Passwords, birthdays, appointments, writing ideas, shopping lists, home projects, deadlines, the name of your neighbor’s dog—we all have a lot on our minds.

It is said that we can only store about seven items in our short-term memory, so it doesn’t take much to forget the Amazon password you’ve used for ten years.

With so much on our minds, how do we avoid brain overload?

The key is to write things down to free up precious space in our short-term memory. Whether on your computer or with an old-fashioned pen and paper, the more you can move out of your head and into black and white, the better.

  1. Do a brain dump as often as needed. Similar to a brain storming session, sit and write everything down that is on your mind. You can categorize it and assign tasks later.
  2. Make lists and lots of them. Have a spot in your bedroom, kitchen and office where you can jot down a blog post topic, an item for your shopping list or a task like “Goodwill drop-off.”
  3. End your day by writing down whatever you’re ruminating over so that you don’t lose sleep over it.
  4. Only worry when there is a pen in your hand. Write your problems down, make a list of pros and cons or do whatever it takes to avoid letting your mind fester with worries.
  5. Carry paper and a pen with you at all times. You never know when a billboard, conversation or song on the radio will trigger a thought.

Hopefully writing things down will free your mind to come up with your next brilliant idea!


Tabitha DumasTabitha Dumas is passionate about helping people move forward toward a life of greater balance, purpose and influence. A wife of ten years and mother of two young sons, Tabitha is a writer, blogger, image consultant and social media whiz. She owns, which offers weekly classes, a blog, local events, color analysis, networking opportunities, fieldtrips and beauty makeovers for women in all phases of life.