Do you ever lay in bed at night and think about all the stuff that didn’t get done during the day?
Like, you can’t really remember what you did accomplish…and are even more unsure of what still needs to get done.
…that 2 hours of Netflix you watched after the kids went to sleep…
…you’re glad you had some time for yourself because you’re a very busy mom and you deserve it…
… you wish you had done something more productive with that time.
BUT THE THING IS… you had absolutely no clue where to even begin with your to-do list or how long it would take.
You felt overwhelmed by it so you easily gave-in and flopped down on the couch and scrolled social media while binge-watching a true murder docu-series.
Then…the worst part.
You wake up the next morning and still don’t have any real plan as to what needs to be done or what to do first.
All of us busy moms feel this way. We all go through it. Probably more than we’d like to admit.
If you are sick and tired of this repeated cycle of chaos and confusion…then let me tell you about one simple thing I’ve learned that has helped me so much.
It’s a little trick you can do every night to help your busy mommy mind rest better and wake up with a game plan.
It’s a magical little thing called a “BRAIN DUMP”.
I am going to tell you all about it…and even give you FREE PRINTABLE TEMPLATE for EXACTLY how I do this EVERY NIGHT.
OKAY, SO WHAT IS A BRAIN DUMP ANYWAY?
If you’ve never heard the term “Brain Dump” before…you may be thinking to yourself “What in the world am I about to read?”.
Margaret Rouse of TechTarget defines it as follows:
“A brain dump (sometimes spelled braindump, or brain-dump) is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge about a particular subject from your brain to some other storage medium, such as paper or your computer’s hard drive.”
So…it’s basically taking all of the stuff in your head that you are trying to keep up with on your own and moving it somewhere else.
Sounds nice huh?
It is nice. Trust me.
Keep reading to see what I mean.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT A BRAIN DUMP?
Let me explain.
First, let me tell you what is my favorite part of that definition (above).
That one little part that says: “…to some other storage medium…”
GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD!
If you haven’t ever done a brain dump before then it would be impossible for me to adequately express just how amazing it feels.
It’s like crawling into your bed with freshly washed sheets and taking your socks off and rubbing your bare feet around under the cool, crisp covers. (I really hope I’m not the only one who does this.)
Or taking your work clothes off at the end of the day and putting on the most publicly unacceptable outfit you own.
Or throwing your hair into a messy bun and removing your makeup then applying all your favorite face creams and serums.
Am I overselling this? Lol. I really don’t think so.
It feels THAT GOOD.
The act of extracting all of that information and putting it SOMEWHERE ELSE is
SO. INCREDIBLY. SATISFYING.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM A BRAIN DUMP?
Basically, if you’re over the age of…I don’t know…13…you can benefit from brain dump.
The more responsibilities, tasks, and things you have to remember, the more beneficial it is.
Therefore, I think it is no exaggeration to say that busy moms, working or not, are probably the people who MOST need to be utilizing a brain dump.
We are the keepers of all the knowledge for the family.
The schedulers…appointment makers…party planners…the list goes on and on.
If our busy mom brains get too overwhelmed with information…the results can be catastrophic.
Let me give you a quick little example.
My sister once sent her husband and two daughters to a father-daughter banquet…………….………..A WEEK TOO EARLY.
Dresses, curled hair, pictures before they left…the whole shabang.
All on the wrong day.
To make a long story short…she had WAY too much on her plate at the time and was basically drowning in responsibilities.
—(Note: It has been my personal experience that husbands do not need this tool as their brains are in a constant state of “dump”)— lol, but for real though.
SO…HOW CAN A BRAIN DUMP HELP A BUSY MOM LIKE YOU?
Think of it like this…
A brain dump allows you to free up all the space in your mind that is currently being occupied by things that could easily be stored elsewhere.
You DO NOT NEED to trouble your brain with remembering every little detail of every task you need to complete.
Do you commit to memory your entire grocery list when you go shopping?
No. You write it down.
Can you recite the date of every one of your children’s sporting events for the year?
No. You have a schedule for that.
See what I mean?
If it’s not vital information that you need to be able to recount often and on demand, such as dates of birth or social security numbers, then don’t give it a permanent dwelling in your brain.
Intead, let it live somewhere else and just go fetch it when you need it.
Your busy mom brain will thank you for it.
WHEN SHOULD BUSY MOMS DO A BRAIN DUMP?
Technically…you can do a brain dump anytime you want.
However, I very strongly suggest that you do it at bedtime.
Personally, I like for this to be my final act before laying down to go to sleep.
For me, this means doing my whole night routine first—shower/bath, brushing teeth, putting the kids to bed—all the things.
THEN…I turn off all the lights in the house except for the kitchen and I settle down at the bar with my BRAIN DUMP TEMPLATE and get started.
Why at the kitchen counter you ask? Why not sitting in my bed?
Well, firstly, because more often than not there are children in my bed who I would not in my wildest dreams risk waking up at the late hour I often find myself going to bed.
Secondly, I like to separate my bedroom as a space for rest and relaxation.
When I finish my brain dump at the kitchen counter, it feels like a reward to get to then walk to my bedroom and have nothing left to do other than go to sleep.
Bedtimes stories have already been read, prayers have been said, and I have finished my final task of the day.
Now…remember what I said before.
You can do this ANYTIME you want. It’s whatever works best for you.
Try it out at a few different times if you want…see what you like.
However, I think in the end you will end up liking doing your brain dump at bedtime the most.
It’s just so relaxing to get it all out of your head and be able to crawl into your bed with a calm mind.
It has helped me to fall asleep much faster and feel so much more rested in the morning.
Now…let me tell you exactly HOW I do what I like to call my “bedtime busy mom brain dump”.
HOW TO DO YOUR BUSY MOM BEDTIME BRAIN DUMP – USE A BRAIN DUMP TEMPLATE
So here’s how I actually do the darn thing.
My brain dump template (printable) is broken down into 6 sections:
First, let me explain what type of things/tasks go in the different sections. This is easily demonstrated in the form of a table.. Then I’ll show you a real-life example of one of my brian dump templates filled out.
|CATEGORY||TYPES OF THINGS TO INCLUDE|
|House/Yard||clean garage, $ fertilizer, change oven light, meal plan, weed garden, $ new mailbox letters|
|Work||respond to HR email about med. insurancel, finish online cont. educ., $ new scrubs, submit vacation request for beach trip, $ renew CPR certification|
|Financial||pay water bill, balance checkbooks, truck payment|
|Kids/Husband||dental appointments, $ new work boots, $ new school shoes, haircuts for everyone|
|Me||salon appointment, $ moisturizer, update phone, $ new dress for church|
|Other||(all things that don’t fit within the other categories, example: buy gift for a child whose birthday your kids will attend soon)|
Filling out your busy mom brain dump template will occur in a mixture of two ways:
- Looking at each category and thinking of things that need to be put there and…
- Thinking of things that need to be done and filling them in to their appropriate category.
It’s a very fluid process.
THE POINT IS…
The main thing is that you get all those pesky little things that fog up your mind out and onto the template/printable.
You don’t need to go into great detail…that is not what this is about.
Just get a basic, short-hand version of everything down on the paper. Just as long as you don’t abbreviate things so much that you don’t know what they mean later.
One trick I have that you may have noticed is using a dollar sign ($) for every item that is something I need to purchase.
Not for things like paying bills…
… but just for things that would need to possibly be included on any shopping lists I might make the next day/week.
If there is an item that could fit in more than one category then try to choose where it fits best…
write it down in BOTH categories.
No one is going to grade your work later and mark off points for duplicate entries.
Just get all out of your head and put it somewhere on the template.
It will all work itself out.
(***After I have completed my brain dump I usually go straight to bed. As for delegating what needs to be done and when…that is a task I usually save for the next day. I am currently working on a post where I will explain exactly how I do this. So be sure to sign-up to the email list so you can be notified when that post goes live. In the meantime, you can read all about how I get in the right MINDSET and prepare to have a productive day as a BUSY MOM here on this post.***)
Now…what you’ve been waiting for:
THE BUSY MOM BRAIN DUMP TEMPLATE
Here it is.
My best bedtime friend. Lol.
Use the email list sign-up form below and your busy mom brain dump template will be sent to your inbox.
You can use it AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT.
Print one out for every day of the week if you so desire.
IT’S ALL YOURS! USE IT HOWEVER YOU WISH!
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*Also…if you have any suggestions or want to share how you have used my brain dump template to get more done as a busy mom, please share below in the comments! I’d LOVE to hear from you!
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