Monday, November 23, 2009

Are you a Brain Dumper?

I had never heard of brain dumping until a few weeks ago. I have done it for a long time but just never heard it referred to as that. Anyway, I am an advocate. I have noticed that the more I have swimming around in my head the less efficient and productive I become.

The Wiki definition of Brain Dumping is transferring a large amount of information to another person or on to paper. I think this is a great idea. I notice that when I share a lot of concerns with other people it really relieves my stress. Don't you? Hey....that has always been known as dumping, come to think of it! I guess it is part of our agreement to share our burdens with one another as humans.

But the dumping I am talking about now is the dumping from gray matter to paper. This so helpful. Here are some of the things I dumped on to paper this morning and it feels better than a Calgon bath. In a lot of ways, it is what journaling is about and is very therapeutic.

Things I want and need to do before Thanksgiving related to:

Family stuff, packing, stopping mail and paper, calling neighbors, checking on Hazel who is currently at the doctor for a chest x-ray, checking on Lowell and his car that got hit by a school bus while sitting at an intersection when the driver cut the corner to close (everyone is fine), calling Laura regarding Italy trip, finishing up some church work, making some appointments, etc. etc.

I'd be walking around when this, that and the other thing kept popping into my mind following the self-talk..."don't forget to.."...that gets exhausting and stressful. Once on paper it is like not a concern anymore...I don't have to remember. If I systematically move from one thing to the next I will have plenty of time to do it all and may even maintain my sanity. The important thing is I don't have to keep stopping and asking..."What's next?" Just look and then do the next thing.

Anyway, if you are feeling the stress, do some brain dumping, it really helps. It is a little different than just making a 'To Do' list or time management. It is writing down all your concerns and taking time to deal with each one. As an example when I heard about the bus accident I kept thinking about it until I sat down, thought about it by giving it my full attention, felt the blessing of no injuries and thanked God for that. After that little processing moment I didn't have to keeping returning to the stressful thoughts about it. It was still a bad thing but after I processed it I could view it as a blessing in so many ways. It's more like just hitting the delete button on your stash of worries and concerns.

If it is a task I actually need to accomplish, I like it because once it is dumped on to the paper I don't need to prioritize it...I just have to do it. It is all important and has to be done but once it is down I get to choose my plan of attack on it.

You can find out more about it by Googling GTD which stand for Getting Things Done! And if you all have been hearing about brain dumping for ages...just remember my disclaimer... I do not watch TV, so I am slow to catch on to new things in the pop culture arena! So brain dump away it is a good thing even if you already know about GTD and brain dumping a reminder is good this time of year!


Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
I am with you gal! I love to put things on a list, it just frees you up so much, and you aren't worrying that you will forget all the time! that is just too stressful. I love marking it off my list.
I also love to journal when I am really burden, I just act like I am writing a letter to the Lord and dump all my feelings on paper
and it is amazing how great I feel when I am done. It really is very therapeutic especially when you have the knowledge that God really does care and is concerned about what concerns you, so you can talk with him about anything you want, and he is listening and the answer is already being worked on even when we can't see it yet!
So comforting!
That was a great post, never heard of brain dumping before but
guess I am a brain dumper too! lol
There are worse things in life I
suppose! have to admit it doesn't sound as benign as it is tho! lol
You have a great day tomorrow
and a very Happy, safe and healthy
Thanksgiving with your children.
Love and Blessings hon, Nellie

LA Adams said...

This is a good idea - thanks. Maybe processing something makes it bite size or manageable.

laura.elizabeth said...

I love the term and live by it too. I get so stressed about things that are not written down in some way or another. I find that if I can write it all down- the stress leaves and I am much more productive. This is easier to do with some things than with others but... it is a great idea anyway.

Caroline Craven said...

I too love writing things down. My approach is more of a to do list or ideas lists, but I love the idea of writing down things that keep nagging at you. My problem, however, is that I'm always writing on whatever piece of paper is handy and then never remembering where all those papers and notes are, they disappear. Logically, I suppose my next step is to keep those notes in one place - baby steps!