When you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start with your planning to get your to do list under control, what can you do? You can participate in a Brain Drop Box. In my world it is a Brain Drop Box because of how I use it in my life, but it is definitely the same thing as a Brain Dump. the purpose is the same, which is to take what is in your head and move it right onto paper and start the organizational process.
What is a Brain Drop Box?
A Brain Drop Box is the same thing as a Brain Dump. When you think of the process of the photo Dropbox feature it is a way for you to take all of the photos from everywhere and store them in one place. You can grab photos from your phone, from your computer, your family can share with you, and so much more can happen with this photo feature. The same thing can be used with a Brain Drop Box. You have a sticky note here, you made a note on your phone there, you scheduled a doctor appointment, you got a bill in the mail, your kids need you to sign their permission slip, you have a track meet next Wednesday. Does this sound at all familiar?? With all of this information coming at you and you might start to feel a little overwhelmed and you need to try to remember it all. But you don’t! You don’t need to remember it, you just need to write it down.
The brain was made to think and problem solve, not store data and information. You get to take all the things that are coming at you throughout the day and put them on paper so that you can start thinking about how you can work through your task list and have a rational path to tackle all the things.
A Brain Drop Box can be any of these things:
- Thoughts, feelings and emotions: it can be a journal for you to write down those things that you might be feeling and experiencing on a regular basis.
- Task list with plans for the day, week, month or year: when you know what you need to accomplish to move your day forward, you can begin to make a list that is organized for checking things off and moving through your day.
- Goals, hopes and dreams: it is a plan of ideas and goals that you want to accomplish in the future that will help you to create action steps to achieving them.
What is the purpose of a Brain Drop Box?
The Brain Drop Box serves many purposes and the one that is right for you, is the one that you need the most in that particular moment. Here are some ideas:
- Free up mental clutter: don’t get overwhelmed by trying to remember all of the things you need to remember. When your brains are too full we forget what is important because there isn’t enough space up there to remember it all. Take a minute to clear your head by writing down the stuffs.
- Create an action plan with perspective and task list: participating in a Brain Drop Box will help you feel motivated to create an action plan because you will have everything on paper and then you can start to organize it into bite sized pieces that are manageable and less stressful.
- Reduces stress and helps with problem solving: when we make a list of the things that we might be stressed about it helps to give us a clearly picture of how we can solve the problem so that we can start putting that plan into action and get to the root of the problem.
How do you do a Brain Drop Box?
Now that we know what it is, how do you actually do one? There are several ways to go about actually doing a Brain Drop Box, it is just a matter of picking the method that works best for you.
- Free Write – set a timer: This happens to be my favorite way, and I do this each week with my planning sessions. I set the timer for 10 minutes and write all the things that I need to get done during the week. It is a great way for me to see the list on paper of tasks I need to accomplish for the week. Once I have it on paper I can start to organize it.
- Daily tasks: make a list of all the things you need to get done and all the things you want to get done.
- Evaluate and prepare for new goals: this is a great time to Brain Drop Box because you will want to evaluate what your goals were previously and see if there is something that you want to change in order to implement your upcoming goals.
When is the best time to do a Brain Drop Box?
My personal preference…ANY TIME!! But there are a few times that make more sense than others.
- Before bed: spend some time writing down everything that happened during the day and write out any tasks that you want to accomplish the next day. It will help you sleep better also.
- During your planning sessions: this is collecting all those sticky notes and scraps of paper, or side notes in the margins of your planner and getting them all set for the week.
- Feeling overwhelmed and anxious: this is a great time for a Brain Drop Box. It is awesome for your mental health to clear that mental clutter we have been referring to. It also will help give you a little more clarity about what it is that you might be anxious or feeling overwhelmed about.
A Brain Drop Box will look unorganized and chaotic. It’s supposed to. You aren’t spending time organizing your thoughts right now, you are just collecting them, arranging them on paper, and eventually you will hop into organizing your to do list, which will help you to better understand what it is that you need to do next. But organizing is NOT part of a Brain Drop Box, so DON’T PANIC!