You’re thinking… How can I focus more? How can I eliminate brain fog? Is it possible to reach my maximum productivity or find bliss? How can I achieve my goal or at least get closer to it? What on earth is Monk Mode?
You’re afraid you might never make it to the top of the mountain. It’s not enough to die trying. You want to make it.
Know what? You aren’t alone. A while ago I was wondering the same things. I was trying my best to become effective and achieve my goals, but I was getting mediocre results.
But this stopped when I found out about Monk Mode.
What is Monk Mode
Monk Mode is a 30-day life challenge that helps you achieve your goals by following a specific and strict life routine.
When you start the Monk Mode challenge you may live like a monk, but Monk Mode is not something that applies to a religion.
It’s a challenge I took up last September. I got huge benefits out of it that I’ll share with you in this blog post.
Why you should go in Monk Mode
Monk Mode helps you achieve (or get closer to) any goal you set. The goal is irrelevant. You may wish to climb the highest mountain. You may want to become a famous actor. Or you may strive to become a successful entrepreneur.
Whatever goal you may set Monk Mode will help you get there sooner. It will help you see things clearly. It will make you the best version of yourself.
The Monk Mode routine
So, what you’re supposed to do (and not do) while you’re in Monk Mode? The Monk Mode program gives you a routine that you need to follow every day.
You receive clear instructions about the time you should wake up and go to bed. You follow a specific strict diet and you learn how to clear your mind and body through meditation and stretching.
The Monk Mode routine helps you achieve your goals. That’s the only thing it does. And, in order to do that, it tells you how you should live your life for 30 days.
The program promises (and delivers) 6 hours every day of laser-focused work on your goal. But to achieve that you need to stay away from fun and passive activities you’re used to do.
What is allowed during Monk Mode?
Not a lot. You must follow the monk’s routine and make sure you stay away from all the distractions of modern life.
This is the Monk Mode routine:
At 5 am you wake up
You do your morning meditation
Then you do your stretching routine
At 6:30 am you start your daily work for 2 hours
You do a second stretching routine at 9 am
At 10 am you meditate again
At 11 am you go back to 2 more hours of solid work
You eat your only meal of the day (only meat is allowed) between 1 and 2 pm
From 2 to 3 pm you relax to let the food digest
At 3:30 pm you stretch again
At 4 pm you do 2 more hours of work
You meditate at 7 pm
You go to bed at 8 pm
So, every day you get:
What is NOT allowed during Monk Mode?
During the challenge you stay away from all addictions. Anything that can give you the tiniest dopamine rush is not allowed.
For example, things that are NOT allowed in Monk Mode are:
Did you notice any similarity among all these prohibited things? They are all addictive. From the most innocent looking one (carbohydrates) to the most obvious one (drugs).
In order to achieve 6 hours of focused work every day, you must eliminate any type of addiction. It sounds impossible (it was quite hard for me too), but it’s the only way.
Distractions, addictions and passive dopamine rewarding activities are the real productivity killers. And during Monk Mode you can’t have any of those.
As with most challenges, the effects of Monk Mode take some days to kick in. The first few days are tough. The toughest part (at least for me) was the diet restriction.
What is the Monk Mode diet?
Remember that during Monk Mode you do a 23-hour fasting for 30 days. You eat only once per day. And you can eat only meat, cheese, bacon and butter.
You follow the carnivore zero-carbs diet, which is high saturated fat – high protein – zero carbs.
How is it possible to eat only once per day?
It’s only possible when you only eat meat. Think about it for a second. How many rib-eye steaks can you eat at once? You eat one or two and then you feel full for hours.
On the other hand, how many slices of pizza or scoops of ice cream can you eat? Hmmm…
Carbohydrates are addictive and you need to eat a lot of them to satisfy the hunger that they create for you.
With that said, even with just eating meat the first 2 weeks of the program are tough. You’ll experience severe hunger pangs a couple of hours before you eat your one meal of the day.
Don't panic at this stage. You just need to wait the hunger pangs out.
Fortunately, after the first 2 weeks the hunger pangs are gone. Your body adjusts and heals. The 23-hour fasting forces your body to eat its dead cells.
You feel like you’re born again and start to experience bliss.
The 3rd and 4th week of Monk Mode were the most productive weeks of my life. I could think clearly about everything.
I remember it was day No 20 when my Trello (my tasks management tool) caught fire! I simply woke up and wrote down around 10-15 new ideas about how to grow my business.
I had no brain fog anymore. Nothing could distract me. My productivity was out of the roof. I would wake up in the morning and after my meditation and stretching routine I was ready to start my work.
I had managed to eliminate procrastination. No more watching videos on YouTube or doing other trivial tasks. I was doing what was needed to be done.
I also noticed great improvements on how my body functions. I wasn’t burping or farting anymore. I stopped feeling bloated in my stomach and I started spending way less time in the toilet.
The mental clarity was real. I was focused. I had new ideas about my life and my business. At the end of the 3rd week I even saw vivid dreams 3 nights in a row!
I would just wake up remembering every single detail of the dreams I had the previous night. I could write a book about my dreams!
My initial goal when I started this challenge was to accelerate the growth of my business. I managed this in the short term by increasing my income for September, but the big benefits were for the long term.
With the mental clarity that the program gave me I was able to plan the rest of the year ahead. Now I have a solid strategy in place that I can follow even if my mental power has now dropped a bit (because I started drinking alcohol and eating carbs again).
You may be thinking now: That sounds cool but wait a minute… how about the negative effects of Monk Mode?
Of course, it’s not all roses. First, you can imagine that by eating only one meal per day, you lose weight.
And I did lose weight. I lost 5.5 kg (12 pounds) in 30 days. For me this was a negative effect because I went from standard-bodied to skinny.
However, if you are fat or you want to lose some weight then Monk Mode is perfect for you.
The biggest negative effect of Monk Mode is that you put your social life on hold. Remember that you must follow a specific routine that dictates that you should go to bed at 8 pm every single day.
No more Friday or Saturday drinking nights with your friends. During Monk Mode you live in solitude. It’s a spiritual journey with yourself.
What happens after the 30 days?
When the challenge is over the benefits (bliss, high productivity etc.) don't vanish instantly. However, the effects are not so strong anymore.
The moment you start to eat carbs or sugar again your stomach aches and your carbs addiction comes back. Also, when you go back to socializing with friends and drinking alcohol your productivity drops.
It's all about what you choose to keep and what to discard after the challenge ends.
After my challenge was over, I chose to keep 3 things:
- Waking up and going to bed early (only on weekdays)
- Meditating (which 1 year later I replaced with praying)
So, I went back to eating carbs and started having a social life again.
Overall, the challenge left me with a solid business plan that I can follow during the following months.
It left me with increased productivity (not at maximum level), so as I can work efficiently on my goals.
And I'm also now back to a more balanced life that includes solid work and social life. So, my bliss level is still quite high.
Who is this program for?
Monk Mode is for anyone who wants to achieve their goals.
With that said, remember that masturbation is prohibited (don't forget it's nofap monk mode) and having sex is not recommended.
Even if you want to have sex, it’s hard to perform like usual when you eat only once per day and you’re focused on achieving your goal.
So, having a sexual partner in life can make things tough for you, if you want to start this challenge.
Also, the carnivore zero-carbs diet means no sugar for 30 days. If you’re a woman that may include your period days when sugar is your best friend.
Because of the above the perfect target group for Monk Mode are single men.
Would I ever do this challenge again?
To be honest I think one time back in 2019 was enough for me.
Currently I don't do extreme challenges like this and I focus more on spiritual topics.
Existential topics like, for example, why we are in this world and what happens when we die now sound more interesting to me.
So, if these topics sound interesting to you too, be sure to check out my other article.
Here it is: Why do we die?
Until next time.
You may noticed that the Monk Mode routine includes some time gaps.
For example, if you start meditating at 7 pm for 20 minutes and you must go to bed at 8 pm, what are you supposed (or allowed) to do in between?
The short answer to this is that the program is not super strict. It leaves you with some free time to take your dog for a walk, brush your teeth, take a shower, have a chat with your partner etc.
You can go to the gym, if you want, but it is recommended to do so in the afternoon, since the morning is reserved for mental work.
The routine of this challenge assumes that you're not a normal 9-5 employee. And this makes things a bit difficult for you, if you want to start this challenge while being at an office for 8 hours.
However, you can still do the challenge even if you're a full-time employee. All you need is to be a bit more creative and adjust the routine to suit your time constraints.