Official Blog of Center10 Consulting

Get the monkey off your back with little experiments

on Wednesday, January 21, 2015
A Capuchin On My Back...At Florida's Jungle Adventure
While I loved the capuchin monkey I met at Jungle Island in Miami (pictured here), my goal in 2015 is to get every other monkey off my back.
As you go into 2015, is it worth thinking through what your "monkeys" might be? I mean those issues, habits, untried ideas that sit on your shoulder, weighing you down.
5 things to do now:
  • Give yourself permission: To reflect for 15 minutes - this may be when you're out on a jog, meditating, having a quiet soak in the bath...wherever you can separate yourself from the flow of external ideas and information.
  • Listen to yourself: Now let your mind do its thing - watch the parade of thoughts that flow through your mind.
  • Capture them: Once you are back to your desk, make a like of all the ideas and issues that reared their head - things undone, experiences not tried, conversations not had, etc. Some technology tools you could try: is a simple extension on Chrome that will keep track of your list, then there are cross-platform apps like Wunderlist and Todoist. These can keep them fresh and front of mind for you.
  • Plan: Here's a short set of options to manage your list - Do, Delegate, Experiment.
    • Do it now!! Many of your "monkeys" can just be acted on - for example that short email introduction you can provide but that you've put aside in the search for the perfect framing. Remember, the perfect is the enemy of the good.
    • If you know there are issues that someone else could address, or opportunities someone else might act on for you, go ahead and delegate.
    • Finally, there are those "monkeys" where there isn't a simple action. This is where you might want to start making small bets and experimenting - see my earlier post to plan some small experiments.
  • Act, at the right pace: Make a rational timetable for acting on the list. Be ambitious, but also be kind - to yourself! This is about continuously increasing your effectiveness and your peace of mind, so don't let the list be a monkey - just a guide and tool to help you along.