How to Brain Dump and Eliminate Overwhelm


This free printable brain dump worksheet is an easy way to get everything out of your head and onto paper. It will help you get organized and move forward towards your big goals. 

Want more free printables? Check out my free to-do list printable, calendar printable, and year at a glance printable.

free printable brain dump worksheet with colorful pens

Do you ever have one of those days where there are a million things running through your mind and you can’t seem to keep anything straight? Or maybe you have more than just one day like that. 

Do you have trouble turning your brain off? Maybe you can’t stop constantly thinking of things you need to do, things you want to do, and things you think you should be doing.

Me too! 

It can be so frustrating to feel like you can’t figure out what you should be doing. It’s difficult to try and make sense of all your thoughts when everything is swirling around in your head. Total information overload!

If I’ve got too many things on my mind, I immediately get overwhelmed. I can’t figure out what’s important, what’s not, and what I should be taking action on. So most of the time, I just get stuck and I don’t do anything. 

Whenever I’m feeling the overwhelm start to creep in, I know that I need to do a brain dump. 

blank free printable brain dump worksheet

What is a Brain Dump?

A brain dump is a very simple method that I use to help get thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Once they are on paper, I can start to organize, prioritize, and determine what my next steps are. 

Get the Free Printable Brain Dump Worksheet

How to Brain Dump

blank free printable brain dump worksheet on a desk with pretty accessories

To do a brain dump is really simple. All you need is a sheet of paper and something to write with. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and start to write. 

Basically, you’re going to create a big list of all your thoughts on that piece of paper. 

Sometimes when I do a brain dump, I write things out in list form. Sometimes I’ll use bullet points with sub-bullet points. And other times I just write disconnected thoughts all over the paper until I get everything out of my mind. 

blank free printable brain dump worksheet with colorful pens

The idea is not to make a perfectly organized list. It’s to just write! Get messy and write whatever is on your mind. 

You can do a brain dump with any old piece of paper. But personally, I like to use pretty organizing printables. I created a brain dump printable (that matches all my other pretty printables) to use whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed. I can just keep a bunch of these printed out in my desk and reach for one whenever I need to get thoughts out of my head.

This printable is pretty simple, but it’s also very effective. 

blank free printable brain dump worksheet on desk with accessories

How to Organize Your Brain Dump

Once you’ve finished with my brain dump, you then need to go back and organize all those thoughts. I would recommend taking a quick break before you start organizing just so you can look at your list with a clear mindset.

To start organizing, first get rid of anything that’s not relevant, is unnecessary, or is just something you can’t accomplish right now. You can save some of these ideas to work on later, but for right now you should be ruthless with your list and delete as much as you can.

printable brain dump worksheet with writing

Then, you should start grouping items by category. You can use another brain dump worksheet or even just another blank sheet of paper. Try and group similar items and thoughts together so you can see the overall areas you need to work on. 

Next, you’ll need to prioritize these tasks and start putting them on your task list. You can make overall to-do lists (use this free printable) for each category and write out the tasks in order of importance. 

As you create upcoming weekly plans, try and add in tasks from these to-do lists so you can make progress towards your goals.

free printable brain dump worksheet with words

The brain dump method has been so helpful to me. It helps me to get all of those ideas and thoughts out of my head and onto paper. This helps me eliminate the overwhelm and start taking action. And most importantly, it helps me move forward to get things done!

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the thoughts running through your head, try printing out this brain dump worksheet and go through this exercise. It might just be the step you need to get back on track and start being productive. 

I hope this free brain dump worksheet will be helpful to you!


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One Comment

  1. I did the brain dump this morning and am currently taking a break to eat breakfast before I sort the items and get cracking. I did already feel better once I got it on paper, even out of order. I think part of my anxiety (causing me to not even get started on all of those to-do’s) was that I would forget something. I already feel like I will be able to succeed today once I go through it all. Thanks for this hot tip on decluttering my mind!

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