The Monday Mindset: Brain Dump

By Jason Harrell

We can’t ever completely clear our heads, but we can focus our attention to bring clarity of thought. When we concentrate our attention on one thing, we inevitably engage the parallel act of purposefully ignoring other things. The key to “optimal inattention” lies in occupying your mind with something else through distraction. 


Let’s focus on that one thing: brain dumping. Essentially, make space in your head, clear the clutter, to take action throughout your day and week. We tackle so many things as professionals, parents, partners, New Yorkers, protesters, and sometimes all we really need is to focus our minds and dump it all out - on paper. Write out all of our objectives for the week - our workout times, meetings, social engagements, goals, and anything else that bursts into our heads. Put the technology down, grab a pen and paper, set the timer, let it all out, and don’t hold back. When you're done you’ll have a list of things that you can prioritize for the day or week. I prefer to do both actually, once on Sunday evening (weekly) and than a daily dump…I am such a ridiculously busy person that I’ve recently earned the nickname DiVinci (renaissance man). 

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our minds can only process certain amounts of information at one time. And if we want to be productive than we need to be able to focus on what is in front of us. Being successful is believing that we can be better. Take a program. Hire a coach. Read more. Do something to be better this year than we were last. This becomes difficult when we have so many things to achieve within a day or week. Whenever you feel as if your life is getting out of balance or you are feeling overwhelmed by the obligations that your agenda is requiring, brain dump everything you have on paper, reassess, organize, and take action. 

Strength is a journey. Enjoy the ride.