Downloading My Brain

Have you ever felt overcome by the tyranny of the urgent? Do you ever get to the point where you have so many things on your mind that you feel like you can’t think anymore? Have you ever felt so scattered that you aren’t getting anything done?

That’s been my week. I have too many events and projects all piling on at once and my heading is spinning. When I get to this point, I have to do something to lessen the distraction of all the things on my mind scrabbling for attention. It’s time to do a Brain Dump.

To do a Brain Dump, take out a blank sheet of paper and something to write with (a computer with a blank word processing document would work too). Sit down in a quiet to semi-quiet place and begin downloading your brain onto the paper. Write down all the different things floating around in there bugging you. Don’t worry about what to do with them or how your going to get them done, just write them down.

Right now, I’m working on an eating plan, money-saving menus for the family, spring-summer wardrobes, and various household projects. I’m researching school materials for next year, waiting for Spitfire’s baby, trying to work out a tricky financial situation, and trying to keep up with a pile of church events coming up starting with a luncheon today, church tonight, teaching 4-5 year olds next week, the kids’ Easter pageant, and several upcoming youth events that must be registered for. Oh, yeah, and keeping up with the house, the laundry, the kids, homeschooling, and a husband with a crazy and constantly changing work schedule.

A bit further back in there, I’ve got camp registration, summer plans, upcoming birthdays, the looming first anniversary of my mom’s passing, sewing I want to do, quilts I want to make, garden plans, and working on keeping up with this blog better. ๐Ÿ™‚ Whew! No wonder my thoughts have felt so cluttered.

Now you might be asking “What is the purpose of writing this stuff down? It still all needs to be done.” I have found that when I can get all this down on paper, it frees my mind to start breaking it all down and dealing with it. I can step back from things and analyze them. I can prioritize and schedule them. I can create a checklist and work my way down the list. Once I get all the pressing matters banging around in my head out, I free the space for handling the items and I can relax and know that nothing will be overlooked. It keeps my thoughts from flitting from one thing to another because my brain knows there’s a plan to address everything.

I know I can’t be the only one who gets too much on their plate and starts feeling a little frazzled around the edges. So tell me, what do you do when you feel scattered?

3 comments on “Downloading My Brain

  1. oh, man…the Tyranny of the Urgent…first, of all, I need to say that God keeps bringing that phrase into my life lately…trying to make a point do you think?

    I so need to do a brain dump! God bless you for reminding me that taking 20 min to do that will help me to prioritize and figure out what I need to do! Thank you1

  2. Brain dumps are awesome. I used to work one of those multi-hat admin jobs, so my brain dumps would have to occur at least once a week if I had any hope of keeping on track and following up on everything. SO helpful.

    I like to do it on the computer because I can type faster than I can write. And then I organize it into some sense of order, and then I’ll write everything down on paper. There’s something really satisfying about crossing it off. It helps me clear the thing out of my mind for good.

  3. I found you through Company Girl Coffee, and I think after reading your post, it would be a great thing for me to do this week! A cluttered brain makes for a pretty stressed out woman here. ๐Ÿ™‚

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