When you first try to write down what you are thinking, you might not know where to start, which is extremely frustrating.
The easiest answer is to start with whatever is the most top of mind. However, I recommend checking out this list when you first start to brain dump. If you do the onboarding process of the Barbell System, this exercise is a part of the step-by-step guide.
This exercise called Mindsweep (from the Getting Things Done methodology) is a powerful way to remind yourself of everything you would/could/should/must/have to do.
Have your task manager and note-taking app at hand when you read the following list. If you think, “Oh, that reminds me of X,” write down X as a separate task on the Options list. If you come up with ideas and other spontaneous journaling during this exercise, write them down on your note-taking app.
Step 1. Dump your thoughts when you read this Mindsweep List
Every problem, negative feeling you have, whether pain, worry, resentment, or anxiety, needs to be captured and identified. What is taking more mental bandwidth than it deserves?
- “My back is hurting” => Schedule doctor’s appointment
- “What if the presentation for the client is going to fail and I will make a fool out of myself?” =>Revisit the presentation for practice and tech check-in
- “I hate when person X does this all the time” => Resolve situation with person X
- “What if I get laid off and cannot feed my family?” => Get clarity about the current job situation and backup options
Look at your calendar for the past weeks for any follow-up to a meeting or event. Also, look at the future weeks for something you need to book, prepare for. There can also be upcoming events, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
- “I need to figure out what we’ll do at that team…