In my role as someone who writes about productivity, I enjoy the opportunity to discuss this topic with a variety of different people. Recently, something caught my attention about these conversations.
Several different accomplished people, all in distinct occasions, mentioned to me their adoption of the same bold deep work hack: the monk mode morning.
The execution of the monk mode morning is straightforward. 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 some things) that matter.
What makes this hack particularly effective is its simple regularity. If someone wants to schedule something with you, it becomes reflexive to respond “anytime after noon.” Similarly, your colleagues soon learn not to expect you to see something they send until after lunch.
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.
From Theory to Practice
Clearly, spending the a.m. in monk mode is the type of hack that makes me swoon. But it’s also the type of hack that I would usually assume is not feasible for those in “normal” jobs with clients and employees and deadlines.
Which explains why it caught my attention when, as mentioned in the opening to this post, multiple different people in “normal” jobs told me that they employ the monk mode morning to great effect.
Earlier this week, for example, I was talking with a media personality who runs his own company and swears by the monk mode morning. He said: “if someone gets really upset that they can’t reach me in the morning, my first thought is that this guy is a [pejorative deleted]…not the type of person I want to work with.”
Not everyone is in a position to execute the monk mode morning (indeed, most of the people who mentioned this to me in recent months run their own companies). But the growing popularity of this bold hack is yet another indication that my long predicted shift away from the cult of connectivity, and toward depth, is perhaps beginning to pick up speed.