‘Monk mode’ is the latest life hack. For some people, it means cutting out distractions to concentrate on particular goals such as exercise or meditation, but it has also become a popular productivity tool.
Increasingly, people who want to take time away from the pings and bings of social media or focus on a particular project are turning off their phones for set time periods.
If that seems drastic, those with less willpower are keeping their phones on but are using time management apps to go cold turkey and block messages, news alerts and texts.
In many ways, it’s a great lifestyle choice. It allows people essential ‘me time’ or enhances their productivity without distractions. However, the home delivery expert ParcelHero warns going monk mode risks missing expected parcels, shopping and food orders, particularly if deliveries and pick-ups are delayed or re-routed.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘It’s great to take a break from social media and endless emails, texts and WhatsApp messages. Whether we just want to chill or need to concentrate on a particular task without interruption, going monk mode makes sense. However, if people are using one of the many popular productivity apps, such as Freedom, Forest, Cambo, Focus-me or AppBlock, it’s important that they continue receiving certain messages. That’s especially true if they are expecting a delivery or a courier pick-up.
‘If a delivery is delayed, they need to be aware of that fact in real-time. Many couriers and retailers have apps that track parcels and keep customers informed of related issues. This enables people to select a new delivery time or date, or nominate an alternative safe place to leave their parcel or select a neighbour to drop it off with. If their apps, messaging services and texts are switched off and there is an issue with a delivery, that could well cost them, in terms of time and stress.
‘Failed deliveries are also expensive for retailers, logistics companies and, particularly, for the environment. ParcelHero’s research shows that, currently, around 12% of parcels require a second delivery attempt, a visit to the depot by the receiver or a return to the retailer. As a result, 420,000 tons of CO2 emissions are created by failed deliveries, according to the last-mile software specialists Milkman Technologies. Any technology or trend, such as monk mode apps, that increases the number of missed deliveries is clearly a problem.
‘One of the big problems with a monk mode-type app is that many people use its calendar timer facility. For a set period of time every day, many productivity tools can turn off selected sites, apps and services automatically. In many ways, that’s good, as it guarantees peace and quiet without having to set up blocks every morning. However, if someone accidentally leaves their texts or blocked apps on automatic, they are at risk of missing a booked parcel pick-up or delivery.’