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The Brain Dump

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Today I thought I'd share one of my favourite mental organisational techniques, that I've learnt to use whenever I come up against the all-too familiar mental block.

Unsure what I’m talking about? Let’s get a bit more definitive - I’ll use myself as an example.

The Issue

I’ve been addicted to writing and jotting down thoughts in journals since the day I could write.

My mother cottoned on early to this [OCD] trait, and started buying me journals every year for my birthday. I would write everything down in these. Thanks Mum!

My primary school teacher also fanned this addiction and would consistently encourage me to “Finish that book you started…” from the day she realised I loved to write - even up to university when (bless her heart), she could not believe I’d decided to take up flying aircraft instead. You're still my one in a million, Mrs Eaton!

Now, on top of that passion for writing, I’m also a serial “Lists” person. For example, I have a checklist for my blog to ensure I am consistently putting up relevant content. One of the notebooks in my OneNote app where I track my content and published blogs through my ‘Month’ and ‘Checklist’ tabs. I set up a monthly goal to post five well-researched blogs. There’s a cute little quirk in the OneNote app that lets you set up checkbox lists - and I take huge satisfaction in checking off one, every time I finish a blog.

Another example, is my days have to be sorted into sections with tasks, and I’ve found (much to my chagrin) that an unintended consequence is I become overly fixated on perfecting a single task, that I sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture.

Cue: our son’s first birthday, when I spent the entire night cutting up cardboard for party favours and props for my photo booth - that the children mostly ignored the next day during the party. My husband, father and brother meanwhile built an epic wooden frame for all Nevan’s photos from birth till his birthday to form into a giant number 1, put up his Gotham City backdrop for his birthday cake table, organised a sound system and a DJ and brought a marquee and chairs for guests. See what I mean? Fixating is from Satan.

That aside, I still stand by my opinion that having lists allows for order and in another blog, I will share my 14 Lists I Cannot Live Without.

For this blog, I want to concentrate on the ONE singular, toxic trait that undermines my passion for writing, every single time - my mental blocks (not the “Oh I need a walk to clear my head” type… mine are more the “OMG, what is this black hole of nothingness that I have I built this story up into?” kinds).

I will also talk about how I manage them; because it wasn’t until very recently that I realised there was an actual mental technique that I could use to overcome this.

Managing that Beautiful Mind

We are women.

We are the multi-taskers, with a series of things running through our heads, while trying to finish on-hand, important tasks.

Studies say this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

What are we having for dinner tonight?
Did I buy milk?
Is the standing order kicking this fortnight or next?
What are we bringing to X’s house for his/her birthday?
Did I water the plants?
I need to fold that laundry.
It’s Book Week for Nevan next week.