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Not sleeping? Have a big to-do list? Feeling Overwhelmed?

Updated: Feb 22, 2020

I would sleep for hours and not feel rested. Or I'd toss and turn in bed with my mind racing and wake up feeling like I'd finally just fallen asleep. Tried Baileys. Gained weight. Drank Hot Milk, various Teas. Tried Meditating & Counting sheep but went down rabbit holes in my brain.

The thing that made the biggest difference was writing everything down, brain dump style. All THE STUFF in my brain that was on my 'mental list'. My to-do list was seldom what I was consciously thinking about when I couldn't sleep.... But that massive to-do list of the SMALL and big stuff was in my sub-conscious having it's own party, keeping me awake or causing me to sleep restlessly.

Writing it down did something else too! My creativity flowed & my focus intensified dramatically! I had no idea that all day long my subconscious was ruminating on these items, messing up my conscious and awake mind.


Brain dump everything out. ALL OF IT. Little stuff, big stuff. Brooke Castillo, podcast #261 - Throw away your To-Do List calls is a mental download. Add her to your podcast listen list!

Fill PAGES. I expected it to be a 20min process as I started. It was hours. Seriously. I stopped to pee and get more water twice. At one point I laughed so hard I started to cry. 😂 I had no idea all this stuff was in my head. As an entrepreneur my work wasn't left behind when I left the office for the day. Every business, parent, life to do was in my head, all the time. 27 minor home repair & bigger home reno items, all the SMALL things like put away dishes, shock hot tub, pull weeds in area k, fertilize area y, host coach Sally, check in with Patricia, order this, buy that, invite kids to dinner. With one item per line I filled so many pages I lost track. I DID NOT label it my TO DO LIST. NO WAY. BRAIN DUMP or THOUGHT DOWNLOAD or whatever feels right to you & the Date.

Brooke recommends that if you have a big task or ugly feeling task, break it down into all the steps. Paint the back deck ugly metal trim you see every damn day & hate intensely. 1) Spray or pressure wash the trim of dust and dirt. 2) Lightly sand, then remove all sanding residue. 3) Pick up Paint 4) On a day of XYZ conditions, apply 2 coats of paint. This allowed me to easily see that I could get ABC to wash it down, 123 to sand, etc etc.


When you think you have nothing else, the first few times... there's more. Close your eyes and rest. Re-read what you already wrote. Go grab a glass of water or stretch.

Once my first few hours were done, I FELT 15 LBS LIGHTER & almost FLOATING. Now... if you're like me, it seems wildly counter-intuitive to have examined the massive list in your sub-conscious and feel better after. I get it, I was so confused, lol. Remember this: THIS IS NOT A BIG UGLY TO DO LIST. It's simply all the stuff in your head & you're giving it a home on your pages. When you're ready to relax and unwind you close the book and walk away. Your subconscious mental to-do list isn't playing on a loop anymore, it's on paper!

  • When I came back to my pages I discovered and crossed out many items deciding that they didn't matter now that they'd had a voice.

  • I reviewed my pages for low hanging fruit, things so fast and easy to do it was silly I hadn't done it already (texted the kids to have a family dinner).

  • I assessed which items could be handed off to my assistant or family and determined which items I wanted them to tackle first.

  • I noted which items required outside help (installing my office pellet stove) and scheduled a block of time to source those resources

  • THEN I sat down with my open calendar & the remaining items on my pages . I assessed which small individual items or group of items would move the needle & how much uninterrupted time I'd need to complete them. Then I scheduled it.

So in addition to SLEEPING BETTER & REMOVING BRAIN FOG, this very factual assessment allowed me to reasonably time block my days while moving things to back-burner without feeling forgotten. I became dramatically more productive because I slept better and my subconscious mind did creative & helpful background tasks rather then reducing my mental capacity.

GIVE it a try! Be sure to come report back too!

Happy Growing, Cooking & Eating! 💜 Dana K

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