Controlling the monkey mind

the monkey mind
Image by zen via Flickr

Sometimes there’s just too much noise.

Last night I was

  • watching the Superbowl, particularly the ads,
  • tweeting online about it,
  • on the phone with a coworker,
  • trying to write a blog post,
  • cleaning out email and
  • preparing for the week.

Why do I do that?  It’s obviously too much.  I had 3 word documents open, 6 tabs on Firefox and 4 tabs on Chrome open, the landline and cell phone by my chair at the ready.

Finally – I closed down everything and went to the couch.  Exhausted.

Today – I got up early (monkey mind at work), ate breakfast and started all over again.

I start with Twitter.  Twitter, because I follow some amazingly brilliant people, is like a drug.  Better yet, it’s like having the largest bookstore/library/computer right in my home.  I can follow links and recommendations all day.  I solved that problem by:

  • dedicating 1/2 hour in the morning, 1/2 hour at lunch and 1/2 hour at night to check into twitter.  I actually open up the referral link and bookmark it.  Then I close the window.
  • turn off twitter when not in use.  I use tweetdeck.  It organizes my tweets into manageable columns.  If I don’t close it, I’ll be checking the Iowa column to see what news I want, the small business column for ideas for my business, the friends column to see what everyone is doing …. see, monkey mind strongly at work.  I just close it.

Facebook stays open during the day.  I manage my personal account – which is no big deal.  However I’m running fan pages for 3 clients – and it’s easier to just keep the page open and update as I need too.

I’m writing copy for an event I’m hosting in June.  It requires being in communication with several people.  We use the phone, email, google wave and twitter.  Instead of keeping all of those things open in front of me, we’ve set times to talk.  In other words,

  • created a schedule for talk and updates
  • follow up via email until next scheduled time.

I am also recruiting business partners for my green referral business.  It means phone calls, scheduling online interviews and live online presentations.  Once again,

  • I assign the hours in the day I do just that and I stick to those hours.

Then there’s client work. Creating viable social media solutions.  Currently, I have three clients I’m working with.  It involves

  • analyzing where they are and where they want to go
  • creating the plan that works for them
  • helping them implement it
  • training someone to do the work ongoing

I also write a local paper, print copy integrated with online media.  That means

  • I’m always looking for cool interviews and articles
  • taking pictures at local events
  • attending local events!

My friend Becky suggested we create a six item to do list each morning.  I have six things to do in the first hour!  Monkey mind hard at work.

Okay — monkey mind, just what is that? When you’re mind is so over stimulated with incredible ideas, thoughts, plans and actions to take.  It’s hard to sort it all out – and do what needs to be done first and go to the next step.  Monkey mind wakes you up in the middle of the night.  Monkey mind jabbers on and on with  the “what if we did this? or what about that? or why not try this?”.   There’s a time and place for Monkey Mind.  During my work day is not that time and place.

HEY! I think I’ll schedule a little monkey mind time – take notes, and then shut him off too!

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  1. Denise on February 9, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Great article, my monkey mind is running all the time and it gets over whelming. Need to write.

  2. Deb on February 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Denise –
    You know how I feel then! It does help to write – and you have such great stories. I look forward to reading more of them.

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