It’s time to get in touch with my inner monk.
No, I am not talking of getting religious or super spiritual in an instant. I am unhappy withthe way I use social media, the phone and the internet in general. We all know that this topic is as old as the iPhone 3G, but still I see the same numbing behavior all around me on a daily basis. People, including me, are always busy, yet no one, including me, seems capable of focusing for a long period of time on important tasks.
We’re talking Instant Gratification, Baby!
These bursts of dopamine, we get from checking our Likes, Chats and more is pretty addictive. You might research this for yourself. But if you feel things are not going your way….
Monk Mode might be the helping hand.
So what am I talking about here? Monk Mode is a self-improvement and productivity framework. Most people fail to integrate self-improving behavior into their lives because it is hard to overcome psychological hurdles and we are easily distracted by enormous amounts of bullshit.
So I dedicate myself to take the junk entertainment out of my life for a couple of weeks, no half-assing! This means saying NO to a couple of things:
- Facebook and ALL other Social Media
- Series/Movie Marathons
- Other Internet-Hubs like Reddit or Deviantart
- Video Games
- Time-wasting Apps on the Phone
- Alcohol (for No hangovers and clear mind the next day)
- Youtube and the like
Yap. So to sum it up, some might say I take the “fun” out of life. It might seem like this as first but who has ever been wind up in a flow of creative work and forgot the world around him, could possibly see the exact opposite.
The interesting thing is that I am not addicted to any of this things listed on top. It’s not that I need a cold turkey. For example, I don’t watch TV for about 3 years now, neither do I consume the News, my phone notifications are 90 % off and I like my life to be quite minimalistic. (That is why I exclude this Items from the List). Furthermore It is the sheer mass of possible time wasting activities that I can’t stand anymore. 5 minutes here, 2 minutes there, add easily up to a couple of hours a day. I want to switch my focus from consuming onto creating.
During this weeks I hope to let loose of the impulse to reach for my phone whenever I am bored. I also decluttered my Apps heavily. It is now reduced to only one page, mostly unentertaining stuff besides Pocket and Podcast (which are heavily filled with good content). Everything is more productive or goal related (like taking care of finances or a Gym App). I am not even sure if I will keep Whats App, but this has to be tested during Week 1.
I also had the luck to test out OFFTIME. It shows you eye-opening graphs about your phone usage and makes it easy to put your phone on hold.
So how to use Monk Mode?
Furthermore Monk mode is not about cutting out socially, even though some drawbacks will happen, due to the “mass facebook event”-invites, I guess. This actually puts me on a more proactive role, to seek out for people and organize stuff myself and giving me the chance to concentrate on what I actually want. Which is never too bad.
The Focus during Monk Mode lies on long term improvement instead of short time dopamine fixes, isolation (from the constant buzzes of your phone and the denying of junk activities) and introspection.
A lot of people ask me “What to do in Monk Mode, isn’t it boring?” Well I’m not in the situation to write a guide at this point (which I might do in the Future). But I will:
- read the big pile of non-fictional books at the foot of my bed
- keep on optimizing my Gym routine and put more planning and effort into cooking
- Work on skills/do paid courses that are important for me, that will turn into a paycheck at some day (Right now, Illustration f.e.)
- trying to meditate more frequently (After all it’s named Monk Mode for a reason)
- you might learn a language, deeply cleaning your room, sell stuff you don’t need, give a party and invite your friends, learn an instrument or do martial arts. The List is endless
Whatever you choose, it is NOT going to be boring at all. I am looking forward for the next weeks and I really can’t wait for this experience.
If you are interested in Monk Mode, you can still reach me.. via Mail/Phone!