A brain dump is an effective (and sometimes very fun) journaling exercise that takes the thoughts and worries that flood our brains on a consistent basis and gets them out on paper. Figuring out how to brain dump effectively is crucial to lowering our levels of anxiety and stress, and a great brain dump can help us organize our thoughts and become crystal clear on our goals.
Brain dump prompts and worksheets can be helpful tools in taking a brain dump from an idea to a reality, but sometimes really concrete examples are exactly what we need to feel motivated and inspired. Here are 8 simple brain dump examples to help you get started.
1. Bullet Journal Brain Dump
If you use a bullet journal (and if you're a Silk + Sonder subscriber, you do!) try dedicating a page in your journal to a brain dump. This can be a regular journal page where you free-write, taking all the clutter in your brain and getting it out on a piece of paper. While bullet journals tend to be more structured than other types of bullet journals, the beauty of it is that you're in control — so feel free to add as many or as few brain dump pages as you want.
2. Weekly Brain Dump
Sometimes when we journal, we ask a little too much of ourselves. While it would be great to write in a journal for an hour every day, that's not always realistic — and that's especially true when we start talking about brain dumps. Think about how long it takes for clutter to accumulate in your home: It usually doesn't happen over the span of a single day; it's more like a week or even a few weeks.
So rather than forcing yourself to brain dump every day, try a weekly brain dump where you set aside a specific amount of time to remove all those disjointed thoughts from your brain and get them out on paper.
3. Brain Dump List
Are you a person who loves to-do lists? If so, a brain dump list may be exactly what you need. A brain dump list is as simple as it sounds: Rather than free-writing your brain dump, make a list. You can add details under certain points, if you want, but a few words will work just fine for a brain dump list.
4. Just Start Writing
For some people, the idea of sitting down to a do a brain dump adds a lot of pressure. So instead of telling yourself that you're sitting down to do a brain dump, grab a piece of paper just start writing. Through free writing, you'll probably end up doing a natural brain dump. So set a timer for 30 minutes (or however long you want), and get started.
Sometimes, all you need to do is take a pen out and start writing.
5. A 'Priority' Brain Dump
Let's be honest: We all have a lot going on. And sometimes, it can be tough to tell the difference between priorities and the things that don't actually matter that much. Here's where brain dumping can be helpful: Sit down and do a priority brain dump, where you list out your priorities. This can help you craft a to-do list that ends up lowering your levels of stress and anxiety as you start to check off those nagging tasks that are important but never seem to get done.
6. A Themed Brain Dump
Brain dumps are meant to be messy and disorganized, since the purpose of them is to remove cluttered thoughts from our brains. But sometimes, we need a little more organization around a brain dump, especially when we're having a hard time getting started. So, try a "themed" brain dump. This means you focus on a specific theme in your life — work, family, home, self-care, or play are a few good examples — and get all of your thoughts around a specific theme out on paper.
7. A Goal-Oriented Brain Dump
A brain dump is an excellent vessel for helping us realize our goals and dreams. So if you want a little more focus in your brain dump, try a brain dump that's centered on your goals. Whether your goals are related to work on your personal self-care, a brain dump can be an excellent first step to help you become clear on what you really want to accomplish, and from there you can come up with a plan.
8. A 'Memories' Brain Dump
Sometimes, the best way to access the part of your brain that benefits from brain dumping starts with accessing your memories. So, try a "memories" brain dump. Whether these are negative memories or positive ones, memories can clog up our minds and make our thoughts feel disjointed and cluttered. By writing our some recent (or ancient!) memories, your thoughts may start to become a lot more clear.
Brain Dump Page Examples
Looking for some brain dump page examples to help you get started? Here are some of our favorites for inspiration.
Long story short: It doesn't matter what your brain dump looks like; what matters is that it works for you. So whether you're a list person, a themed brain dump person or someone who just needs a really good free-writing session, find your brain dump style and get started.
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