Self Life Coach Series #1
You have a full messy life I bet, I do too, most do. Let’s learn how to create a brain dump and create a clean slate. What does it mean to brain dump? It is simply creating a clean slate for the Self Life Coaching Series to start with. These are the things we all “carry around with us” where ever we go, sometimes weighing us down, sometimes taking us on grand adventures. Let’s unpack all the varied thoughts, worries, to-dos, excuses, “shoulds”, wishes, burdens, relationships, and tolerations you are putting up with.
Even though we call this a brain dump, this is not all bad stuff, some of it is very good things but can still be weighing on you or distracting you. Just start recording anything that pops into your mind, on page 1 in your workbook. You will brain dump and create a clean slate. If you are asking yourself- Is this what Jen means to write down?- the answers is always YES- just scribble it down. Use extra paper if needed, seriously.
Examples on my Brain Dump
Some examples of what would go on MY “Create a Clean Slate” list right this minute…(please do not take on my list, trust me, you will have enough of your own!)
- call kitchen re-modelers
- lose 10pounds
- plan a winter get-a-way with hubby or friends
- organize the Tupperware cabinet in the kitchen so things stop falling out every time I open it %^$&#(@>????
- plan & delegate retreat
- connect with my college boys at least twice a week
- how can I help my daughter to practice her instruments more
- getting distracted by my house chores
- get a massage before March when coupon expires
- do laundry once a day til caught up
- my relationship with my brother
- grocery shop
- not knowing where to start in regards to…
I hope that helps you see the “Create a Clean Slate” & Brain Dump exercise is as varied as we are. Our lives are really full and we need to start looking at all the thoughts, concerns, reminders, great ideas, tasks, etc. floating through our minds and creating some order there. I would just free flow “all the things” and put them on paper. This isn’t a to-do list per se, it can contain to-dos but also abstract things like relationships or energy drainers too.
Unpack Your Brain Dump
Take time, maybe half an hour to an hour. Grab a cozy drink, get comfortable, consider this a mini treat for yourself not a chore. Not only is this an exercise you can do to start this Self Life Coach process but this, clearing your slate or brain dumping, is something some people chose to do every week before they plan their week. It is hard for some people because it makes them feel overwhelmed but for most it is freeing. If I recall there is a number on the Enneagram that can’t stand looking at this list BUT, it may be (like me & yoga, ) just what that number needs most. I know this will help you process and gain awareness as we move forward. Get ready to unpack it and brain dump!
Batch Like Items
Time to sort your list. Take your big list of things you “brain dumped” and start to make some order or sense of it. Just start with a few pretty colored highlighters and highlight things that connect. For example from my random brain dump list…
- Connect with our college boys at least twice a week
- help my daughter practice her instruments more
- my relationship with my brother
- plan a winter get-a-way with my husband and friends
Sort by Categories YOU See
These are all actually related because to me, they are about relationships. You may group them completely differently and that’s totally ok- we are all different. Group the items that contain “planning” or “to-dos”. You could group items by things that energize or excite you and things you dread or bring you down. The point here is a start making order in your life, your chaos.
There is no judgement here, this is just a tool for you to start getting some insights about your life. When you are doing this just do what makes sense to you and not everything has to be highlighted or connected to other items on your paper.
Organize Your List
You could organize by things…
- I need to stop doing
- delegated to me from so and so
- I really want to have time for but never do
- that are always on my to-do list but never happen
- I feel drag me down and zap my energy
- to get super excited about
Sorting your items in a way that makes sense for you creates awareness in you. For example, are there lots of things on your list that you feel like you “should” do but you never actually accomplish them? Can you just decide to not do them? USE a sharpie and put a BIG line through those! lol, Obviously not if it is something like feeding your family, but maybe you will never organize your linen closet and that is fine, just close the door. Finally, see what you can learn about yourself as you look at how you grouped your items, take notes.
Now you have created a clean slate with a brain dump, and you have sorted the “laundry” by color, (Batch Common ideas.) Do this exercise in your workbook on page 2 and we will refer back to it again later in this process. Some of you will really want to look at it and some of you will hate looking at it but either way, I hope it helped you to get it out of your brain & on paper.