A brain dump is nothing more than getting all your thoughts, feelings, worries, and fears
onto paper. You typically write more than when you are working on a regular journal
entry, as you are really trying to get absolutely everything in your conscious out in the
open so you can work through all these thoughts more effectively.
But, if you have been trying brain dumps and they still aren’t serving you, you might be
making some of these common mistakes.
1. You Are Not Giving Yourself Enough Time
The first thing you might be doing wrong when writing your brain dump is not giving
yourself adequate time. This is not as short as a regular journal entry, and should not be
treated as such. A brain dump is most likely going to be done less often than your other
journaling, but it is still really important and needs your full focus and attention.
Try to time it for when you have at least 20-30 minutes of free, quiet time. This might be
on a weekend, a morning before work if you wake up early, or in the door of the day
with the door to your office closed.
You don’t want to feel too rushed to get this done, or you won’t fully benefit from it.
2. You Aren’t Categorizing Your Thoughts Into Actionable Steps
The next problem is simply writing everything down, then forgetting about it. Again,
different from writing in your journal, the brain dump is not just meant to get all the
thoughts out, but to actually sort through them.
After you have taken your time to write down everything in your journal, you then want
to look through them, assess what you have written down, and come up with solutions
for any problems you found.
Start by putting anything you wrote down in your brain dump into categories of urgent,
important, and less important. This allows you to address the hierarchy of needs and
figure out what needs your attention now, and what can be held off until later.
You can then decide if anything you wrote down is something related to a problem you
are able to resolve right now. Create actionable steps for this as well.
3. You Are Not Doing it Often Enough
Lastly, make sure you are doing the brain dump in your journal on a regular basis. The
more you do it, the more you are going to benefit from it. Maybe select one day a week
you can focus on your brain dump, or even less often than that. But this is not a one-
and-done type of journal entry.
Loving Life — The Reboot!