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How I Plan – Get it all out!

So this planning series has been floating around my head for a while, and I have never quite gotten round to well getting in down on paper so to speak! Well, over the next few weeks I will be taking you through how I plan.

Now, I’m not saying that this is the way you need to plan, this is just how I plan. And I am hoping that in shedding some light on how I go about planning, it might help someone out who is either just starting or rethinking the way they plan. Sound good? Well, let’s jump in, shall we!

A brain dump (sometimes spelled braindump, or braindump) is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge from your brain to some other storage medium, such as paper or your computer’s hard drive

Brain-dumping is always where I start and getting everything out of your head and getting it down on to paper is something that a lot of people do, but not in a structured way. So this first post I’m going to talk about how I get it all out and what my process is.

First get a notebook, planner or piece of paper, simple enough. Pen of choice and a quiet spot I would suggest finding somewhere that you can store these otherwise that piece of paper that you just got it all out on may get lost. I tend to use my planner but if I have a lot in my head I use a bit of paper.

Get it all out

Once you have your paper/planner find somewhere that you aren’t going to get disturbed, this can be hard but trust me you want some peace while doing this as it hard to do this whilst you have other people, you know little ones or husband, bugging you with a million questions.

So set aside some time and get to dumping. Now, your first instinct is to want to be precious about this, DON’T! Let this be a mess just get everything out of your head and onto paper. Just do a stream of consciousness of all the things floating around your head, It doesn’t matter how big or small just get it out of your head!

You can make it fancy later trust me the first pass will always look like a spider just ran across your page but this needs to be done! Once you have done this is it much easier to see where everything is and how they relate to each other.

Cleaning up your notes

Once you have the mess of a page you can start colour coordinating and sorting – I tend to have a few sections that my stuff falls into. My sections are home, work, blog and other. These are the sections that I have relied on for quite a few years, and most of my task fall into at least one of them.

Split your sheet into the number of sections you need or use a separate piece of paper for each section. If you split your page each section gets a header and then I start to write from my dump list. Make sure that you cross stuff as you go so that you know you have got everything.

Once you start putting tasks in the relative place you can then start to prioritise the tasks on your list and which are more project like, I mark these with a little star. I suggest putting the projects on their own piece of note paper and breaking them down even further so that you can find out what the next actionable step is.

And that’s it! Head clear and ready to get on with the rest of your day. I do this on a weekly basis, normally a Sunday night, I know some people do this daily. The first time is going to take a bit of time which is why I suggest getting some time booked in with you to do this. But, once you get used to it, it really doesn’t take that long and it also means that you have fewer things floating around your head. And you’ll have a clearer picture of the tasks you need to do.

I swear by this process and it really helps me keep on top of the stuff going on in my life and I would really recommend doing if you are feeling overwhelmed as this will give you a great starting point to work from.

That’s all from me today! You can follow me on Instagram @samalderson_. Or alternatively, you can sign up to get notifications everytime I post. Just fill in that box on the left.

Stay happy!

Sam

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