Somewhere around age four, the Child discovered the joys of her pointer finger.
I have no idea if this is kid-typical, but out of nowhere she realized there existed immense satisfaction in tapping all things gently with only that digit.
Unlike some child-behaviors (hello grating bruxism!) I don’t think I’d have noticed the quirk if it weren’t also the hey-day of a new television show.
The show featured Tony Shalhoub (love him) playing Adrian Monk, a brilliant detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Among his various & sundry mannerisms was the habit of tapping/touching things with only his index finger.
As a result, it took this Mama only twice seeing the Child do the same to start shouting MONK! each time a pointer finger tap occurred.
Partially because it made me laugh and somewhat because I believe my role as mother is to provide ample fodder for later therapy.
But I digress.
Because if it weren’t for the whole TonyChildMonk scenario I’d not have paid attention when the concept of Monk Mode repeatedly appeared in my life.
Monk Mode as an approach to life intrigued me. A lot.
The premise behind Greg McKeown‘s Monk Mode Morning is simple:
Between when you wake up and noon you work deeply on only things which matter. No texts, no email, no meetings, no calls.
I seemed never to complete anything.
After research, it grew clear to me Monk Mode worked 100% due to the fact it forced its user into consistency.
I knew I needed to give Monk Mode a try.
My first step in implementation was to create a Monk Morning Mantra or, if I shed the alliteration I adore, a key phrase I’d consistently use as response to requests which didn’t fit into this new approach to my day.
- Wanna connect for a project? Anytime after noon.
- Wanna get together for a walk? Anytime after noon.
- Want me to volunteer at school? Anytime after noon.
This three word phrase quickly became a reflex (like all good habits) and, even more powerful, since my response remained consistent for everyone from Big Brand Exec. to 11 year old no one’s feelings were hurt.
No one thought he/she was less important than others, as whether they liked it or not, everyone became quickly aware my morning time was sacred.
Why Monk Mode Morning worked:
- It wasn’t wait until tomorrow (or even until tonight). To myself/others noon sounded both early and ‘soon.’
- I’m a morning person. I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t thrive on a Monk Night approach to life.
- Monk Mode was something I defined for myself. For example, my definition included meditation time and, sometimes, connecting with friends (<—- stuff which matters).
- I can easily isolate in my world of work. Would Monk Mode work in an office setting? People seem to think so. I can’t imagine how it would without impacting others/potentially halting their a.m. productivity?
- Monk Mode helped me front-load my day. It made all my frazzle work (AKA non-mindless stuff) finished by school pick up even if I had some less intense focus work to complete while the Child did homework.
- It was OK if Monk Mode, like Carla, was a work in progress. Did I nail it every day? Hells to the NO.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve made the Monk-transition (taps self gently with pointer finger) and so far it works for me.
More than anything–even the productivity–it’s been a way to re-enforce my morning-margins and a reminder the only path to success is spending dedicated time on the work which matters.
- Have you hear of Monk Mode Mornings? Would this approach to work/life fit into your daily routine?