People are switching to Monk Mode to get things done. Now what on Earth is THAT?

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadMar 24, 2023 | 16:16

People are switching to Monk Mode to get things done. Now what on Earth is THAT?

What is Monk Mode? Does it help overcome procrastinating? GIF: DailyO

Another day, another TikTok trend and another productivity hack. This one in trend is called 'Monk Mode'. Yes, we have now graduated from 'Goblin' to 'Monk'. But don't worry, it doesn't persuade you to move to the Himalayas or sell all your belongings including your nonexistent Ferrari. 

So, what's monk mode? 

  • Of course, the concept is not new, but it's definitely a new and fancy term. 
  • Monk Mode adopts some aspects of a monk's lifestyle; mostly those pertaining to solitude and discipline. 
  • In Monk Mode, you commit yourself to achieve a goal, by working on it with focus and discipline, while cutting out distractions. 

How to practice Monk Mode? 

Monk Mode is only a small period of time during a day or week or month. There are only a few definitive steps and the rest is up to you to define and tailor. 

  • Set a particular time for Monk Mode. Usually, it is recommended to start small, like maybe devoting 2 hours a day to Monk Mode. 
  • Have a goal. Define what you want to achieve from entering Monk Mode. It can be used to cut down on procrastinating. 
  • Have a list of tasks or priorities that you need to get done. 
The night before each workday, I made a list of the hardest work tasks I needed to accomplish the next day. I woke up at 5 am, had coffee, read my Bible, and then entered my first round of monk mode to begin tackling that list.
- Cameron Perrin, Software engineer (Business Insider)
  • During Monk Mode, you need to cut down all distractions. It could be your phone, people around you or background noise, etc. 
To prepare for my time in monk mode, I eliminated as many distractions as I could. I turned off my phone notifications and blocked social media sites on my laptop.
- Cameron Perrin
  • You can also combine other productivity hacks such as the Pomodoro technique, where you work continuously for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break and repeat. 
  • Keep track of Monk Mode to feel good about your accomplishments. After all, you need motivation.
  • Be flexible in setting up your Monk Mode and remain consistent. 

Why is this becoming popular now? 

Well, have you ever found yourself doom-scrolling on Instagram or TikTok for hours? It's definitely a problem that did not exist about 20 years ago. Most of the time, we don't realise how long we have spent wasting our time, potentially damaging our mental and emotional well-being, just by scrolling aimlessly. 


So, Monk Mode in today's context mostly relates to cutting out distractions - the main distraction being the phone, social media, and constant notifications. 

Every workday, I would start strong but would soon get derailed by scrolling social media, reading articles, or just aimlessly browsing the internet.
- Cameron Perrin
  • Monk Mode is also something that you would have likely heard from the mouths of entrepreneurs, CEOs, productivity gurus, or the sigma male bros who are still hung up on their ex. 

  • TikTokers and other influencers have caught up to it, even though it seems like an antithesis to the whole definition of Monk Mode. 
  • You are likely to learn about Monk Mode and give up your social media addiction while addictively scrolling through social media. 
  • Some say that the popularity of "Monk" mode coincided with the 2020 book "Think Like A Monk" by the hazel-grey-eyed podcaster, Jay Shetty.

If you noticed that Monk Mode sounds similar to digital detox, then you are right. Maybe we just love to come up with new terms to motivate ourselves. 

In the end, Monk Mode is all about not being a monk and only adopting some parts of their lifestyle that are convenient to us at the moment. It is also not something backed by science and is mostly a self-help idea. So, if you are facing a medical or mental health condition, this method or any other Internet fad may not work for you. 


It should also be practiced in moderation because the plan is not to become a monk. We are already so isolated with our phones and work-from-home culture that long periods of working in solitude and not collaborating may backfire.  

Last updated: March 24, 2023 | 16:16
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy