Thought-dumping, for dummies

James Hendrix
Apr 30, 2017 · 3 min read

10 minute hack into clarity, focus and creativity.

Every morning, I stare at my ceiling for a minute or two. I go over today’s checklist: Errands, half a dozen emails and seemingly never-ending projects. So many things to do, I better get started. And thus it begins, a barrage of activities, sprinkled with dailies like eating and teeth-brushing — when I can plan more activities for the day.

It’s the daily grind, and most of us know — and become — this ritual well into our second decade in life. Much has been written about escaping this mental torture, where our creative capabilities evaporate as we continue slaving away for some corporation; until it replaces us with a robot a few years later.

But quitting your job, in this unstable job market, is still a very risky proposition. Unless you already have a job waiting for you, in which case, your decision is already made. No, let’s say we stay for a few more years, since we have payments to make, a partner to take to dinner with, maybe some children to feed and a car that needs fixing. Maybe even a short trip at the end of the year. Yes, we can’t quit right now. So what can we do?

Thought-dumping: The act of writing whatever comes to mind, first thing in the morning. Many of the greats do it, before anything else in their busy, successful lives. If you enjoy it, you can also add some meditation to it. 10 minutes in the morning is all it takes, and the benefits are tantamount to getting a new job. Why? Because your whole perspective shifts from reacting to the world, stumbling into your daily activities, to focused actions.

It is a more efficient way of doing things. And you will get through your errands, emails and projects faster, better, and with more enjoyment than if you hadn’t done your morning thought-dumping. The reason for this extraordinary claim is that, upon waking up, our prefrontal cortex is running at very high speeds, as it’s booting up. Full of thoughts and strange ideas, gathered in our sleep, waiting impatiently to come out.

So I say, let them come out.

Just write whatever, and see how that feels. I mentioned meditation earlier as well, as it will also add an element of clarity. Just try it out. Tomorrow morning, set an alarm to wake up 10 minutes before your usual time. Get out your laptop, notebook, or whatever you want to use. And just write. It will be mostly nonsense. But just keep doing it. You don’t even have to read it at the end, but you will. You might find some ideas there. Some interesting thoughts. And if anything, at least you will have cleared up some valuable mental space, by letting go of those thoughts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This only applies to people who have a desire to fulfill some (any) creative input into their lives. If you’re happy with your daily grind, doing the same thing over and over, that’s okay too, and you do not need to do morning thought-dumps. You most likely already do it at work.