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monk praying in forest
Monk figure praying in the forest

Do You Struggle to Focus? Medieval Monks Did Too

New book shows how ancient monks fought distraction and what they can teach us today

While the battle against constant distraction might seem like a new problem posed by our diffuse technologies, a new book from Jamie Kreiner argues that the struggle is perennial. The book is The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction. Kreiner takes the problem of distraction and puts it into the hands of the religious recluses of late antiquity. It turns out they had a lot to say. Like us, they struggled to maintain vigorous work routines. They courted the opinions of other monks and writers on what a modern-day LinkedIn guru would call “workflow” or “hustle.” In short, they were not so different from us. In his review of the book for Wired, Matt Reynolds writes, Early Read More ›