Monk Mode is a productivity and wellbeing ‘hack’, similar to a ‘Think Week’, that is popular amongst entrepreneurs and creatives. Although digital detoxing and meditation isn’t anything new, #monkmode has had more than 78 million views on TikTok and is being increasingly picked up by the media. So what is it? And how can we integrate it into our bustling, modern lives?
At its core, 'Monk Mode' is about deep focus and minimal distraction that centres around dedicating yourself to a single task or goal with no tech or other distractions.
Inspired by the lifestyle of Buddhist monks who live lives of simplicity, reflection, and deep focus, ‘Monk Mode’ encourages people to disconnect from external distractions, particularly digital ones, and turn inwards through meditation and deep focus. The practice aims to improve clarity of thought, enhance productivity by limiting multi-tasking and distraction, and find a deeper sense of purpose and fulfilment by practicing meditation.
Some people (especially entrepreneurs and self employed) practice more intense ‘Monk Mode’, by entering an extended period of time to work towards a goal. In working towards that, they eliminate distracting practices like social media and drinking alcohol and replace them with meditation, physical exercise and deep work to help them achieve their goals.
For the majority of us, this extremity isn’t necessary (or possible in a 9-5), but there is a lot we can learn from the practice to implement into our every day lives.
"A lot of the stuff in the zeitgeist today is 'hey get rich quick, make your millions in an instant'. Monk mode is a necessary contrast to say 'you're not going to accomplish anything unless you carve out the time every single day and just show up." Vladimir Druts, Founder of FocusMe
What are the benefits of ‘Monk Mode’?
Embracing ‘Monk Mode’ means simplifying your life and daily routine, eliminating distractions, and focusing deeply on tasks and self-improvement. There’s lost of potential benefits, including
By reducing distractions, especially digital ones, you can concentrate better and achieve deeper levels of focus. This is crucial for tasks that require intensive thought or creativity.
With increased focus comes better productivity. When you’re not constantly shifting your attention or multitasking, you can get more done in less time.
Better mental clarity
Taking a break from the constant influx of information, especially from social media and news sources, can lead to clearer thoughts and better decision-making.
The constant barrage of notifications, emails, and messages can be overwhelming. Stepping back from this and introducing meditation can calm your mind and reduce stress levels.
"Monk Mode" often involves practices like meditation and reflection. These can lead to increased self-awareness and a better understanding of goals, desires, and emotions.
Adopting a more minimalist approach to life, both digitally and physically, can lead to less clutter and a more streamlined existence.
When your mind isn't constantly occupied with incoming information, it has more space to wander and be creative.
How can you find ‘Monk Mode’?
Starting with Monk Mode doesn't mean you need to quit your job and retreat into the mountains (like our co-founder, Hector, did). The basic principle is to live simply and focus on one thing at a time. You can implement small spells of ‘Monk Mode’ to increase your productivity and focus.
Setting boundaries or ‘non-negotiables’
Choose specific times in the day when you'll be offline. Inform friends, family, and coworkers about these 'sacred hours' and stick to them. Also set small goals to stick to through the week, whether that is waking up at a certain time or limiting caffeine - and hold yourself accountable.
Set clear goals
It’s important to know what you want to achieve during ‘mode mode’. Write down a clear goal of what you want to achieve during that time.
Go ‘offline’ and remove distraction
Block social media or go into DND mode. Use apps such as Freedom or Opal to block distracting apps on your devices, or remove them from your space entirely.
Deep work or focus
Schedule blocks of time for deep, focused work. Instead of multitasking, concentrate on one task at a time, ensuring it gets your full, undivided attention.
Engaging in regular mindfulness practices
Start with just 5 minutes of meditation daily and gradually increase - you might not feel the impact in the first week or so, but stick with it - you’ll be much more present and aware the more you practice. Here’s how to start meditating if it’s new to you.
Whilst 'Monk Mode' is currently trending; it's a practice that we’re all aware of. It encompasses many principles we all know helps our wellbeing: less social media, more mediation and simpler living. It’s a method to help people move towards towards deeper fulfillment and clarity in this digital age. As always, it's not about being perfect but about making small, consistent changes that bring about big results.
Remember to tailor the principles to your own needs and routine .Some may find value in short periods of this focused mode, while others might adopt certain principles into their daily lives for the long term. It's about finding the balance that works for you and reaping the benefits that align with your personal and professional goals.
Fancy time away from the screen?
Recharge your batteries by going off-grid for 3 days. Backed by science - you will feel more calm, relaxed and creative after your digital detox.