I usually try to use a night time brain dump as part of my night time routine but sometimes I am too exhausted before bed to think about my tomorrow…On those occasions I use a morning brain dump to organize my day. It’s the same idea, as my post about my night time routine. I choose some categories to focus on for the day and write down no more than three items for each category. Keeping it limited makes it easier for prioritizing and keeps the to do list from getting overwhelming.
Often, I actually prefer the morning brain dump. As much as I want to start my day with a bang by completing my night time brain dump, it’s also nice just to sit in the morning, with my cup of coffee, and quickly jot down a few things for each category on my list.
For my morning brain dump I love to use my whiteboard on my fridge. My list stays right in my face all day, so I can easily be reminded of the things I actually need to do.
I love the simplicity of the idea of labeling the lists as Must, Should, Could, and Want to. Taking the time to actually write something down for each category ensures that you are also filling your day with a couple things you really do WANT to do!! How often do we get to the end of the day and we haven’t yet done anything for ourselves that we really want to. If we aren’t careful it’s too easy to pass time with random distractions we create for ourselves under the guise that it’s down time. Sometimes I kill time on my phone doing things that I don’t really WANT to do, and doing things that don’t add anything to my day. Having something I enjoy on my to do list means I will be more likely to carve off some time for myself.
You can change the labels for your categories if you need to. I have sometimes used Kids, Work, Home, Me. Or if you don’t have kids, you could label it as Social, etc. You could even make one of the categories Errands and list 3 stores you need to go to. You can change the categories to be whatever suits what you need to do. The only thing I would highly recommend is that you always save one category for yourself!
The other tip about making this brain dump successful is to think fast and write fast. It’s not about making one list to then pick the top three items to put on your brain dump list. It’s literally just the top things that come to mind. Filling in my whole brain dump takes about 5 minutes…There’s no need to make it take a bunch of time. Besides…I would much rather sit back and enjoy my coffee than spend too much time planning my to do list.
Give a morning brain dump a chance and see if it helps you through your day!