How to Take a Brain Dump

Decluttering Your Mind for Essential Self-Care

What is a Brain Dump?

Thoughts tend to be abstract. They come in the form of movies, pictures, feelings, and words in varying shapes and sizes. Each thought we have has its own complexities and personal memories tied to them. When overwhelmed by many of these complex mental objects, we require a release.

What You’ll Need

  1. Paper
  2. A pen or pencil mightier than the sword


  1. Be imperfect; Make up the structure as you go
  2. Be swift, time is of the essence
  3. Paradoxically, take your time

Rule #1: Be imperfect; Make up the structure as you go

It’s vital not to be stuck on any formatting rules while doing this. Give yourself the freedom and room to make things up as you go. Each time you do a brain dump things and they come out in sequences and structures that you would never expect them to. I will be relying heavily on the creative side of your mind so allowing yourself to be messy is one of the most powerful things you can do while doing the brain dump. If you absolutely need some structure, using the form of bullet journaling will be incredibly effective.

Rule #2: Be swift; Time is of the essence

Jot things down one bullet point at a time. As each idea is complete, you can move onto the next bullet point. You can liberate yourself from having to follow any spelling and grammar rules. It comes out however it comes out It comes out however it comes out, and it can be revised and improved at a more appropriate time.

Rule #3: Take your time; Haste makes waste

Paradoxically, don’t stress out on getting it all out. Focus on everything OK if it’s in perfect. Take your time. There’s no time limit for this. Remove the stress that will kill the creativity in you and kill the flow in you. There’s no time limit so be sure to mitigate mental choking with that freedom.


Firstly, brain dumping will give you the opportunity to clear and organize your thoughts. There is value in both the garbage and the treasure you will find. You can finally classify noise and eliminate it from your life. When noise shows up again in the future, you can recognize it for what it is and be unphased.

Final Notes

I liken brain dumping to mental flossing. It’s removing all the menacing thoughts in the cracks of your mind. Some thoughts reside in the hard-to-reach areas and don’t reveal themselves easily. When one of their louder buddies is screaming for attention, synapses connect, and you can remove a string of ideas you didn’t even know where waiting for you the whole time.

Actor, Artist, Writer, Musician, Software Engineer

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