Medieval monks had a hard time concentrating while they were supposed to focus on divine communication: to read, to pray and sing, and to work to understand God.
The ideal was a mind that was always and actively reaching out to its target by working hard at making the mind behave. The monks found it easier to concentrate when their bodies were moving, whether they were baking or farming.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
Nuns, monks, preachers and the people they educated were to visualize the material they were processing. A branchy tree or a finely feathered angel. The images might loosely correspond to the substance of an idea.
The point was to give the mind something to draw, to indulge its appetite for interesting forms while sorting its ideas into some logical structure.
Any plan for sidestepping distractions calls for strategies on sidestepping distraction.
It is a fantasy to think that we can dodge distraction once and for all. There will always be exciting things to create distraction for the mind.
Anthropological research shows how physical proximity increases interactions. The office is an important factor in communicating the necessary cues of leadership, collaboration, and communication.
Although employees might move back to the physical space of the office again, boundaries are changing.
Knowing the history of Romanticism should be consoling because it suggests that the problems we have with relationships don’t stem from our ineptitude, inadequacy or choice of a partner.