Summary of “The da Vinci Pause”

Last month, Walter Isaacson released his big new biography of Leonardo da Vinci.
In the meantime, I listened to Brett McKay’s sharp podcast interview with Isaacson.
“[Leonardo] da Vinci lived 500 years ago, Twitter didn’t exit, Instagram didn’t exist, all these digital things that are distracting us, that make it hard to really observe, didn’t exist.
So based on your research and writing on da Vinci: what can we learn from him about staying focused and observing intensely on things even in this crazy digital world that we live in?”.
Isaacson, who spent years immersed in over 7000 pages of da Vinci’s brilliant, but also scattered and frenetic notebooks, dismissed the premise: “Yeah, he had distractions too.”
“What he was able to do is pause, and put things aside, and look at very ordinary things and marvel at them.”
Technologies like the internet provide everyone the raw material to become a renaissance person, but to take advantage of this reality it helps to cultivate da Vinci’s ability to pause when something catches your attention, and to then give it the intense, deep concentration needed to transform a fleeting spark into something more substantial.
Her new book, Divine Time Management, tackles personal productivity through a novel lens: Christianity.

The orginal article.