What a 13th Century Monk Can Teach You About Productivity

Who knew a 13th-century monk could hold the key to unlocking your productivity potential? 

Today we’re going over a research study on Monks productivity and then going over 4 practices of medieval monasteries that you can use to overcome modern-day struggles with things like focus, information overload, and the ever-present urge to multitask.

While life in a monastery might seem far removed from our daily hustle, research suggests otherwise.

 A study published in the journal Work, Employment and Society, titled “The Rule and the Routine: Monasteries and the Organization of Work in the Middle Ages,” explores the highly structured and efficient daily routines of monks. The researchers concluded  that routines, centered around prayer, work, and communal life, fostered a remarkable capacity for sustained focus and task completion.

So, what can we glean from these medieval masters of time management? Here are 4 tips:

  • Structured Schedules: Monks followed a strict daily schedule, ensuring dedicated time for focused work, prayer, and rest. Implementing a similar structure, even loosely, can combat procrastination and create a sense of control over your day.

  • Mindfulness and Single-Tasking: Monastic practices like meditation emphasized being present in the moment. This focus translates beautifully to our modern world. By embracing single-tasking and avoiding distractions, we can significantly boost our productivity.

  • The Importance of Community: Monasteries fostered a strong sense of community, providing support and accountability. Building connections with colleagues can create a more positive work environment and enhance motivation.

  • Finding Meaning in Work: Monks viewed their work as a form of worship, imbuing it with meaning and purpose. Connecting your work to a larger goal can increase engagement and satisfaction, leading to greater productivity.

Think about it for a minute, how can you implement better structure into your workday?

What techniques do you currently use to stay focused and avoid distractions? 

How can you use these tips to improve your focus and avoid those distractions?

These practices may seem simple, but their impact is zprofound. By incorporating a touch of monastic mindfulness into your daily routine, you can create a more focused, productive, and fulfilling day. 

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