How would you feel if you doubled your income, made the impact you wanted and did this all in a short amount of time by going all in? Entrepreneurs know this concept as ‘Monk Mode’. But unfortunately, many entrepreneurs go wrong;
They lock themselves up for a week. Then, they feel sluggish and unmotived and decide to stop. This was me in the past until I discovered these eight rituals you want to have in place first to create the ideal monk mode.
1. AppBlock, TripMode and Focus
“After we met, a group of about 20 people wrote down one word that they thought accounted for their success, and Bill and I, whom we’ve only met twice, didn’t know what the other one was writing down. So we both wrote down the same word, ‘focus’.”
The sentence above is a narrative of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, two of the most thriving entrepreneurs of this day, writing down, without knowing each other, what caused their success; focus. That’s why we want to start with enforcing the following;
We want to control where our attention goes and at certain times throughout the day. We can use discipline for this, but multiple studies have shown that we only have a certain amount of willpower each day. That’s where systemising comes into the picture;
- Block notifications
- Use AppBlock to set up different ‘profiles’ (schedules)
- Use TripMode to shut off wifi but to clean up your inboxes
- Use the app Focus to block all distractions throughout the day
This will immediately give you more clarity. Next, schedule your on- and off-blocks of social time. We recommend our clients to have no social or busy work tasks (quick, social tasks) three hours after waking up and two hours before going to bed.
A bonus tip with this one;
Use outlet timers to shut your monitor and wifi off at certain times of the day to have some physical triggers, more on this by hacking your environment during monk mode. But everything starts with having a;
2. Morning activation routine
Quality sleep starts in the morning. Especially in Monk Mode, you want to leverage your circadian rhythm (= biological clock) as good as possible. This clock determines the quality of your energy, focus and productivity. For this reason, why don’t we want to have a ‘success morning routine’ because everybody is doing it; we want a routine to optimise our biology so we can focus as much as possible and make the impact we want. Here’s my current way of giving you an example:
4.30 – 5.00 wake-up (wake-up lights or the app SleepCycle)
5.00 Opening curtains, looking over the city and mentioning three things I’m grateful for
5.00 Cold shower with tongue scraping (oral health is vital)
5.04 Drink apple cider vinegar, vitamin C, mineral water, lemon juice, cinnamon, lions mane, reishi and a couple of drops of organic stevia. On top of that, I use shijalit for my mineral intake.
5.05 Active dynamic stretching with stimulating audio (check endel.io)
5.10 Wim Hof breathing for one to two rounds
5.12 visualising day and purpose
5.15 Check schedule and journal (this is already set up the day before)
5.20-5.30 Start working
Could you not make it too complex? Could you not make it too complicated? Just make sure to active activate your biology by;
- Raising your heart rate and body temperature (dynamic stretching, quick workout, cold showering, Wim Hof, etc.)
- Seeing as much light as possible (I use the Elgato Key Light for this, but sunlight is way better)
- Clarity; journalling, mindfulness, visualising and planning
- Hydration with the right proper mineral balance.
A morning routine will help you focus and improves your productivity drastically, especially when you know what you have to do. Another way to optimise your biology for work is with;
3. Nootropic stacks
What we eat immediately impacts our focus, productivity and well-being. Especially in Monk Mode, you’ll want to take control of your biology so you can focus on the thing that matters most. We by Peakclub believe that nutrition significantly impacts your performance after optimising your circadian rhythm (check my other posts for more).
Many people don’t see it this way; see what alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and other substances have affected you in the past with their effects; what if we can use these molecules to our advantage?
That’s where nootropics come into place;
Nootropics are natural substances that improve cognitive functions (= focus, concentration, creativity), executive processes, attention, memory and motivation. Too good to be true? Let’s find out;
When writing this, I have a mental bar in my mouth with some shijalit on it that is melting under my tongue. This balances my electrolytes (mini-workers in our bodies that keep the fluid moving) after a long sustained fast (40 hours). Shilajit is an example of the nootropics I use daily, but this only works for me (and you) because I have the following things set in place;
- Stable rhythm based on my sleep chronotype (check thepowerofwhenquiz.com for more about this or my other content)
- Evening wind-down routine without light for de-activation
- Morning activation routine as described above
- Fully personalised organic Paleo foods include; grass-fed beef and liver, avocados, starches (sweet potato, etc.), green leafy vegetables, salmon and sardines, and after 3 pm, some blueberries or raspberries.
- Purpose and mission what to work on
If you don’t have set those in place, you won’t feel a difference using nootropics, but when you have, you will. So what are some nootropics stacks I recommend;
- Mushroom extracts as chaga, lions mane, shiitake and reishi (drinking also right now at the moment, hah)
- Caffeine with L-theanine
- Qualia Mind
For a further explanation you can, you can check out this video I shot a time ago or read the following blog post;
Next to nootropics, you can also use something called smart drugs. However, those are a bit different; nootropics are mostly natural substances, and smart drugs are mostly human-made, but not all of them.
Some we recommended to test out for our clients in moderation are;
- Modafinil (Provigil)
- Piracetam (nootropil)
- Nicotine (other forms than smoking, has addictive qualities, so only in moderation)
And last but not least, you can also use micro-dosing psychedelics. Psychedelics are hallucinogenic medicines whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness. This causes specific psychological, visual, and auditory changes and often a substantially altered state of consciousness.
Great for creativity and strategic thinking. Steve Jobs used to microdose with LSD for a long time. But do your research first before starting with anything of the above. Using these substances will cause some different experiences to accomplish the impact you want to make. All of this we can note down during this monk mode using our;
“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” – Jen Williamson.
In July 2017, something live-changed happened; I wrote my first journal page, just a few bullet points. After seeing many self-development videos on how good it should be, I expected to have a change and clear journal immediately. Of course, this was was was was; it wasn’t the case, but what was it; now, five years later, I’m still journalling, writing my experiences and journey down and creating a script for my life. If this sounds too woo-woo for you, let’s look at it from a Monk Mode perspective;
Each day, after you wake up, in your morning routine, you write down your focus, which tasks you’re going to work on and what you want to accomplish. In the evening, you reflect and write down your day’s wins. Now here’s where it becomes powerful;
If you do this every day of the week, after seven days, you have seven daily-win summaries you can reflect on and decide if it was a productive week; based on this, you could set objectives for the next week. But hold on;
If you do this every week of the month, you have four weekly summaries that you can reflect on and set goals for the next month. This system is intensely powerful if you implement this in your 12-week sprints, yearly goalsetting and even vision. You’ll also get a grip on your goals and purpose. If you’ve read this far, I want to give you a secret bonus;
We have a step-by-step journalling guide for entrepreneurs like you that want to use Monk Mode to their advantage to make the impact they want. Send me the word ‘JOURNAL’ for a free copy. Usually, when I journal, I have a certain kind of sound in my ears; this I do for;
5. Brain-waves optimisation
At this moment, your brain is engaged in total darkness.
Let that sink in for a minute.
But still, we see, feel and smell all the experiences around us. That’s why I’m convinced that taking control of your mental state is one of the most powerful things you can do as an entrepreneur. Here’s where it gets practical;
Our states of mind are based on the activity in the brain. We also call this activity ‘brain waves’. The action of your brain is massively essential for how well you can focus on the task at hand; the following will blow your mind;
We can take control of our brain waves by using a certain kind of sound. Let’s take a look at something that is called ‘Binaural Beats’, shall we?
Binaural beats are a perception of sound produced by your brain. If you listen to two tones, each at a different frequency and each in an extra ear, your brain creates an additional style you can hear. This third tone is called a binaural beat. This has an impact on too which ‘brain-state’ we go to.
We recommend our clients to check out Endel.io or Brain.fm. Endel is my favourite because it syncs with an Oura ring; we use it with our clients to measure their sleep patterns and optimise it so they can focus on what matters.
6. Environment hacking
This one changed my and my client’s lives and work for the better, systemising as much as possible to keep our brain power on the things that matter, especially in monk mode. At first, I didn’t give that much of something called decision fatigue until I discovered the following.
Much research is done on our ability to make choices, specifically, the quality of these choices throughout the day. For example, an interesting real-world study discovered that judges were significantly more likely to give parole in the morning than afternoon. Morning cases were released 70% of the time, while those in the late afternoon saw a release rate of less than 10%. There was a significant difference even among similar cases.
That’s where hacking our environment for success and focus comes in; this could be a whole another post by itself, but let’s keep it with some practical tips for now:
- Get a standing desk, possibly with a treadmill underneath
- Use outlet timers to block your wifi and monitor certain times throughout the day
- Get a robot vacuum cleaner and automate cleaning
- Get a quality, memory foam matrassmattress
- Lower the friction of this you want to do, increase the variance of this you need to avoid
- Use an air filter and humidifier (30-50% humidity)
- Make use of essential oils
- Increase digital minimalism by using Raycast, and remove all the apps on your desktop and phone
When you’ve optimised your morning and evening ritual, blocked all the unnecessary apps in these routines, implemented endel.io, fast in the mornings, and used nootropics for focus, you have all the energy in the world you need to be productive and focused; there’s only one thing missing.
7. Task management
In our course, we implement by far the most efficient task management system there is because it’s:
- Based on the methodology of brain-dumping
- An ecosystem works everywhere
- Organised work based on your biology, when to do deep work and busy work
Let’s briefly discuss this system and how you can implement this in your Monk Mode protocol. For this, we’ve created a separate system that will show you how to implement this step-by-step. Later on, how to get that video, let’s start with the only three steps we want to incorporate into our days.
1 – Brain dumping
Those who’ve read Think and Grow Rich (which is all of us) know about something Napoleon Hill calls infinite intelligence. Throughout the day, we want to capture every thought and task and get it out of our minds as fast as possible. That’s because of the following reasons;
Do you sometimes have a song stuck in your mind and don’t get it out? That’s because our minds love ‘closed loops’—finished thoughts. When you get a task or idea, you’ll create an open loop: “Oh shoot! I’ll need to remember that!”. It’s okay for one job,j ob or concept, but results of a 2020 study suggested that people typically have more than 6,000 thoughts per day. Try to remember that.
That’s why we want to close these ‘loops’ as fast as possible by dumping them in our ‘second brain’; we recommend our client Todoist for this. Every app will work, but the friction for entry has to be as low as possible. For example, putting a task in a notion will take ages with correct tags, categories, etc.
So throughout the day, you collect your ‘brain dumps, which will be loose flooders and things only you can remember. That’s where the second step comes in;
2 – Organise
Throughout your day, before you start your deep or busy work sessions, you want to clean your brain dump inbox by correcting the spelling and organising in the following categories:
- Work label (this means what kind of work it is; deep or busy work?)
- Due time
- Project (this is the category)
This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes a day, at maximum. Adding a task will cost about 2 to 3 seconds if you’ve set this system upright. This is s so we can focus on the most critical step;
3 – Filtered work
Based on your chronotype, depending on your current position in the business, we want to do our focus tasks (deep work) in the mornings, after our rituals, and busy career in the afternoons after our deep work.
Because we’ve collected the tasks and organised them based on the kind of work, we only have to open the filter called ‘deep work’ and start working in Pomodoro blocks to finish our to-do list.
As said before, I decided to give away the exact guide to set this up for free. Shoot me the ‘TASK’ message for more info to enrich your monk mode.
And last but not least;
8. Go all in on fats
Nutrition has three main domains: fats, carbs and protein. To put it as simple as possible:
Carbs: quick but short energy
Fats: Slow but long energy
Protein: building blocks
To increase your focus and concentration, we want to move to a low-carb, high-fat diet based on your daily activity. At the beginning of this transition, for most of you who are eating 50% carbs to 25% carbs, it will not be pleasurable, but this is well worth it;
This will have the following effects in the long term:
- The much better cognitive performance, which includes;
- More focus
- Mental clarity
- Lower stress levels and depression
- No energy afternoon slumps
But as said before, your body is currently a carb junkie and has to adapt. This usually takes about four weeks, but it s a lot dependent on your past carb intake. So that’s where the following comes in for monk mode only:
Eating no carbs at all.
This concept is called ‘Keto’, which is based on the state of where your body comes in named ketosis. In this state, your body switches from burning carbs to ketones as the primary fuel source. This is great for the short term for monk mode, where much brain-powertrain power is required. But we believe it’s not beneficial to acquire for a long time.
There you have it. Eight unique rituals that will drastically enhance your monk mode, but there’s more;
All of the above are some quick wins to boost your energy so you can make the impact you want with your ideas and businesses.
Peakclub specialises in optimising busy professionals’ energy, focus and productivity so they can make the impact they want and are not held back by fatigue and brain fog. Everything we do is based on ROI; we track your data based on accuracy and importance and give you simple to implement feedback based on this data.
This is so you can focus on the things that matter, your business and relationships, and have the most impressive monk mode in your career.
Over the last three years, we’ve watched what over 200+ 7-figure business owners with a solid business and crazy amounts of focus are doing in their lifestyles to maintain this success.
And we found some exciting things that you won’t have thought of;
We’ve structured them in a sheet with the ten biggest quick wins with instant results for focus and concentration and decided to give this away for free.