time, my mind had just given up on me to save myself from exhaustion and did it’s good ole job of self-preservation.
Yes, my mind had officially given up on me.
I had what you call an ‘information overload’ or 'mind fuzz''. I had actually hit the wall, running.
So what really what happened? Studies have shown that our brains only have the capacity to retain 7 +/- 2 chunks of information at one time. For example, sing your ABCs to yourself (quietly!) You actually learnt in the sequence of ABCDEFG (7) HIJKLMNOPH (7+/-2=9), following this premise.
However, in an age of fast paced lifestyles and information overload- everywhere we turn is a demand for our attention. Juggling between work, family, social media, and our personal needs, it’s easy to get sucked into the never-ending list of to-dos and end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
At any one point, we could have thoughts about the: contents of the goodie bags…the size of the ac duct.. my next blog content.. the call with Credit Suisse at 11am…hey, why didn't the yoga teacher email me, etc. etc.
Yes- it happens to all of us.. Ideas and thoughts swimming in our minds, cluttering up our mental space.
The problem is, when we are overwhelmed with so many ‘things to do’ and thoughts/ideas hitting us all at one time, the efficiency of our brain to carry out tasks gets thwarted. We become more become worried with all the things we ‘need to do’, and with no clear structure or deadline.
We end up less efficient, less productive, more anxious and confused.
As a prevention measure, the best thing you can do for yourself right this moment, or especially if you sense yourself overwhelmed, is....
... to throw these thoughts out on paper, also a technique known as “brain dumping”.
6 Steps to Brain Dumping & Creating Meaning In Your Life
1. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or a notebook, and start jotting down everything that is currently in your mind.
Write without editing, and write out every trivial and important thought.
Set a timer, or simply give yourself 10 minutes.
It does not have to be in any particular order. Just release any thoughts, even junk, that you need to work on, from the most trivial to the most important as per how it comes out of your mind.
Remember to not worry about keeping things looking neat and perfect. This will limit our freedom to dump whatever we want onto paper.
It could look a little bit like this, below:
2. Start Categorising!
Find common themes in your list that you can categorise into areas.
For example, ‘Call back with so and so broker’, and ‘Identify properties in District *’ would fall under the category of “Buying Property”.
3. Identify a template you like (downloadable online), such as this below, and print out at least 20 copies. It should be more or less complete, with sub-categories such as "Topic", "Deadline", "Ideas" at the bare minimum.
Extracting your categories and titling each page.
Fill in the required points that you just 'brain dumped' under each page, which fits in line with each category.
You should have a list more or less like this one below on "Yaash's Bday Party"
As you list the points under their designated categories, cross them out from your main braindump list.
4. By the end, you should have a series of individualised lists like this below. (And, no pressure, as you may not even have this many...)
Note: I even have blank pages, with things that I’d like to do in the future, such as “New Recipes”.
5. Staple them together and get out your weekly planner or diary.
Then, start filling in your calendar. Start by allocating a day of the week to complete one of those lists. So it's ONE LIST PER DAY. Spread it out across your week/month/year or however you'd like.
For example, I dedicate the whole Thursday for Yaash’s birthday planning. I dedicate Wednesday to ‘Pending House Things’. This way, for sure you will accomplish and complete the tasks, and get them out of the way.
Remember: It can span over any time period, depending on the urgency of the tasks.
6. Do this braindumping exercise at least once every 6 months, at the bare minimum.
Once you complete this, and each category/list is put into the calendar, relief and confidence will sweep over your entire being (trust me on this!). You are set for the next 6 months at least, and if need be, you can always add to these individual lists as time goes on.
And top it off, you’ll find these additional self bonuses in your workplace, home or social gatherings:
- Increased clarity and ‘mind space’ for new and creative ideas.
- What could have seemed like a meaningless category can become a meaningful goal for you.
- Increase in productivity and decreased anxiety
In addition, I could not believe how many important things that had so much potential to improve my life, but had no structure or time-frame.
Hence, I have given those things, as trivial as they might seem but still exist, a source of life and more importantly a clearly defined purpose.
To increase your chances of success in completing tasks, overcoming anxiety, and goal development, I also offer NLP sessions to mentally expand time and another process increase your chances of making your desired goal come true.
Until next time..!
Contact Puja at firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 96100306 and check out her website Inner High Living for private NLP Coaching sessions held on Wednesdays between 11am-6pm.
Pamela ‘Puja’ Kirpalani, is an avid fan of the positive human psychology movement and is certified by the ABNlp (Australian Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming) as an International NLP Master Practitioner, Trainer & Consultant, and Neuro-Coach. In addition, she is also certified as an IEMT (Integrated Eye Movement Technique) Practitioner and SleepTalk Consultant for kids.