keep going, with imperfections

When I need to focus on writing down all the things cluttering my brain, I force myself to get them all out. My handwriting isn’t always neat and legible. I also rarely use a fancy notebook and favor a super cheap composition book.

Why? My brain dumps are the first draft of my projects and tasks. My goal is to get ideas out of my head and not worry I’m wasting expensive paper.

Sometimes I like to use a nice pen and notebook. But not always (or often).

Having a tool that I’m not intimidated by allows me to kick perfectionism aside, at least for a short bit, and focus on doing.

Each time I started drafting this post, I found myself adding to my brain dump. Sometimes I make one continuous document, sometimes I simply start a new page and add today’s date. Tonight I did the later. This is a photo of my real desk tonight. This is a photo of the brain dump I started while editing this post. It’s a composition book I picked up during the back to school sales and a pencil I grabbed. All that I cropped out was the shadow of my phone taking the photo. The fuzzy in the lower left of the frame is my ever helpful cat, Shadow.

Is this pretty? Not at all! Did it help? Yes.

Why do this when I already have a system that hopefully already captures my projects and tasks?

Because sometimes for some reason or another it’s still creative active clutter and preventing me from focusing on the tasks I need to.

The next few posts will explore why I write down tasks by hand (then enter them into an electronic system), how I start to organize the chaos, and begin to examine both my planning and review process.