Organize your life with this 10-minute "brain dump" technique

Being a student, working full time, writing for a magazine and continuing to exercise on a regular basis sometimes can be a bit overwhelming, and my friends and family frequently ask me how I keep up with everything. My response usually consists of shrugging my shoulders, giggling a bit and the topic of the conversation usually changes.

Recently, I found myself out for lunch with a friend who expressed to me that she is feeling a bit overwhelmed and asked me for advice. Wanting to help, I thought hard about how I really manage everything and any tips or strategies that I could share with her. Immediately, my day planner popped into my head. That’s it! I brain dump daily.

So, what exactly is brain dumping? Well, it’s really quite simple. Every night I sit with my day planner and literally write down all the dates, times, and commitments that are floating around in my head. I unleash all the things I am constantly trying to remember and any ideas I had during that day. This doesn’t just mean jotting down doctor appointments and meetings - it means even penciling in workouts, emails that need to be sent, and items from the grocery store that need to be picked up. This allows me to go to sleep with empty thoughts and I have a fresh start to each day when I wake up in the morning.

This is also my alone time, and I use it to reflect on the day that is coming to an end. After brain dumping I feel a sense of relief because everything I need to remember is noted in my little book. If you feel as though this might help you, I suggest picking up a day planner, or even just using pen and paper, but try to refrain from using your smartphone as you can easily become distracted. There’s something about writing that has a therapeutic affect and is so calming, especially late at night. I have never been one for journaling, but in a way this is very similar. 

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at times, try taking a few moments at the end of each day and dedicating them to brain dumping. This small commitment can help to relieve stress, help you to become more organized and is a great habit to start as September slowly approaches and the summer comes to an end.