How To Limit Social Media The Right Way When Going “Monk Mode”?

How To Limit Social Media The Right Way When Going “Monk Mode”?

Published on Jan 2, 2024

Published on Jan 2, 2024

Published on Jan 2, 2024

Monk Mode is a popular term in the self-development community, referring to a period in your life when you minimize distractions to focus fully on progressing toward your goals.

Inspired by the practices of monks in monasteries —who dedicate large portions of their days to meditative practices and cerebral pursuits in isolation, this mode is now not just for the inhabitants of secluded monasteries. It's a journey toward reducing stress, enhancing productivity, and improving overall well-being.

The nature of distractions varies greatly from person to person. For many, social media apps are a significant source of distraction. These platforms, designed to capture and hold attention, often lead us down a rabbit hole of endless scrolling, causing us to lose sight of our goals and wasting valuable time.

That's why a common non-negotiable for those entering Monk Mode is "No Social Media." Yet, this is easier said than done. In this article, we will explore how to effectively limit social media use during “Monk Mode”, enabling you to achieve your goals without frustration.

Setting Up Your Devices for Monk Mode

⏱️ Choose Duration

The length of your Monk Mode cycle can vary from a few days to a month or more. If you're new to this practice, start with a shorter period, such as 1-3 days, and gradually increase as you become more comfortable.

🔒 Set Blocking Rules

Ensure that social media apps are blocked on both your phone and computer. This includes the apps and their web versions. You can use a powerful app blocker like Jomo for this purpose.

✅ (RECOMMENDED) Allow a Daily Check-In

This is one of the most important points: daily check-ins of about 15 minutes can be allowed. You might not use your daily allowance systematically, but knowing that you can still access the app in case of an emergency will put your mind at ease. Setting up this procedure will dramatically increase the likelihood of you completing your monk mode cycle. You can use Jomo to allow breaks in a blocking session, giving you the possibility to temporarily access blocked apps.

💬 Inform Your Friends and Family

Let your friends and family know about your digital detox, especially if they usually contact you via social media. Encourage them to use alternative communication methods, like SMS, during this period.


Practical Tips for Staying Focused

Staying focused can be challenging, especially at the beginning. Here are some practical tips:

🏠 Physical Environment

Create a workspace that minimizes distractions. This might mean a clean desk, noise-cancelling headphones, or a room with minimal foot traffic.

🧹 Digital Cleanse

Before starting Monk Mode, clean up your digital space. Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails, leave irrelevant social media groups, turn off non-essential notifications and delete apps you don't need.

🤝 Accountability

Share your goals with a friend or family member. Having someone to hold you accountable can significantly increase your chances of success (see the dedicated “Seeking Support and Accountability” section).


Mindful Practices to Support Focus

Incorporating mindful practices can help maintain focus and reduce the urge to succumb to distractions.

😮‍💨 Breathing Exercises

Short breathing exercises can help refocus your mind, especially when you feel the urge to check social media. The pranayama (breath of fire) is a good technic to boost your energy and relieve stress.

🧘 Mindfulness Breaks

Take a few minutes to practice mindfulness. Focus on your senses and your surroundings. Whenever you realise that you've become immersed in thought-chatter, gently withdraw your attention from it and re-focus on your surroundings.

💖 Gratitude Journaling

At the end of each day, write down 3 things you're grateful for. This practice can shift your focus from what you're missing out on to the positive aspects of your life.

Tackling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

The feeling of missing out is common when disconnecting from social media. Here are ways to manage it:

✋ Surf the Urge

Treat your desire to check social media as a passing wave. Resist it and let it subside. One of the techniques that Nir Eyal (author of Indistractable) recommends is called the 10-minute rule, a practice that he learned when studying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Basically, the 10-minute rule says that you should wait 10 minutes before giving into an urge. Why is this so powerful? This rule allows time to do what some behavioral psychologists call “surfing the urge.” When an urge takes hold, noticing the sensations and riding them like a wave — neither pushing them away nor acting on them — helps us cope until the feelings subside.

🎯 Prioritize Yourself

Remember, you've chosen Monk Mode to focus on personal goals, not to keep up with online trends. Remind yourself that online content is often less important than it appears. In fact, Monk Mode stands against the "get rich quick" mindset prevalent on social media. It provides a necessary contrast, emphasizing, “You won't accomplish anything unless you dedicate time every single day and consistently show up.” You don’t need to feel left out from people giving superficial advice. Instead, invest the hours, and success will follow.

Monk Mode is a popular term in the self-development community, referring to a period in your life when you minimize distractions to focus fully on progressing toward your goals.

Inspired by the practices of monks in monasteries —who dedicate large portions of their days to meditative practices and cerebral pursuits in isolation, this mode is now not just for the inhabitants of secluded monasteries. It's a journey toward reducing stress, enhancing productivity, and improving overall well-being.

The nature of distractions varies greatly from person to person. For many, social media apps are a significant source of distraction. These platforms, designed to capture and hold attention, often lead us down a rabbit hole of endless scrolling, causing us to lose sight of our goals and wasting valuable time.

That's why a common non-negotiable for those entering Monk Mode is "No Social Media." Yet, this is easier said than done. In this article, we will explore how to effectively limit social media use during “Monk Mode”, enabling you to achieve your goals without frustration.

Setting Up Your Devices for Monk Mode

⏱️ Choose Duration

The length of your Monk Mode cycle can vary from a few days to a month or more. If you're new to this practice, start with a shorter period, such as 1-3 days, and gradually increase as you become more comfortable.

🔒 Set Blocking Rules

Ensure that social media apps are blocked on both your phone and computer. This includes the apps and their web versions. You can use a powerful app blocker like Jomo for this purpose.

✅ (RECOMMENDED) Allow a Daily Check-In

This is one of the most important points: daily check-ins of about 15 minutes can be allowed. You might not use your daily allowance systematically, but knowing that you can still access the app in case of an emergency will put your mind at ease. Setting up this procedure will dramatically increase the likelihood of you completing your monk mode cycle. You can use Jomo to allow breaks in a blocking session, giving you the possibility to temporarily access blocked apps.

💬 Inform Your Friends and Family

Let your friends and family know about your digital detox, especially if they usually contact you via social media. Encourage them to use alternative communication methods, like SMS, during this period.


Practical Tips for Staying Focused

Staying focused can be challenging, especially at the beginning. Here are some practical tips:

🏠 Physical Environment

Create a workspace that minimizes distractions. This might mean a clean desk, noise-cancelling headphones, or a room with minimal foot traffic.

🧹 Digital Cleanse

Before starting Monk Mode, clean up your digital space. Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails, leave irrelevant social media groups, turn off non-essential notifications and delete apps you don't need.

🤝 Accountability

Share your goals with a friend or family member. Having someone to hold you accountable can significantly increase your chances of success (see the dedicated “Seeking Support and Accountability” section).


Mindful Practices to Support Focus

Incorporating mindful practices can help maintain focus and reduce the urge to succumb to distractions.

😮‍💨 Breathing Exercises

Short breathing exercises can help refocus your mind, especially when you feel the urge to check social media. The pranayama (breath of fire) is a good technic to boost your energy and relieve stress.

🧘 Mindfulness Breaks

Take a few minutes to practice mindfulness. Focus on your senses and your surroundings. Whenever you realise that you've become immersed in thought-chatter, gently withdraw your attention from it and re-focus on your surroundings.

💖 Gratitude Journaling

At the end of each day, write down 3 things you're grateful for. This practice can shift your focus from what you're missing out on to the positive aspects of your life.

Tackling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

The feeling of missing out is common when disconnecting from social media. Here are ways to manage it:

✋ Surf the Urge

Treat your desire to check social media as a passing wave. Resist it and let it subside. One of the techniques that Nir Eyal (author of Indistractable) recommends is called the 10-minute rule, a practice that he learned when studying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Basically, the 10-minute rule says that you should wait 10 minutes before giving into an urge. Why is this so powerful? This rule allows time to do what some behavioral psychologists call “surfing the urge.” When an urge takes hold, noticing the sensations and riding them like a wave — neither pushing them away nor acting on them — helps us cope until the feelings subside.

🎯 Prioritize Yourself

Remember, you've chosen Monk Mode to focus on personal goals, not to keep up with online trends. Remind yourself that online content is often less important than it appears. In fact, Monk Mode stands against the "get rich quick" mindset prevalent on social media. It provides a necessary contrast, emphasizing, “You won't accomplish anything unless you dedicate time every single day and consistently show up.” You don’t need to feel left out from people giving superficial advice. Instead, invest the hours, and success will follow.

better

made simple.

Sleep

Focus

Screen Time

better

made simple.

Sleep

Focus

Screen Time

better

made simple.

Sleep

Focus

Screen Time

Managing Boredom

Boredom is a common hurdle in Monk Mode, especially when we remove the instant gratification provided by social media and other digital distractions. However, this can be a golden opportunity to rediscover and engage in more fulfilling activities. Here are some strategies to effectively manage boredom:

🚂 Engage in Deep Work

Adopt the concept of 'deep work' – a state of intense focus on a challenging task. Free from social media interruptions, you can delve into activities that require critical thinking, creativity, or problem-solving. This could include tackling a complex project, learning a new skill, or writing. Deep work not only uses your time productively but also brings a sense of achievement and intellectual satisfaction. It involves using the quiet, distraction-free environment of Monk Mode to engage in significant work that aligns with your goals.

📵 Explore Offline Hobbies

Use the time you would have spent on social media to explore hobbies that don't require a digital device. This could be painting, gardening, cooking, or playing a musical instrument. Such activities are not only enjoyable but also contribute to your personal growth and creativity.

🏃‍♀️ Physical Exercise

Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health but also improves mental well-being. It could be as simple as daily walks, yoga, or a full workout session.

😌 Mindful Reflection

Utilize periods of boredom as opportunities for introspection. Practice mindfulness or meditative activities that allow you to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.


Tracking Progress and Adjusting Strategies

Tracking your progress is vital in successfully implementing Monk Mode. This involves:

📊 Usage Statistics

Regularly review your digital usage statistics to understand your patterns and make informed adjustments.

📝 Journaling

Keep a journal to note down your experiences, challenges, and feelings about your screen time. You can use an app like Jomo to automate this screen time journaling.

🚫 Adjusting Blocking Strategies

Based on your progress, adjust your app blocking strategies to find what works best for you.

By monitoring your progress, you can fine-tune your approach, ensuring a more effective and personalized Monk Mode experience.


Creating a Structured Schedule

A structured daily schedule is vital in Monk Mode. It helps in allocating time efficiently and avoiding the temptation to fall back into old habits.

⏲️ Time Blocking

Divide your day into blocks of time dedicated to specific activities. This includes work, exercise, meals, and even leisure.

⏸️ Incorporate Breaks

Schedule short breaks to relax and recharge. Use these breaks for light activities like stretching or a quick walk, not for checking social media. Scrolling through social media doesn't allow your brain to rest; in fact, it works at high capacity due to the influx of information. By engaging in restful activities, your brain can perform clean-up tasks, regain focus, and forge new connections, enhancing creativity.

📌 Stick to the Plan

Consistency is key. Try to follow your schedule as closely as possible to build discipline and make the most of your Monk Mode.

Seeking Support and Accountability

Support and accountability can significantly enhance your ability to stick to your Monk Mode goals, providing both motivation and guidance. Consider:

🤝 Accountability Partners

Partner with someone who is also trying to reduce digital distractions. Share your goals and progress for mutual encouragement.

🕸️ Online Communities

Join forums or groups focused on digital detox or productivity. These can provide tips, motivation, and a sense of community.

🩺 Professional Help

If you find it extremely difficult to manage digital distractions, consider seeking help from a professional coach or therapist.


Integrating Monk Mode into Daily Life

After completing your monk mode cycle, you may feel tempted to go back to your old habits of using social media excessively. To avoid this:

🧠 Conscious Use

To avoid this, you can keep the habit of blocking social media apps by default on your devices. However, you can allow yourself a few more breaks each day. This will allow to keep using them frequently while maintaining an intentional use and avoid doomscrolling.

⏱️ Time Limit

You can also set up a time limit (e.g. 30 minutes) to make sure you stay on track.


🔒 Why the Jomo app can help you prepare for “Monk Mode”?

  • Jomo blocks distracting apps and websites, enabling you to dive deep into Monk Mode.

  • You can allow yourself a few check-ins during the day (100% customizable).

  • It works seamlessly on your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

  • Jomo users save 2+ hours per day on average and regain the ability to focus. Download it now for free on the App Store.


🔗 Sources
📌 Credits
  • Illustrations by Jomo | Photography Unsplash

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Find your Jomo

Use your phone for things you truly care about and happily miss out on everything else.

Tinder

Medium

Headsp…

TikTok

Facebook

X

Twitch

Find your Jomo

Use your phone for things you truly care about and happily miss out on everything else.

Tinder

Medium

Headsp…

TikTok

Facebook

X

Twitch

Find your Jomo

Use your phone for things you truly care about and happily miss out on everything else.

Find your Jomo

Use your phone for things you truly care about and happily miss out on everything else.