What happens when in a busy day your mind is so crammed with all your “to dos” that you feel like you’re going to explode? When you try to find where the end of the thread is so you can start doing something, anything? And then when you start something, anything, only to drop it to deal with an emergency?
We’ve all had this happen at some point, and often what happens is that we freeze – we take no action at all.
The quickest way to overcome this fog is to do a brain dump.
Try it now. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes. Write down everything that comes to your mind. Don’t judge, don’t categorize, don’t think – just capture each thought.
Once you have dumped everything out of your brain, then you can look at each entry and decide each step. Typically those items cluttering up your mind will fall into the following categories:
- Reminders – Pick up milk, start presentation in 3 weeks, have that conference call later
- Tasks – Call client, RSVP for event, send out agenda
- Delete – Tasks that were floating in your brain but once examined aren’t really important
- Delegate – Tasks that do not need your personal attention, but do need to be completed
- Planning – All the projects and ideas you want to work on
NOTE: Some of my client are verbal processors and tend to do this exercise by speaking into an app on their phone rather than writing a list. If you’re visual, you can color code by category.
Now that everything is out of your brain, it is much easier to prioritize the next step. Take a look at everything you have written down – what stands out as most important and most urgent? (More on these categories here.)
You know that feeling when you clean out a closet or drawer and feel the relief? This is your brain decluttered!
Now that you have a shiny new tool, USE it! Any time you feel unproductive, overwhelmed, stressed or cluttered, it’s time for another brain dump.
I’ve created the SystemSavvy Consulting Parking Lot to help walk you through this process. It’s my gift to you – because this “I’m so busy feeling” is NO FUN! This tool gives you a framework for the steps I outlined above so you can easily do a “brain dump” and get your priorities in order. You can do this!