There were times when I didn’t admit to having a monkey mind. But, obviously, everyone has a monkey mind. Some are just better than others at suppressing it or hiding it from the others. Recently, I have been far from perfect when it comes to taming my inner monkey. I am restless, switching between too many things and getting nothing done. It might seem that I am busy but all this business leads nowhere. My mind jumps from one thought to another like a monkey swings on the branches of a tree. The monkey is full of energy, it doesn’t want to stop. It always wants to move forward. It doesn’t like completing things. But completing, putting these finishing touches is crucial in many aspects of life. I have so many incomplete things that they make me want to throw up. I love starting new things, oh, I adore it! But finishing? Or even editing my previous work, going back to it even if just for a few minutes? The monkey runs the other way.
In the morning, I listened to a Ted talk by Tim Urban about procrastination. As someone who procrastinates, he paints the picture of the mind of a procrastinator. A rational mind has a steady captain steering always in the right direction. The mind of a procrastinator has an instant reward gratification monkey sitting inside it. This monkey wants to do everything else than the task at hand. You can see that monkey at work when you try to focus on something important but suddenly you have thoughts like “I wonder if someone has messaged me on Facebook. Hmm, when was Hugh Grant born? What are the cats doing in the other room?” The monkey is all over the place, jumping here and there irrationally. This monkey wants to know something and wants it now. Instantly. I have used the Pomodoro technique which means setting a timer for 25 minutes and then focusing completely on your task. If the monkey peeks out from behind a tree and wants something, you could write it down and look into it later. Honestly, once I wasn’t focusing anymore and had the time when I was allowed to jump the branches that the monkey wanted I didn’t really want to do it anymore. It wasn’t important. I downloaded the ToMighty desktop timer but there are many others as well. 25 minutes is not that much to focus on something but it does pay off in the long run!
It is essential to tame the monkey mind, especially if you are your own boss. Without deadlines (or deadlines that you set for yourself and then forget) it is hard to get anywhere. You don’t even procrastinate, you don’t even begin the task. I have had enough of this. Thus, on day 812, I devised a structured plan for myself. I have also been using the Fabulous app that helps to slowly develop a routine. So far, it is a bit boring because I already eat a good breakfast and some of the content is not relevant to me but… it has helped me to develop an exercise routine for the morning. I even look forward to it!
How about you? How is your inner monkey doing?
1. Own and live in a house.
Started my day with a small translation (money!). All in all, it was a slow day but eventually, I managed to work out my game plan: how to manage all my blogs and writing and become successful. Let’s do it!
2. Write AND publish a book.
Didn’t write but read about writing a damn good novel. Evergreen tips by James N. Frey. I will be forever thankful to the friend who borrowed me this book.
3. Win a major race.
The weather outside was horrible: no sun, lots of wind, freezing. Luckily, I only had a short run planned. 8 km. Went well. I am on my way to success.