Braindumping: Organize Your Thoughts Into An Action Plan
by Brittany Jorel
3 years ago
"Enough is enough!"
That's what I said to myself one morning. I had all of these ideas for creating a business that I wanted to pursue. I wrote each idea down in a notebook, but never took action. Those ideas just stayed written on a piece of paper, hidden away from the world.
Sometimes, one of those ideas would pop up into my head again, and I would spend time imagining what it would be like to turn that idea into a reality. But then I got distracted or felt overwhelmed and never took action. And so the idea stayed as that…an idea.
That was until one day; I decided that NOW was the time to commit to me.
To commit to my dreams.
To take action.
But I didn't know where to start. That was when I knew what had been holding me back from pursuing my 'idea'—the fear of not knowing what to do next.
"An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.” ― Scott Belsky,
When we start something new that is unfamiliar to us, we can become easily overwhelmed with trying to decide what is the 'right' thing to do first. It can be paralyzing, stopping us right in our tracks. That's why I didn't pursue my ideas before, because I didn't know what steps to make next, and I was worried about screwing up.
But not this time!
This time, I grabbed my notebook and decided to do a brain dump!
What is a Brain Dump?
A brain dump is a simple yet effective strategy where you empty all of the contents of your mind onto paper, an app, or in a word document. A great analogy I like to use is when you spend time re-organizing your purse or bag. Typically, you will dump out the contents of your wallet onto a table so that you can throw out the garbage and re-organize all the good, valuable stuff.
The same thing can be done with our brains!
What are the benefits of a Brain Dump?
Our brain isn't meant to hold so much information like all of the stuff you have (or want) to do. Keeping everything in our mind can create unnecessary anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. It can also make unfamiliar things feel scarier than they are.
But when you clear the clutter from your brain and let your thoughts flow out of your hand onto paper, you will gain clarity, calmness, and confidence to move forward with your goals.
How to Brain Dump? Brain dumping is a simple and easy technique. You don't need anything fancy, and there is no right or wrong day to do it.
I prefer to do a brain dump on paper, but you can also use an app on your phone (notes is free) or open a google doc and start typing. In this post, I am going to share with you how to brain dump on paper.
To get started you will need:
- A pen/pencil
- Notebook or piece of paper
- Timer (phone works best)
- Some wine or coffee (optional)
I also like to put on some relaxing music and light a candle, but that is optional.
Step 1: Start Writing
Set a timer for 10-minutes and write down everything that comes to mind. You can create bullet points, write short sentences, or even draw small pictures. Whatever feels right to you!
When I wanted to create my clothing company, I had no idea where to start. So I broke down that big goal into smaller ones. To do this, I first asked myself, "what do I need to do to start a clothing company?" and did a brain dump.
Here is an example of what I wrote.
- Find a Designer
- Come up with a name
- Create a brand and logo
- Design a website
- Decide how to sell my clothes
- Create social media accounts
- Set pricing
- Determine shipping options
- Promote products
You will notice that nothing is categorized or in order, and that is okay. It is also okay if you've forgotten items. Keep writing until your timer is up.
Step 2: Link Similarities
I then went through my list and started to link together similar ideas into categories. By doing this, you might discover more items to "brain dump" onto your list. I'll continue with the example above.
Category 1 - Brand: and Come up with a Name
- Create a Logo
- Determine Brand Colors
- Design a Website
- Create Social Media Accounts
Category 2 - Clothes
- Source Materials
- Determine Types Of Clothes To Sell
- Design Clothes
Category 3 - Sales
- Set Pricing
- Determine Shipping Options
- Decide On A Selling Platform
- Determine Sales Region
- Return Policy
Again, it's okay if you've now thought of new ideas. This is what a brain dump is all about!
Step 3: Create a List of Action Items based on Priority
Look at your categories and decide which one you should tackle first. To do this, you will have to select what item needs to be completed before you can start your next task. I also suggest adding a deadline for your items to help keep you accountable.
And there you have it!
You’ve just done a brain dump.
"Action expresses priorities." - Mohandas Gandhi
When starting my clothing business, I had to do a lot of research first to see if this was a viable product. I then set out to create a 12-week plan, which included steps that I would need to take turn my idea into my reality.
My 12-week plan included writing out my weekly action lists to help me stay focused and feel productive. I promised to remain committed to myself, and at the end of each week, I would reflect on what I had accomplished.
A few months later, I received a shipment in the mail. When I opened the box and picked up my "I am enough" sweater for the first time, I almost cried. Holding the physical product in my hands showed me that my dream to make an idea a reality came true. I went from struggling to make any progress to crushing my goal!
Today, I have new ideas and new goals! One of these ideas is very dear to my heart.
I've taken the lessons from my experience as well as planning concepts from my clothing business journey to create the "Let's do this ish" 12-week productivity planner and journal. Turning an idea into a reality is an unbelievable feeling. The plan I used to help get me where I am today was so helpful that I knew other women would benefit from using it too.
Whether you want to create a physical product, write a book, or become a coach, we all experience similar emotions when starting something new. To achieve your goals, you need to have a plan. But you also need to have space that allows you to acknowledge your emotions and fears. That is precisely what this 12-week journal will do.
"Let's do this ish" is a 12-week blueprint that will help you create your dream life. Because I want to help as many women as possible, I am offering the first week from this journal for free for a limited time. To receive the first week, click here to sign up.
I believe in you. I believe in your dreams.
Let's turn your dream into your reality because you've got this girl!
P.S Want to crush your goals faster and feel supported by a fantastic community of women? Then we encourage you to join our next Brunch and Brainstorm event on August 15. Click to learn more and sign up today. (Add a link to sign-up page).