The Rise of the monk mode mornings

 Do you ever get frustrated with being interrupted? Do you wish you had a place to retreat at work to do serious thinking? Do you believe the quality of your work would go up and your stress go down if you had more time and space to really concentrate? Well, you can. Welcome to the new world of Monk Mode mornings.

What exactly is monk mode?

Between when you wake up and noon: no meetings, no calls, no texts, no email, no Slack, no Internet. You instead work deeply on something (or somethings) that matters.

What makes this hack particularly effective is its simple regularity. If someone wants to schedule something with you, it becomes reflexive to respond “anytime afternoon.” 

There’s no guesswork or inconsistency: everyone’s on the same page, and you make 3 to 4 hours of deep progress on valuable goals, every day.

It means shutting out the world for a time. It is a relatively extreme approach to take, but we decided I would write from 5 AM to 1 PM every day. I did that five days a week for about 9 months. I worked from a small office — tiny really—but in it I found space. And in that space, I found creative freedom. – Greg McKeown [2X New York Times bestselling author]

 The work world is infected with the disease of busyness. People often experience motion sickness rather than momentum. They become tricked by the trivial. 

As knowledge workers, we need to advocate for space so we can find the signal in the sound. As managers, we need to protect our people’s space to think, concentrate and get things done. There is a time to collaborate together; there is a time to be in monk mode. As Pablo Picasso is credited with saying, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”


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