Two Creative Strategies for Organizing Your Thoughts and Your Projects

You are going around in circles and don’t know what to focus on?

You are feeling so overwhelmed that you just want to go back to bed and read a good book?

You have so many interests and projects that you feel scattered and unproductive?

This is one of the prompts in The Decluttering Journal This is where I am in the journal!

Do A Brain Dump or a Mind Map? (they are similar)

A Brain Dump is a great way to get over the overwhelm of too much going on or too much to do – getting it all out of your head and down on paper can relieve some of that stress.

  • Get everything down on paper and out of your head
  • No need to overthink it or worry about what you are writing
  • Assess your list and scratch off anything that is not important, realistic or doable right now
  • Pick one to three things that you really need or want to focus on
  • Break the ideas down into small steps
  • Make a step by step list of how you want to achieve this (example: booking in some dates on your calendar)
  • Start by focusing on that first small step and take action
  • If you are still struggling with this take some time out, do some self care, go for a walk while you consider what you need, do more writing, talk to someone…….check out this post on staying focussed

This is a great way to figure out what is most important to focus on and to narrow down your choices as to what to work on first.

Mind Mapping is another great tool that can help you to organize your thoughts in a way that helps you to see things in a different way and to make a plan to work towards your goal.

You start with the main idea and then ask questions and/or build from there.  This is a good brainstorming exercise that can help to clarify something that is challenging or to look at your options to solve a problem. 

A great example could be “I need to get rid of an old couch or other big piece of furniture”  Really there is always a way to do it. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can think of that could work for you. Make a list of what needs to be done so that you can get to this goal. Make a plan that will work for you.

Here is a simplified version I made for you when planning to clear out a garage. Of course we could add so much more. Keep it simple and then break it down into smaller steps. Use sticky notes on the wall. Be creative and have fun!

Mind Mapping can be used in so many ways. Perhaps you want to downsize, you are planning a move, a small project or decluttering room by room. Really the possibilities are endless.

Where do you feel stuck? Can you think of how you could use these organizing tools to make some progress? Comment below!

Happy Decluttering!

About Kim

I’m Kim, your go-to Professional Organizer and Virtual Coach! I’m beyond excited to embark on this clutter-free adventure with you. With a background in mental health and a passion for transforming spaces, I bring a holistic approach to decluttering. It’s not just about neatening up physical spaces; it’s about fostering a mindset shift that radiates throughout your life. I founded Space For You Clear the Clutter, Heal Your Life and have been working with individuals and groups for about 15 years. I've also trained with Professional Organizers of Canada and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.
This entry was posted in feeling overwhelmed, journaling, mental health, organize your thoughts, Organizing, Strategies to Declutter, too many projects and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Two Creative Strategies for Organizing Your Thoughts and Your Projects

  1. Interesting… I’d never thought of a brain dump and mind mapping as similar. I love brain dumps, but have never been able to wrap my head around mind mapping. Your explanation helped to clarify it but I still don’t think it’s for me. 🙂

    • Kim says:

      Awe thanks Janet – Yes it just kind of happened for me as I was thinking about and writing my post. Thanks for sharing your ah ha moment.

  2. Lisa Tonjes Moritz says:

    Love a good brain dump and I don’t do them enough!

  3. I’m a huge fan of mind maps. What I like about them is you begin by clarifying your goal, which in itself is quite helpful. Then, you challenge yourself to think of multiple ways to reach the goal. Sometimes you only need one, but other times you might want to try pursuing a couple of paths and see which ends up working out. This is great for initiating action toward a goal. Also, you sometimes come up with a few options that are less intimidating than your first idea.

    • Kim says:

      Thanks Seana, I love how you described mind mapping. Yes I think its a really good tool that helps us to see things differently and to come up with a step by step plan.

  4. I’m a big fan of mind mapping, Kim. Thanks for discussing it. With new technology in this realm, many people have forgotten about it over the years. I prefer old-school mind mapping with paper and pencil. There is just something about writing down on paper your goals and tasks that helps me more than using technology. I always recommend it to clients. I have also used it over the years to set goals and determine the tasks I needed to do to achieve them.

    • Kim says:

      Love this Sabrina and I thoroughly agree. Getting it down on paper is a great way to work on our plans for a project. Interesting that this is a bit of an older method of looking at things. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Mind mapping and brain dumping are two great ways to manage mind clutter. I’ve only used mind mapping a few times. Even though I’m visual, the mind maps are more awkward for me to use. In theory, you’d like I’d prefer them.

    But I do well writing ideas on paper or an electronic document in a list or long form. From there, I can organize and prioritize my thoughts.

    It’s great to have a variety of tools.

    • Kim says:

      Yes, so true Linda! I am sure these don’t work for everyone. We need to figure out what works for ourselves and try out different methods to see what works best.

  6. You’re so right that these are related tools, but I’ve never thought of them as allied before! I’m all about a brain dump; I think linearly, so getting it all out, I tend to think in one related chunk after another, but almost like a fourth grade social studies report outline. I’ve never been much for using mind mapping (though I appreciate its use) because I’m not at all visual in that way. (Mind maps feel disorganized to me because they aren’t all in one column, and they require popping your gaze all around the page.) You’ve definitely made a great case for both approaches!

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