Ever felt like your mind resembled a traffic jam of never-ending tasks and ideas, threatening to trigger an explosion of overwhelm. As women entrepreneurs, the pressure to remember every detail, every deadline, and every project can be suffocating. Have you ever found yourself desperately searching for the starting point amidst the chaos?

Believe me, you’re not alone. The secret to regaining control and making decisive strides lies in a simple yet transformative practice: the brain dump. Picture this: you close your eyes, inhale deeply, and then exhale the weight of your mental clutter onto paper or into a note-taking app. No judgment, no sorting, just pure thought capture. “Research has found that the act of physically writing things down helps to encode it in your memory and improves your recall.” (1)

Being a business owner is marked by the constant juggling act – but here’s the catch. Keeping everything locked inside our heads is hindering our decision-making prowess. The more you cram in, the harder it becomes to sift through the mental fog and make clear choices. 

Do this instead. 


Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and open your eyes again. Grab a pen and paper, or open an app on your phone, and write down everything that comes to your mind. Don’t judge, don’t categorize, and don’t overthink it – just capture each thought as it comes.


Once you’ve emptied everything out of your brain, it’s time to sift through the clutter and categorize your thoughts:

1. Delete – Be honest with yourself and identify tasks that seemed important at first but, upon closer examination, are not really essential. Give yourself permission to let go of those burdens.

2. Reminders – Note down tasks like picking up supplies, starting a crucial presentation in a few weeks, or scheduling that important conference call. Make a plan to take care of each of these.

3. Tasks – List out actionable items such as calling a client, RSVPing for an event, or sending out meeting agendas. Add these to your project management system or to-do list.

4. Delegate – As a business owner, it’s essential to recognize that you can’t do everything on your own. Highlight tasks that don’t require your personal attention but still need to be completed and delegate them to capable team members or partners. (Hint, hint, you probably have a couple right now in the “Reminders” list.

5. Planning – Embrace the visionary side of your brain and jot down all the projects and ideas you want to explore in the future. Keep them on one “To Do in the Future” list – and revisit this list regularly.


The brain dump method offers a fresh perspective by laying out your thoughts in front of you. The practice creates mental breathing room, which is essential for effective decision-making during the day. Research has also found that doing a “brain dump” before bed may help you sleep better at night (2).


Take a good look at everything you’ve written down – now that the clutter is out of your head – it isn’t as overwhelming. You can identify the most important and urgent tasks – the tasks that move your business forward. These are the ones that demand your immediate attention.


Make using the Brain Dump strategy part of your regular routine. Clear the clutter and your brain will thank you!


Looking for some space and time to work on the “To Do in the Future” list? Come to our next Impactive Thinking Club! Here business owners jump on Zoom for a day and dig into their big projects. No interruptions, no meetings, no email. Just focused work. More info here: www.ImpactiveStrategies.com/club



  • 1. Rummer R, Schweppe J, Martin RC. Two Modality Effects in Verbal Short-Term Memory: Evidence from Sentence Recall. J Cogn Psychol (Hove). 2013 May 1;25(3):231-247. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2013.769953. PMID: 23894695; PMCID: PMC3719873
  • 2. Scullin MK, Krueger ML, Ballard HK, Pruett N, Bliwise DL. The effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep: A polysomnographic study comparing to-do lists and completed activity lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2018;147(1):139-146. doi:10.1037/xge0000374