Well here I am – clear evidence that not all people in business are Richard Branson… I’ve several deadlines to hit this week, so taking bank holiday off, just isn’t an option. This isn’t so unusual for me and many other self-employed people, but the problem is today I’ve got the dreaded accounts to finish.
Yes, like many people, this is far from my favourite job, but of course it has to be done and my lovely accountant is eagerly awaiting the finished item, ready for our meeting in a few days time. (Amazingly it appears some people actually choose to do this stuff).
Prof. Steve Peters has a brilliant way of getting yourself to do things you wouldn’t usually want to do. He calls it ‘giving your chimp a banana’. The very basic tenet here is that your inner chimp is the bit of you that wants to go play/sleep/[insert own non-account-based activity here] – in other words chimps do NOT like accounts. One way of getting around this is to do a bit of a deal with your chimp. Prof. Peters calls this ‘Giving your chimp a banana.’ In basic terms this is you saying, ‘Hey chimp – I know you’re not happy, but if you sit here quietly and let me do these pesky accounts, then afterwards we’ll go out and play/socialise/[insert own chimpish, fun-based activity here].
This has the added advantage of getting the important, but boring stuff done, but also ensures you get to schedule the nice stuff in too!
So whatever you’re doing, hope you’re having/had a good bank holiday weekend. Now where’s my stapler…..
If you’d like to know more about Prof. Peters’ work, I can highly recommend his book – Peters, S. (2012). The Chimp Paradox. London. Vermillion.
Karen Amos is the founder of BrightBird Coaching & Training – providing Result-Focused Coaching and development support for leaders, teams and organisations across the private, public, not-for-profit and education sectors. To find out more, please visit www.bright-bird.co.uk