Monk Mode Explained: How to Take Back Control of Your Time

Dimana Markova
7 mins read
Jun 2, 2023

Digital distractions impact our relationships, work, and overall quality of life.

Social media is sucking away hours of productivity from hour day. 

Are you looking for a way to take back control and escape distractions? Then Monk Mode might be for you. 

In this article, we'll cover ✍️

  • What is Monk Mode, and who is it for 
  • What are the benefits
  • How to do Monk Mode and make the most of it

What is Monk Mode?

monk mode spongebob

Monk Mode is a period of total immersion and intense focus on a single task or goal.

It involves eliminating and abstaining from digital (or any other) distractions.

It's an effective dopamine detox method that can improve your productivity, creativity and set you down on a path of enhanced performance.

Monk Mode is a productivity method popular with CEOs, entrepreneurs, athletes and creators.

You may have heard of the approach that Kanye West has as a producer.

Whenever Kanye signs an up-and-coming artist, he flies him to a remote location where they spend a month without distractions.

The artist isn't allowed phones, the internet or any entertainment.

She enters Monk Mode.

At the end of the month, the musician walks out with an album ready to hit the shelves. 

The main thing about this productivity hack is that it involves cutting out all distractions and focusing solely on the task at hand.

Monk Mode allows you to enter a flow state by eliminating all distractions. 

This is a state of complete immersion, concentration and heightened productivity. 

It is a state where time seems to fly by, and you are fully absorbed in the task.

Who is Monk Mode for?

At its core, Monk Mode is a lifestyle adopted by many successful people, including entrepreneurs, CEOs, athletes, and artists. 

Bill Gates, Tim Ferris, Cal Newport are among the many who practice the Monk Mode technique in one form or another.

Using it, they achieve a state of total focus and immersion in a specific task or goal.

Monk Mode could be for you if you are looking to make a major leap in your life.

It could be for you if you feel stuck, in a rut or overwhelmed by distractions. 

If you have reached a plateau and see no progress in your personal or professional life. 

Or if social media and digital distractions are eating away at your productivity.

What are the benefits of Monk Mode?

Monk Mode can supercharge your productivity by fostering an environment conducive to focus and concentration. 

Here are 7 benefits of Monk Mode that directly lead to better productivity. 

1. Heightened focus

The first and foremost advantage of Monk Mode is the heightened focus that comes with it. 

By minimizing distractions, you can concentrate more effectively on your work, allowing you to finish more in less time.

2. Increased mental clarity

Another less talked about the benefit of Monk Mode is that it provides a much-needed break from modern life's constant noise and chaos. 

This can help to reduce stress and increase mental clarity, enabling you to approach your work with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

Monk Mode is particularly suitable for people who work in creative or knowledge-based fields. 

You can tap into your creativity and unlock new productivity levels by shutting out external distractions and committing to deep, uninterrupted work sessions.

3. Better work-life balance

In addition to these benefits, Monk Mode can help improve your overall work-life balance. 

Focusing on your work during set hours and setting clear boundaries can create a better balance between your personal and professional life, reducing the risk of burnout and increasing your overall well-being.

5. Minimises distractions

Inviting you to eliminate potential distractions creates an environment conducive to deep work. This focused attention helps to increase productivity.

6. Better concentration and workflow

Monk Mode helps you to build better attention over time. With fewer distractions, your brain has the space to train itself to stay on track with a single task at hand.

7. Enhanced time management 

Monk Mode encourages effective time management by dedicating specific periods to intense work. It also helps you to understand how long each task typically takes so you plan your time better.

8. Reduced decision fatigue 

Believe it or not, deciding what to watch on Netflix or how to respond to that tricky Twitter comment takes brainpower.

Removing unnecessary distractions during Monk Mode allows you to reserve your mental energy for the most critical decisions and increase productivity.

Monk Mode is an excellent strategy for anyone who wants to enhance their productivity, reduce stress, and improve their work-life balance. 

By committing to this work mode, you can unlock your full potential and achieve your goals more effectively.

How to do Monk Mode?

Monk Mode can mean different things to different people. 

Some focus on simply eliminating distractions. Others include meditation and exercise to the practice.

Another group eliminates alcohol and other dopamine-stimulating activities.

Here are 7 simple steps to follow in entering Monk Mode.

1. Set clear goals and priorities

Why are you doing it, and what are you hoping to achieve?

Before starting your Monk Mode, it's essential to have clear goals and priorities.

Once you've answered those questions, define what you want to achieve and the steps you need to take to get there.

Remember that you cannot go anywhere if you don't have a direction in mind.

2. Plan your day

A crucial part of Monk Mode is planning your day.

Schedule your work hours, dedicate time for each task, plan your breaks, and even your meals.

3. Ruthlessly eliminate distractions

First, list all distractions on a piece of paper. 

Think of anything that steals your attention during a typical day 

Then eliminate all these distractions that could interfere with your productivity. 

And when we say eliminate, we mean it. Be ruthless about it.

Put your phone in a time-locked container, give your friend your game consoles, and have someone change your Netflix password.

Delete apps, change locations, stop subscriptions, and set screen time limits (e.g. 45mins daily).

If your work requires a computer, you can download an extension that blocks certain websites.

4. Stop multitasking

Multitasking Meme Monk Mode

Monk Mode requires a high level of focus and concentration. 

Focus on a single goal or task at a time. Avoid task or context switching.

Multitasking is a myth. It can kill 40% of your productivity and simply doesn't work!

Avoid multitasking and stay committed to one task at a time.

5. Recharge

It is not uncommon to forget your needs in a state of deep focus, but that can lead to less productivity in the long run.

Maintaining your physical and mental health is essential when implementing Monk Mode. 

Make sure to get enough sleep, exercise, take breaks when necessary and have good nutrition.

Sleep, exercise, meditation and walking are the magic ingredients required to recharge and maintain productivity.

6. Select the duration

Select a duration for the Monk Mode period and keep that commitment non-negotiable. 

We recommend starting with 30 days. 

It's a long enough period to start forming a habit but not too long to stop you from maintaining the streak.

Once you become more comfortable and your attention and focus improve, the period could be extended to 60 or 90 days.

And if a month is too long, start with something shorter like a day or a week.

7. Evaluate your progress

Regularly evaluate your progress and adjust your approach if necessary. 

Celebrate your achievements and learn from your mistakes.

ADHD and Monk Mode

Monk Mode with ADHD could be particularly challenging. But it could be extremely helpful to improve our dopamine "sensitivity"

However, distractions lurk at every corner and ADHD paralysis, overwhelm, and ADHD overthinking can derail any attempt to get things done.

So, for those of us trying to swim through the tumultuous tides of ADHD, having the right tools to enter Monk Mode can be life-changing.

You can try the Pomodoro technique ADHD edition to keep you focused on a single task.

The Deepwrk's body doubling website and accountability partner app are also ready to help you rock and roll so you can enter Monk Mode and stay focused.

ADHD body doubling is simply working alongside others in the same physical or virtual space. This ADHD coworking can make a massive difference for anyone struggling to start and stay on task.

For some more ideas and inspiration on strategies to thrive with ADHD, check out our article on the best ADHD productivity tools and apps.

You can also dive deeper into the theory with ADHD books and some brilliant ADHD podcasts.

What are the challenges with Monk Mode?

Monk Mode isn't a quick fix or a magic pill. 

The dopamine detox, eliminating all distractions and maintaining intense focus for prolonged periods is hard work.

The reality is that we are bombarded with distractions every day. 

Unless you have a very dedicated support system, developing the discipline and focus may take some time to fully embrace Monk Mode.

Another challenge is the potential for burnout. 

Monk Mode involves intense periods of focused work, and taking breaks and prioritizing self-care is essential.

Neglecting self-care can lead to exhaustion, decreased productivity, and even physical and mental health problems.

Monk Mode may also be challenging for those who thrive in social or collaborative environments. 

While it can be great for deep, individual work, Monk Mode can be isolating and lonely for some people.

Maintaining social connections and staying connected with colleagues and peers is critical.


Monk Mode will likely help you to practice discipline, focus, and dedication.

By eliminating distractions and going through a dopamine detox, you can boost productivity, accomplish more in less time, and improve the quality of your work (and life).

With practice, discipline, and patience, you can overcome these obstacles and achieve your full potential.

Eliminate distractions with Deepwrk. Join free online coworking sessions to focus and get things done.
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Dimana Markova
Dimana is a founder, content creator, and a writer. She holds an MSc in Social & Public Communication from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Dimana is an avid traveller, reader and snowboarder.