Have you ever felt so completely stressed that you could almost explode? Maybe you felt crazy overwhelmed and didn’t know how in the HECK you would EVER “get it all done”!? We live in some really fast-paced times, I know! Sometimes we just need to take a step back, and think about all that we really feel we “have” to do. The best way I know of to do this is through something I call a “brain dump”. This is where you take that entire “to-do” list that is sitting in your brain, and you literally dump it out onto something else! It has to be written down so that it’s tangible, though. You can use a good, old-fashioned paper and pencil, or you can use your smartphone, PC, iPad, or whatever is easiest and works best for you. For now, what you use doesn’t matter, simply the act of DOING it matters.
Did you know that there is research-based evidence behind the “brain dump” method? Having so much “stuff” in our heads can actually cause stress and anxiety, and just the physical act of writing it down can help take some of the stress away. Who knew, right?
There are a gazillion new apps released every day, but my current favorite is Wunderlist (free!). I love Wunderlist (and I’m not affiliated in any way) because it is easy, and I have it on my iPad, Smartphone and desktop computers (it syncs across all devices, so I have no excuse to not be on top of my “to-do’s”!). Wunderlist = Success Bliss BOMB!
How I do my Brain Dump
We are all individuals, and what works for one person may not work as well for another. I love my system, and it works really well for ME, because it’s simple, and I have easy, quick access to it ALL THE TIME (important!!). Maybe you already have a solid app that you use, and you like. Great, I’m not saying you have to change – do what works best for YOU! If paper and pencil (in a notebook that you can carry around with you!!) work best for you – fantastic! Then that’s what you should use!
If you’re just not sure what system you want to use, though, copy what I’m doing, and then gradually tweak it to meet your needs! Just remember, perfectionism slows down ACTION. You need to DO. Once you DO, you can upgrade and enhance to make it fit YOU best.
Go to www.Wunderlist.com from your computer, and create an account.
Go to your App Store and search “Wunderlist”. Download the free app once you find it, and create an account.
You can do this from your Smartphone , iPad, and/or desktop computer! Did I already mentioned I have it on ALL of my devices? I have ZERO (zilch, nada, NULL SET, baby!) excuses for not getting my “to-do’s” DONE. And, since the app is based on your login, it is synced up across all of your devices, so it is always current, no matter which device you are using it from. Yesss – big “thank you” to cloud computing!
Once you have your account set up, you’ll see some pre-made folders for you on the left side. I redid them into my own preferences by simply clicking on one, then backspacing the title, and replacing it with my own.
The BIGGEST recommendation I can give you is to set up a “TODAY”, “THIS WEEK” and “SOON” folder system, to start.
For NOW, just do your brain dump in the “soon” folder. Once you have everything captured, you can move it into the appropriate folder (because Wunderlist allows you to move items between folders, too!). Don’t worry too much about that for now, though. Honestly just the act of getting it all down and in-writing will be an amazing start. And you have to capture EVERYTHING. Once you have it all IN WRITING, it allows your brain to “let it go”, resulting in a more calm disposition (less stress).
The key is to NOT stress about this list, we’ll bring order to the chaos later, I promise. All you need to do is dump, dump, dump those “to-do” lists out and save. I’ll provide more information on how we bring that chaos to order in an upcoming post (resulting in even more “calming” of our stress and anxiety levels – yay!).