1. You are ridiculously indecisive
You are taking ages to choose from the menu, decide your weekend plans or book a flight. You are switching between tasks and projects because you are not sure which one is the most important. Or even worse, you are the bottleneck in your company because you seem to be incapable of taking effective decisions and are thus stalling everyone else’s progress. Your mind is just too clouded to see the different options and their respective consequences clearly.
2. Despite your highly demanding job, you have no regular mindfulness ritual
You have tried meditation but decided it’s just not for you. But you’ve also not integrated any other rituals into your week to get some headspace — like purging your thoughts into your journal, taking long walks or going to Yoga. To put it bluntly, you are not doing anything to clear your head to make space for the new. Instead, you just keep adding to the circus in your mind. Or even worse, you are temporarily numbing your mind with food, alcohol, sex, shopping or busyness.
3. You have trouble focusing on the task at hand
You are drifting off in meetings or get lost in thoughts 3 minutes after picking up a book. You are switching the topic in conversations without even listening to what the other person just said. Your mind is a running to-do list even when you are out of the office and you are extremely prone to any kind of distractions.
4. The majority of your daily thoughts are focused on the past or the future
Your either fixated on past events, thinking of things you could have done or should have said — or you are obsessing about the future, constantly worrying about what might happen. This leaves you with a mild depression or chronic anxiety and makes you incapable of enjoying the present moment.
5. You find yourself stuck in the same thought circles over and over again
You are never done thinking about something. It seems to follow you wherever you go. You think about it when you wake up, multiple times during the day and before you go to sleep — it might even keep you from sleeping at all. When you are worried about something, you are obsessed and can’t seem to let it go. But you also know that your thinking doesn’t get you anywhere, you just keep going in circles without coming up with a solution or breaking the circle by thinking differently about the situation.
6. You have not taken a holiday for the mind in a long time
You don’t even remember the last time you were able to forget the worries of your daily life for some time. You have not given yourself permission to break out of your routine and take some time out, handing over your responsibility for a few days. Even on holiday, your mind — and your laptop are always “on”. Or even worse, you regularly feel like taking a break from “yourself”, thinking: “it is so exhausting to be me!”.
7. You find yourself in a reactive position in important areas of your life
You lack the mental clarity to think ahead and plan your next moves. Instead, you are reacting to your environment — chasing after competitors and the time in your day — feeling like you are always behind.
8. You can’t sleep
As if it weren’t enough that the monkey mind is running your entire day — you can’t even switch off when you are in bed. Your thoughts keep going in circles, possibly turning more catastrophic the later it gets.
The Monkey Mind can be a brutal killer for your productivity and well-being and is thus a major threat to well-lived life. The nature of modern times makes it almost impossible to naturally quiet the monkey mind from time to time. Hence, mastering the monkey mind becomes an active choice and a daily practice.
Liz Huber is a Mindset & Productivity Coach and Founder of refinedlife.io. With her books, courses, and 1-on-1 work, she helps entrepreneurs overcome overwhelm, lack of focus, fear, and self-doubt. As a result, her clients are able to confidently achieve their goals by prioritizing what is truly important and streamlining everything else.