Going Monk Mode: a unique blueprint for success

Social media, television, video games, and other distractions have become an obstacle in the lives of high schoolers across the country. However, some students are employing a new tactic called “Monk Mode” in an attempt to reset their minds for success.
Monk Mode is a system with a goal to eliminate life distractions, getting its name from the disciplinary monk lifestyle that it attempts to embody.
Technology companies design their services in a way where users get addicted to them. Many of those who have fallen into the traps of these tech companies are school-age children. A Pew Research Center survey of 13–17-year-old teenagers found that 97% use a social media platform and 45% are online almost constantly.
Social media isn’t the only obstacle that teenagers have to overcome, however. Distractions common amongst high schoolers include video games, television, music, and movies. With so many instantly gratifying things to do, it becomes hard for students to focus and actually do their work.
In order to become more productive, drastic measures can be taken. That’s where Monk Mode, popularized on YouTube by multimillionaire entrepreneur Iman Gadzhi, comes into play.
After implementing Monk Mode for one week each, three Spartans reflect on their experience.
“Starting was the hardest part, because it is such a habit for me to sit there and do nothing,” said freshman Emily Yelnicker. “I normally spend a lot of time just sitting on the couch and watching television, so that was pretty difficult to overcome.”
After making some modifications to her schedule, however, Yelnicker noticed some profound changes.
“I’ve been able to get more work done in less time,” stated Yelnicker. “Even though I’m not on Monk Mode now, I do find myself getting off the couch quicker and trying to do more work in advisory, so it’s more like an even split now. Sometimes I don’t even have any work to do.”
High school students feel stressed about school and their daily workloads. They have to juggle academics, extracurricular activities, jobs, and household duties. A way to alleviate that stress though is through persevering and doing hard work.
“The hardest part is waking up everyday with the dedication to be consistent,” said freshman Matthias Samuel, an aspiring entrepreneur who became infatuated with self-improvement during the beginning of the school year. “Dedicating yourself everyday is hard when distractions are so easy to access.”
Despite maintaining good grades throughout his academic career, Samuel became disillusioned with his distraction-filled lifestyle during the beginning of his freshman year. He abandoned many of the hobbies that he felt were not helping him grow as a person – most notably, social media – in favor of more productive activities.
“The thing that keeps me going is the thought that if I do this one more day then I won’t break my streak that I’ve had until today,” expressed Samuel.
“The biggest change I’ve noticed is that I’ve become more cognizant of my time,” observed
junior Corey Sayers, another participant in the Monk Mode challenge.
“My biggest motivation was actually making a tangible improvement, in terms of my schoolwork; I was getting it all done better, I was working on my Eagle Scout project more and getting that rolling. So the biggest motivation was that I was actually seeing improvement,” shared Sayers.
Although this iteration of Monk Mode is only a one-week undertaking, participants noticed visible long-term changes.
“I think the scheduling and to-do lists that I was doing, I’ll keep doing now. So, you know, I write out my to-do list before I sleep. The next day, in the morning, I’ll go back over it. When I get back from school, I’ll check it again. And then I’ll just run through the list,” said Sayers.
Monk Mode has the ability to be a viable solution if one is willing to do a hard reset.
“I would recommend it if you’re in a slump with your school work or personal life, and you just need to step back, and get things in order,” said Sayers.
“I wouldn’t recommend the extreme version, but I do recommend trying to become more productive,” asserted Yelnicker. “I would try going on Monk Mode if I found myself slacking like I did before I tried it.”
Samuel shared that he wouldn’t recommend the challenge to other students, stating, “Other people aren’t going to be able to do it unless they are truly dedicated to hard work.”