Showing posts from October, 2015

Engaging the monkeys in a conference room

On Saturday, we held an unusual conference. Although it began much as every conference begins (with a welcome from a podium), there had been an unusual amount of hugging as people found their seats. Scattered around the tables were monkeys–monkey cutouts, monkey stickers, monkeys sitting in the fancy chair at the front. Everywhere were reminders of what the Buddhists call Monkey Mind. And our goal for the day was to get the monkeys to focus, engage, and show their most loving, cooperative, and ingenious selves.

What do you think of when you think about monkeys? Do you imagine playing, shrieking, mischief or cuddles? Do you think of mindless activity or of a sudden, focused interest in a puzzle to be solved? All of these are typical of monkeys. All of these are typical of the monkeys in your mind–the troop of ideas, emotions, biases, memories, and hopes that are in perpetual motion as you try to focus, to think, to make decisions.

What would you do to control a troop of monkeys? …

Is time management really energy management?

Do you have enough energy for what you want to do?

So many people are busy managing their time, and yet they can do nothing to change the number of hours in a day or days in a week. The calendar programs and expert tips all talk as though 5 minutes were always 5 minutes. And yet, you have experienced 5 minutes as an eternity and 5 minutes as a heart beat. In NLP, we would say that your state determines how much time 5 minutes contains.

When people complain they don't have enough time, I wonder if they are really saying that they don't have enough energy. It's a much different question and harder to solve with an app. It would mean that instead of auditing how productively you spend your time, you would need to understand your personal economics of energy.

What if every activity consumes energy but some activity also produces energy? You know this is true. It always takes energy to get started. But sometimes you are so engaged in something that you become more energized as …