Monk Mode: How To Get Success Fast
I created a routine and followed a set of habits that took me from $60,000 of debt to making my first 4 million dollars online. The thing is this routine is pretty intense and you wouldn’t want to live this way forever, but if you follow these habits for even a short amount of time you can get exceptional results very quickly.
What is monk mode?
So it turns out that there’s this very popular concept online called monk mode which is basically where you commit to doing a set of habits for a given period of time to get exceptional results. The great thing about it is the habits you choose for monk mode can vary based on what your goals are. So for example, let’s say you want to get a 6 pack fast, you might have a lot of focus around habits that contribute to your health such as going to the gym and eating well. You want to get really good at relationships and dating then you might focus on habits around that. OR if you’re watching this channel you might want to build a real online business and make a lot of money so you focus on habits around that. All of these things can be improved at the same time but by focusing your habits on one aspect of your life you make things easy and your results a whole lot faster. Monk mode is all about removing the things from your life not contributing to your goal and populating your time with habits that yield huge results fast.
How I’m doing monk mode?
I do monk mode a little different to most of the people I’ve seen because from what I’ve seen you’ll usually have 3 things that you focus on for a few months. For me, I like to think of it from a macro and micro perspective. So I’ll have an overall goal with my monk mode for a period of 3 months which might be to make a certain amount of money in my business or whatever. Then on any given day I’m tracking my habits on my spreadsheet and following through with a range of things related to health, wealth, and relationships but I’ll have 1 thing that I focus on deeply each day. I think that having that singular focus such as 4 hours of deep work on your business then the things that support your focus and energy on that 1 thing such as meditation, no media, and exercise allow you to keep total focus while also maximizing your output. In my day I also set rest periods so as to recharge from a pretty intense day so I’ll usually take 4 hours at the end of the day to completely unwind and relax. That way I’m focused on being completely perfect all day but get a little break to release the pressure so to speak. That way I can maintain monk mode for much longer periods. And then I have other periods where I don’t track my habits at all, I’m traveling, partying and having more experiences.
I’ve learned over many years of doing this that there are some habits you absolutely must have as part of your monk mode and others that are less essential but if you have the capacity can be helpful. So here are the absolute must have habits in your monk mode periods.
Meditation is something a lot of people overcomplicate. But at the end of the day it’s just a scientifically proven way to massively improve your ability to focus over long periods of time. And it’s easy. All you need to do is sit still, focus on your breath, and watch your thoughts for at least 15 minutes every day. As long as you sit there for 15 minutes you can count that as a successful session. And once you get good at it you can start counting the reps, how many times you get lost in thought and simply noticing yourself lose focus improves your focus over time.
Exercise isn’t just the single most important thing you can do for your health, it’s also essential for your energy levels and ability to get stuff done. It doesn’t matter if it’s lifting weights, going for a run, playing sports or even going for a long walk. Getting your body moving will give you focus and a clarity of mind that makes you feel more effective in your day to day life. So if you want to get a lot of results fast you must be consistently getting exercise every day.
Deep work is the most important part of this equation. I talk a lot about deep work on this channel because it’s essential if you want to maximize what you get out of your time. Deep work is simply the concept of sitting down in an environment clear of distractions and working on a single thing for a few hours each day. This means no phone, no social media, no hundreds tabs open. Just simply focusing on the important things for a few hours. One thing that really helps me avoid the distracting things when working on my computer or my phone is an app called stay focused which basically blocks anything you shouldn’t be using on your computer and freedom is an app you can use on your iphone but yeah there’s many of these apps out there. A pro tip for deep work is listening to the same music every time you work because humans are simple creatures we get triggered by cues like music. So after a little while doing this you will find you fall into a deep work trance pretty quick. The best kind of music from my experience is game soundtracks. Because good video game soundtracks have been engineered to get you to focus in on the game for extended periods of time. So, soundtracks I enjoy include Doom Eternal and Total War soundtracks.
This next habit has similarities to deep work in that it’s meant to bring you to the present moment, give you focus, clarity and full control over your mental capacity. We are all sutck on social media all day and like rats on a wheel have the habit of grabbing our phone and opening apps subconsciously. So we can no longer rely on our own will power for becoming distracted. For some people, simply putting your devices in a box or something would work. But for those building an online business we need to be a bit smarter about removing media from our life. So the solution is to set up tools like stay focused and app blocker that prevent you from randomly getting distracted and opening random things in your browser and computer. Now, obviously I’m not expecting you to completely remove all forms of media from your life, if you did that it would be great, but most of us would fail to keep up with such a habit. So we need to set things up to make it easy for us to succeed. That’s why each day in my version of monk mode I block our time for these things as a reward for being focused all day. You can give yourself 30 minutes or an our in the evening to check all your apps or watch your favorite show if you must and in my experience that doesn’t really take away from all of your gains in the rest of the day and is much easier to stick to.
No Alcohol or Drugs
Now, the entire point of monk mode is to make substantial progress towards your goals in a very short amount of time. To do this we minimize our distractions and maximize our focus so we can have as much attention as possible on the goal at hand. Alcohol and drugs of any kind will drain you of this focus and really hinder your ability to get things done. So it goes without saying that you should avoid these things at least for the duration of your monk mode period. Unlike checking your apps at the end of the day for 30 minutes or so, having 1 or 2 drinks a day or smoking a bit of weed is going to have a negative impact on your energy and focus for days, so this is an absolute no go.
Stack other habits:
Now, there are some other habits that you can stack on top of the core 5 if you wish but I really think for beginners it’s going to be hard enough to stick to 1 habit, and if you go beyond 5 it’s going to be pretty extreme unless you are really advanced at living this kind of lifestyle. So these habits here can be good but if you aren’t already doing them I recommend only stacking them into your monk mode cycle once you have already mastered consistency with the core 5 for a few months.
No caffeine has become a really popular rule people are stacking in their monk mode these days but unless you already don’t drink caffeine and it’s a really massive goal for you to remove it, I wouldn’t recommend this one. All of the studies I’ve seen back up how healthy caffeine is for us, not just neutral, it seems beneficial. And it’s clear that a bit of caffeine each day has positive impacts on your energy, focus, and ability to get things done. So, if you really want to remove it because you have anxiety or something, I’d recommend only doing so when it’s the main goal of your monk mode.
I think stretching is a great option for your exercise especially if you are quite unfit at the moment or have some issues preventing you from getting other forms of exercise. You can count some kind of yoga routine as exercise, as long as you are getting around 30 minutes each day.
Not enough people really sit down and think deeply about themselves and their lives. Actually writing down your thoughts for 15 minutes can give you massive insights and motivation which can provide needed energy for pushing yourself towards your goals. So this is an easy one to stack in as it can help you reflect on the action you take, gaining lessons that impact your results going forward.
Cold shower is a somewhat controversial habit because a lot of people think it’s a waste of time. But simply turning the temperature all the way to cold and counting to 60 at the end of each shower is more than enough, you definitely feel more focused as norepinephrine is released triggering your flight or flight response because your body wants to get out of that cold water, it gives you some energy and focus, and it’s something you don’t want to do, so doing the things you don’t want to do is usually a good thing as it will transfer into other areas of your life.
Over the years I’ve read or listened to hundreds of books, and I have a list of 600 I want to read going forward, but this is a side habit because while it’s important for anyone to bring in new information, at a certain point you have enough to work with and it’s time to simply take action. So if you’re already reading then I’d just have that in your habit stack, otherwise wait until you master the 5 main habits until you add this one in.
This one also kind of goes without saying, eating a healthy diet is essential for your energy and ability to focus so sticking to a whole foods diet is essential, whatever your preference is, as long as it’s not coca cola and pizza. If your diet is terrible right now though then it’s going to be a very slow journey getting it handled so I’d say to only add this one in if it’s going to be your main focus.
Why monk mode?
Focusing our lives around completing a set of habits each day puts our focus into process orientation, meaning our goals are all about taking action and going through the motions we’ve set up for ourselves. It removes the mental pressure of deciding what we should be doing each day, because our actions have been determined by our past selves. Removing the decision making capacity and setting a schedule of habits that you know will get you to the goal you want will bring the focus and energy you need to take action on a daily basis leading you on the straight path towards your goals.
How to do monk mode?
Cycling: Large Cycles, Small Cycles
So how exactly should you do monk mode? Well, I like to think about it in terms of cycles. You have the macro cycle, the big picture, which I like to break up into 3 month periods. And then you have the meso cycle which I usually have as a 1 week period. And then the micro cycle which is each day.
On the macro level you need to take a really big goal which could be building a business. That’s a very broad and unspecific goal right. So you break that down into it’s component parts. Maybe researching and choosing a business idea. Sourcing and designing your products and services. Designing an offer for a particular niche. Building your website and setting up your marketing software. Generating leads in your niche. Reaching out to 100 leads per day and so on. So your overall goal for the macro level might be something broad, like a big outcome, but we break that down into process oriented goals. Meaning the goal is to take a certain action. Such as building a website. That’s an action. Then each goal is to take place within a week. And we then further break that weekly goal into tasks for each day.
In order to get fast results you need to do what all professional athletes do and have periods of immersion because balance is nice and comfortable but when it comes to getting results it’s never optimal. I tried the balance thing and it helped. I felt good, but if you want to achieve your goals fast you need to follow these habits every day at a very deep level. Because when you do periods of immersion you will get exponential growth and then you can use structured recovery periods.
By setting up a 3 month period of focus, it removes the pressure of sticking to it forever, because once the free months is over we can always move onto something else, but by giving yourself a timeline it brings a lot more focus into our days. Each cycle becomes more efficient because we’ve laid out a detailed plan. And then we structure a rest period each day to release the pressure valve and recover from the day of intense work. Then at the end of the 3 month period we might take an entire week or month off to do whatever we want.
So the idea of monk mode is very flexible. We can all do it however we want at the end of the day. The point is to choose a really big goal you want to achieve in the next few months, break that down into individual objectives and tasks. Then structure your day in a way where you are completing habits that maximize your energy and focus to carry out that goal.