Today we will explore a concept made popular by the book “Getting Things Done”: the brain dump.

Basically it consists in writing down in a system you trust (this is important for this to work) all the things you need to do or may want to do at some point. Everything.

Why would you want to do that? Basically, if you don’t store your tasks in an external system, your mind will take the responsibility to remind you that you need to do them.
It will be constantly bugging you with them even when you can’t act on them (in the shower, before going to bed…).

Once you have written everything down, your mind will be a little quieter.

Benefits of the braindump

This email will try to assist in the process. WEEK PLAN has a “Parking lot” section especially done for this.

During the braindumping process, try not to filter tasks out because you might never get to do them or because you are not sure if you should do it. Dump everything, you will filter and process later.

  • Dump everything work related: all the reports, all the calls you need to make, all the emails you need to answer, all the documentation you need to write, etc…
  • Dump everything house related: cleaning, shopping, repairing, etc…
  • Dump everything related to your family: keeping in touch, gifts, etc…
  • Dump everything related to your health: appointment with doctor / dentist, gym, trying this new sport class, etc…
  • Dump everything related to your friends: Gifts, events you should organize, etc…
  • Dump everything related to your hobbies: Things to buy, things to do, things to read, etc…

Every single email that you haven’t processed yet is a potential task to dump. Some people easily go over 100, 200 or 300 tasks by going through this exercise.

Once you have finished your braindump, you should go through each item and decide what to do with them. Which ones are urgent? Which ones are important? Which ones would have a positive impact if they were done someday?

The free plan in WEEK PLAN allows you manages three lists in the parking lot but the PRO plan allows you to have as many lists as you need.

In the next article, we will look into how we can “sharpen the saw” using journaling.