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What, How, & Why of Brain Dumping

Stress has become an integral part of our life. And one of the biggest stress is how to deal with it. There is a process that I practice on a regular basis and which has brought results for me. And that is 'Brain Dumping'.

What is Brain Dumping?

Brain Dumping is the process of dumping our thoughts on a piece of paper or with the help of technology to clear our head so that we can focus on a single idea at a time and not have to worry about the rest of the stuff.

It is also known as Journaling. Every kind of journal exists, like Food Journal, Workout Journal, Dream Journal, etc. The idea here is to 'track' anything and everything.

Journaling is a very powerful way to get a bird's eye view and control over every possible aspect of our life. It can be our emotions, sleeping patterns, diet, etc.

Why do we fail at it?

The obvious question that pops up in anyone's mind is that if Journaling can prove to be so beneficial, why do people fail at it?

To figure out the reasons myself, I practiced Journaling every day, for an entire month. What I found out can be boiled down into two points.

  1. Lack of time

  2. Not enjoying the process

I was not able to find the third reason. Everything that became a hurdle in my everyday brain dump session can be categorized into the above two points.

The first point actually includes everything related to time like not able to find time for it or eventually forget about it. Basically, not prioritizing it in your life.

But the biggest hurdle for me was that I didn't like the whole process of sitting down every day with a pen and paper and start writing down my thoughts. I didn't enjoy it then and I don't enjoy it now.

How to overcome the hurdles?

I did two things.

I added my brain dump session as a task in my to-do list application with a specific time slot attached to it. And I shifted my medium from pen-paper based on an application called Notion.

These two things actually reduced the friction of getting it done.

Having a daily task with a time slot in my to-do list worked as a reminder for me to just sit down and write something. Also, to get the task ticked-off off the to-do list worked as a driving force to do it eventually.

And a change in the environment always works if you are getting bored with the usual routine.

Now, I really enjoy my brain dump session. I sometimes miss it too, but it's okay to write 4-5 times a week than to not write at all.

When to do a brain dump?

Now, this is one of the most asked questions. Honestly speaking, this question does not have one single correct answer. It depends on the person entirely.

Some people like to do it the first thing in the morning, some people the last thing at night. Some people don't like to do it every day, they prefer brain-dump occasionally.

It is entirely up to you what suits you and your environment.

Tools Required For A Great Brain Dump Session

Let's talk about the interesting part now - the tools required to have a great brain dumping session.

There are two ways of doing it.

  1. Pen paper-based

  2. Using technology like mobile apps or web-based platforms

For the former technique, all you need is a pen and a notebook. Sit down and just vomit down your thoughts on it. As simple as that.

For the latter technique, there are a lot of applications. Personally, I use an app called Notion because it suits all my requirements. Other suggestions are Evernote, Roam Research, OneNote, Bear, etc.

So yeah, this is it for this article. Hope you have found something useful out of this.

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