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Not so long ago I was sitting at my desk sipping a cup of coffee, trying to finish an assignment that I needed to submit that evening. Although, my brain was not where it should have been. I was worrying about a task that I needed to complete for work the next day. In comes the mind dump. I grabbed the nearest pen and piece of paper and wrote down everything that I needed to do to make this task actionable the next day. Only after I had done this, was I able to focus on the important task on hand.

So.. The Mind Dump is a todo list?

Yes, but also not quite. You see the mind dump is just a concept that I have adopted that allows me to quite literally vomit whatever is in my head that is impeding me from doing my current task. Sometimes, I think of tasks that need to be done – in which case the Mind Dump does take on the form of a todo list. Other times, I may have brain waves and in fear that I am going to forget my stroke of brilliance I write it down.

The best way to Mind Dump

There really isn’t anything to it. The most important thing to keep in mind is ‘barrier to entry’ if adding to your mind dump requires too much effort you won’t do it and it won’t serve it’s purpose. I have experimented with different ways of Mind Dumping. Here are a few of those methods:

  1. A simple pen and piece of paper
  2. Google Assistant connected to my todo list with ifttt.com
  3. todoist

Going Deeper

A simple pen and piece of paper

This is pretty self explanatory, all you need to do is keep a notebook, journal or plain piece of paper by your side when you are doing a task that requires your full attention. I find that a pen and paper is the best for taking down ideas that require you to be able to capture the idea as quickly as possible before forgetting your brainwave of genius. Pen and paper is really great for drawing pictures, connecting ideas and creating mind maps.

Google Assistant connected to todoist with ifttt.com

This is a method that I have found most effective for when I am driving. This really is an effective handsfree solution. The chances are, if you are on an iphone you can probably do this natively. I specifically like to have all my tasks go to todoist automatically.

todoist

I am really biased, but todoist is my todo list application of choice. I am sort of mentioning todoist twice, but this is a slightly different application from the hands-free solution above. Todoist on Android allows you to have a widget on your home screen which enables you to add tasks on the fly with minimal barrier to entry. As I have mentioned before, a minimal barrier to entry is the most important aspect here because the chances are if it requires too much effort you will not end up doing it. I have found this solution most useful during impromptu meetings where I need to write down an action item or just put something down so I can give the opposite party my full attention.

If you have any questions about how to implement a mind dump or any of the methods I mentioned above please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email at me@rossgriffin.co.za

Categories: Productivity

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