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Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

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The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks. Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks. Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks. Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society—and that we could do things differently.


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The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks. Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks. Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks. Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society—and that we could do things differently.

30 review for Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Boissonneault

    First of all, this is probably not the book you think it is, and that’s a good thing. Rather than offering cheap “time hacks” to get more of the same bullshit done, this more philosophical work is based on two important but uncomfortable truths: (1) In the short 4,000 or so weeks you have to live, you will never be able to accomplish all the things you would like, and (2) even if you could, it wouldn’t matter in the end because, in the words of John Maynard Keynes, “In the long run we are all de First of all, this is probably not the book you think it is, and that’s a good thing. Rather than offering cheap “time hacks” to get more of the same bullshit done, this more philosophical work is based on two important but uncomfortable truths: (1) In the short 4,000 or so weeks you have to live, you will never be able to accomplish all the things you would like, and (2) even if you could, it wouldn’t matter in the end because, in the words of John Maynard Keynes, “In the long run we are all dead.” This is not the most uplifting message you will ever read, but it is liberating and possibly even life-changing. When you stop trying to get an impossible amount of work done in pursuit of accomplishments that won’t really matter once you’re gone, you can start spending the short amount of time you do have pursuing things you enjoy for their own sake in the present moment. However you decide to spend your life—and regardless of whatever fame or fortune (or not) it brings—it should be spent on things that have intrinsic value to you and not for the sake of some destination or outcome that you think will eventually make you happy. If you can’t find a way to be happy now, at this moment, you probably never will be, no matter how many to-do items you cross off your list. One obvious criticism of this somewhat apathetic approach to time management is that, if nothing really matters in the end, there’s no longer any motivation to pursue worthwhile social initiatives. I think this could be a real challenge to Burkeman’s philosophy. Where would the civil rights movement be, for example, if someone like Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the long run we are all dead”? Certainly it is the case that some people derive more joy and life satisfaction from pursuing projects that they do feel are worthwhile and that the outcome justifies the massive amount of work and unpleasantness required for its actualization. In situations like this, I’m not sure how well the ideas in this book will resonate. There’s also a bit of repetition throughout the book as Burkeman repeats the main ideas I’ve described above, although he does also cover a lot of interesting philosophical ground. Overall, the book won’t be for everyone, especially for those who remain under the illusion that they will accomplish everything they want to if only they had better “time management skills.” But for those who get the main message—the idea that we should pursue the activities we intrinsically enjoy while accepting our finitude and committing to what’s most important (i.e., not material wealth or fame)—this may be one of the most enjoyable and potentially life-altering books they will read this year.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sara G

    Oliver Burkeman call himself a productivity geek. As he describes it, “you know how some people are passionate about bodybuilding or fashion, or rock climbing, or poetry? Productivity geeks are passionate about crossing items off their to-do lists. So it’s sort of the same, except infinitely sadder.” His newest book, Four Thousand Weeks, is like a self-help book designed to help recovering productivity geeks recognize the emotional and mental traps laid by other books like “Getting Things Done,” Oliver Burkeman call himself a productivity geek. As he describes it, “you know how some people are passionate about bodybuilding or fashion, or rock climbing, or poetry? Productivity geeks are passionate about crossing items off their to-do lists. So it’s sort of the same, except infinitely sadder.” His newest book, Four Thousand Weeks, is like a self-help book designed to help recovering productivity geeks recognize the emotional and mental traps laid by other books like “Getting Things Done,” “Eat the Frog,” or “The Four-Hour Workweek.” Drawing more from the field of philosophy than from time management, he systematically rebuts the arguments of Taylorist time management systems and instead provides suggestions for recreating “productivity” as a concept that encourages building communities and helping “geeks” find meaning in life. As a productivity geek myself, I’ve been following Burkeman for a while. I’ve enjoyed his similar book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking and his occasional newsletter articles. While Four Thousand Weeks covers similar, sometimes repeating ground, I am still glad that I read every word of this book. It is the rare “self-help” book that would not have been better as a bullet point list or an article. I enjoyed slowly struggling with these ideas, the pleasant voice of Burkeman nudging me on, and discussing them over beer with my partner. I highly recommend it not just to geeks like myself but to anyone who struggles with FOMO or a classic mid-life crisis.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. I loved it so much I have bought a copy, and plan to give more as gifts! I’ve been a fan of Burkeman’s since his first book, The Antidote, which is a long-time favorite of mine. I loved the way Burkeman reviewed positive psychology through a skeptical lens, and somehow came out with perhaps the most useful, meaningful self-help book I’ve read yet. (I genuinely still think about that book, almost a decade later). W Thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. I loved it so much I have bought a copy, and plan to give more as gifts! I’ve been a fan of Burkeman’s since his first book, The Antidote, which is a long-time favorite of mine. I loved the way Burkeman reviewed positive psychology through a skeptical lens, and somehow came out with perhaps the most useful, meaningful self-help book I’ve read yet. (I genuinely still think about that book, almost a decade later). When I learned that he had written a book about productivity, I could not wait to read it, and was so delighted to receive an early copy. Well, it’s simply the best nonfiction book I’ve read in years. It’s provocative, entertaining, and genuinely useful. The ideas in this book will improve your life, and even if you read a fair amount of self-help and productivity, I doubt you’ve heard them before. There are a lot of mind-expanding insights here, but the key one is that to be a productivity nerd is to feel existential anxiety. The premise of the productivity genre is that if we can just get our lives ever-more optimized, we need never face the reality that we can’t, in fact, do everything that we care about. Burkeman says we have to start by admitting defeat: our time is limited, and the future we imagine when we’ve become our most self-actualized, accomplished selves, with inboxes empty and goals achieved, is a fun-house mirror that keeps us separate from our real lives. I don’t want to spoil too much of this book in advance, because it’s an absolute joy to read: Burkeman’s writing crackles, he has such big and original ideas, he illustrates those ideas with lively and unfamiliar examples (did you know that the Soviets experimented for decades with their own work week?! Do you know why it failed??), and he’s just so damned humane. He balances his counterintuitive ideas with practical, actionable advice, which, I can say with confidence, have already improved my productivity and mental health way more than a pomodoro timer ever did. If you’re interested but not ready to commit, (or if like me you’re a devoted fan of Burkeman’s already!), I highly recommend Burkeman’s twice-a-month newsletter, the Imperfectionist, which you can find on his website oliverburkeman.com.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    The reality and philosophy of our limited time and its management. It is a quick but deep read. I listened to the audio version narrated by the author. My favorite section was his insights regarding the pandemic, he calls the "Great Pause." It forced us to see what matters. He challenges his readers to consider carefully their return to normal: "But I beg of you. Take a deep breath. Ignore the deafening noise and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to The reality and philosophy of our limited time and its management. It is a quick but deep read. I listened to the audio version narrated by the author. My favorite section was his insights regarding the pandemic, he calls the "Great Pause." It forced us to see what matters. He challenges his readers to consider carefully their return to normal: "But I beg of you. Take a deep breath. Ignore the deafening noise and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal. A rare and truly sacred, yes sacred, opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us. What makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Louden

    while Oliver doesn't say anything you probably already don't know, he says it in a way that could change your life. I am so glad I read this book! while Oliver doesn't say anything you probably already don't know, he says it in a way that could change your life. I am so glad I read this book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Grey

    I read this last week and have already given it as a gift once, it's that good. I very much enjoyed the notion that since there are more A-list, important, meaningful, top-rated things that we might like to do than we ever can -- since our problem is not finding the needle in a haystack but of having a haystack's worth of needles -- we will simply never do everything worthwhile, and might as well give up on FOMO and focus on what we can do. For those who'd rather skip the philosophy and get to th I read this last week and have already given it as a gift once, it's that good. I very much enjoyed the notion that since there are more A-list, important, meaningful, top-rated things that we might like to do than we ever can -- since our problem is not finding the needle in a haystack but of having a haystack's worth of needles -- we will simply never do everything worthwhile, and might as well give up on FOMO and focus on what we can do. For those who'd rather skip the philosophy and get to the practical suggestions at the back of the book, here they are: 1. Adopt a "fixed volume" approach to productivity by keeping two to-do lists, one open-ended/infinite and one limited to a fixed number of entries, ten at most. (I do this. I use six.) You can't add a new task to the fixed list until one is completed. A complementary strategy is to establish predetermined time boundaries for your daily work. 2. Serialize. Focus on one big project at a time or, at most, one work project and one nonwork project. 3. Decide in advance what to fail at. Strategic underachievement is okay on a cyclical basis, like if you decide to do the bare minimum at work for the next month in order to focus on a temporary crisis. This replaces the constant pressure to find "balance" with a conscious, managed imbalance that may be more sustainable. 4. Focus on what you've already completed, not just what is left to complete. Keep a "to-done list". 5. Consolidate your caring. Consciously pick your battles in charity, activism and politics. Lots of things may matter but, to make a difference, you must focus your finite capacity for care. 6. Embrace boring, single-purpose technology (like e-ink readers for reading) to help resist distraction. Also switch your phone from color to grayscale to reduce distraction and attention-grabbiness. 7. Seek out novelty in the mundane. Pay more attention to every moment, rather than constantly seeking out novelty and adventure, to make life richer and form more memories without existential overwhelm. 8. Be a "researcher" in relationships. Stay curious. "Curiosity is a stance well-suited to the inherent unpredictability of life with others, because it can be satisfied by their behaving in ways you like or dislike"... true enough! 9. Cultivate instantaneous generosity. If a generous impulse arises in your mind, act on it right away instead of waiting to try to make it perfect. (This one is from meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein.) 10. Practice doing nothing. Meditate. Try to resist the pressure to constantly do things.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marija S.

    I firmly believe that a clock may be the most dangerous invention humankind has stumbled upon and that we are caught in a rat race of our perception of time as a resource. This book spoke to me in a way I needed to hear on how to put an end to the impossible task of getting everything done in an optimal way and then cramming more stuff in the schedule, while procrastinating with the important things. Also on how to just be happy with what is (and why). This is one of the most important books I've I firmly believe that a clock may be the most dangerous invention humankind has stumbled upon and that we are caught in a rat race of our perception of time as a resource. This book spoke to me in a way I needed to hear on how to put an end to the impossible task of getting everything done in an optimal way and then cramming more stuff in the schedule, while procrastinating with the important things. Also on how to just be happy with what is (and why). This is one of the most important books I've read not only on time management but also spirituality, connection with the nature and universe, meaning of life (a big one, heh?), also for escaping perfectionism and the habit of not living in the present moment. An eye opener in many important ways. A must read, together with The Power of Now by E. Tolle.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janna

    This is not a book about "life hacks", like achieving inbox zero. Instead, Burkeman argues persuasively that our thinking about productivity and efficiency is a trap: the real problem isn’t our limited time, but rather our troublesome ideas about HOW to use time. I loved this audiobook so much that I immediately ordered two print versions to lend to friends and family and I’ve already purchased more audiobook copies as gifts. I’m listening to it for the third time… Listen to the podcast review on This is not a book about "life hacks", like achieving inbox zero. Instead, Burkeman argues persuasively that our thinking about productivity and efficiency is a trap: the real problem isn’t our limited time, but rather our troublesome ideas about HOW to use time. I loved this audiobook so much that I immediately ordered two print versions to lend to friends and family and I’ve already purchased more audiobook copies as gifts. I’m listening to it for the third time… Listen to the podcast review on the Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes podcast: https://podcast.jannastam.com/episode... Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on ApplePodcasts, Anchor, Breaker, GooglePodcasts, Overcast, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, and Spotify

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jake Preston

    So many time management and productivity books are written like we have an eternity to accomplish all we believe we can. As Burkeman so exquisitely points out, this is impossible and destructive to our psyche. Human beings only have around four thousand weeks to live, a ridiculously short period of time. Burkeman's focus on a life lived in pursuit of what matters was refreshing and welcome. It's not about doing all things or the most popular things, but about doing the right things. So often I l So many time management and productivity books are written like we have an eternity to accomplish all we believe we can. As Burkeman so exquisitely points out, this is impossible and destructive to our psyche. Human beings only have around four thousand weeks to live, a ridiculously short period of time. Burkeman's focus on a life lived in pursuit of what matters was refreshing and welcome. It's not about doing all things or the most popular things, but about doing the right things. So often I live as though life will eventually "arrive" in the future, totally neglecting what the Lord has for me in the present. While he doesn't seem to be religious himself, it reminded me of the need to recover the quiet Christian life in faithfulness to the Lord. In a world hungry for celebrity, power, and influence, I am motivated afresh to live life to the fullest, prioritizing what matters in the grand scheme of eternity.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Olga

    I haven’t learnt anything I hadn’t known before, but it was a very timely book for me. I am currently burnt out, exhausted and confused to the point of not finding the time to send out invoices and collecting payment for my work (imagine not finding the time for that! Why work at all, one might ask) and this book really helped me see why GTD and all those wonderful systems that work for companies fail to work for my small one-woman business. It also helped me calm down and pick somewhere to star I haven’t learnt anything I hadn’t known before, but it was a very timely book for me. I am currently burnt out, exhausted and confused to the point of not finding the time to send out invoices and collecting payment for my work (imagine not finding the time for that! Why work at all, one might ask) and this book really helped me see why GTD and all those wonderful systems that work for companies fail to work for my small one-woman business. It also helped me calm down and pick somewhere to start cleaning up the mess (spoiler: pick the thing most important to you aka anything at all and see that through). The most memorable part for me was the metaphor of staying on the bus: I love Helsinki; I’ve been on those buses. It is a great way to visualize the life-is-a-road metaphor: I can just see those parts that you walk everyday if you are staying in the city centre and the less familiar neighborhoods the bus takes you to once you ride beyond the familiar and recurring route.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Veronika Vozarova

    I was waiting for this book for a long time since anything I’ve read from Mr. Burkeman so far was definitely worth reading. During the first chapters, I was a bit skeptical about what the book had to offer – it was more or less repeating that we have limited time on Earth and should then use it properly. But every next chapter unfolded what ‘’using it properly’’ actually means, and that’s where things got interesting. The book puts into perspective the main beliefs of our generations among which I was waiting for this book for a long time since anything I’ve read from Mr. Burkeman so far was definitely worth reading. During the first chapters, I was a bit skeptical about what the book had to offer – it was more or less repeating that we have limited time on Earth and should then use it properly. But every next chapter unfolded what ‘’using it properly’’ actually means, and that’s where things got interesting. The book puts into perspective the main beliefs of our generations among which are: "you only matter if you are productive" and "the only things worth doing are those bringing results in the future". It doesn't speak only about the subject of time, but many other existential topics. I still cannot decide whether author’s rich vocabulary makes his writing super interesting or just difficult to read. Also, some sentences are way too long and it was easy to get lost – especially for us, the modern impatient generation, but I am ready to forgive this because every long sentence still feels like it was thoughtfully crafted to render the idea in the most poignant way. What I admire the most about the author is his ability to portray complex topics in simple situational contrasts while skilfully closing all the possible loopholes for his potential opponents, claiming that the opposite of what he writes could also possibly be true in some cases. But I could not imagine anyone daring to challenge his steady logic that usually presents just plain objective truth. At the same time, he makes sure that every deeply philosophical thought has a touch of his typical cynical humor that makes it so fun to read. As a bonus to his humor, he offers relatability; by showing that himself, like the rest of us struggles to use his finite time in a meaningful way, although this book is definitely proof that he has already made the best possible use of his finite portion of weeks.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Romany

    Ohhhhh THIS was the book I was looking for. All the anxiety, trying to squish more and more into every hour, when you could just… stop. Just watch yourself trying to control it all. And just know that it’s uncontrollable.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Manish

    I've been a great fan of Burkeman and eagerly await his newsletters. The ideas of time management from the perspective of our mortality forms the gist of the book. It could be my familiarity with his oeuvre which made me give this a 3 star. I've been a great fan of Burkeman and eagerly await his newsletters. The ideas of time management from the perspective of our mortality forms the gist of the book. It could be my familiarity with his oeuvre which made me give this a 3 star.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Beanland

    As a mere mortal, I tried to read this book slowly with as much conscious focus as I can muster during the brief periods that I allowed myself to read each day. Reading in this way provided a mechanism to slowly digest the message contained in this little book. Well written and timely for our days. Now that I’ve read it once, I need to read it again to gain a deeper understanding of how I might apply these ideas to my own life. “…realize that you never really needed the feeling of complete security As a mere mortal, I tried to read this book slowly with as much conscious focus as I can muster during the brief periods that I allowed myself to read each day. Reading in this way provided a mechanism to slowly digest the message contained in this little book. Well written and timely for our days. Now that I’ve read it once, I need to read it again to gain a deeper understanding of how I might apply these ideas to my own life. “…realize that you never really needed the feeling of complete security you’d previously felt so desperate to attain. This is liberation.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Moore

    I’ve a confession to make. I really don’t READ books any longer. At age 73+, my mind is often my adversary. I approach a book, begin at page 1 & by page 2, have absolutely no idea what I’ve just read. None. By the time I reach the end of said book, I can summarize it for you in a few meager words if I've taken notes & may carry a thread of it in my heart but that’s it. Having said that, the author gives us a pearl--a treasure of words, really--making it a treasure of a book that I will return to I’ve a confession to make. I really don’t READ books any longer. At age 73+, my mind is often my adversary. I approach a book, begin at page 1 & by page 2, have absolutely no idea what I’ve just read. None. By the time I reach the end of said book, I can summarize it for you in a few meager words if I've taken notes & may carry a thread of it in my heart but that’s it. Having said that, the author gives us a pearl--a treasure of words, really--making it a treasure of a book that I will return to frequently. And yes. I've taken notes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    Really fantastic!!! A really great read on our finite time and how that relates to our to-dos. It’s way more than a time management book though. Too many highlights to count.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andre

    Some interesting thoughts, but the author repeats his main point over and over and over again which becomes tiring very fast.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Lobdell

    More of a 4.5, but the impact on my life edged closer to a 5-star level so I am giving it that. This book challenged some of my weakest and most pervasive lifelong battles against myself about using my time wisely, guilt about not using my time maximally, fomo, collecting experiences without true presence, abusing experience with a mentality of instrumentality, and in general my perspective of time being this precious commodity that actually exists and has actually been entrusted to me and I am More of a 4.5, but the impact on my life edged closer to a 5-star level so I am giving it that. This book challenged some of my weakest and most pervasive lifelong battles against myself about using my time wisely, guilt about not using my time maximally, fomo, collecting experiences without true presence, abusing experience with a mentality of instrumentality, and in general my perspective of time being this precious commodity that actually exists and has actually been entrusted to me and I am running out of and have run out of. He didn't say it quite like this, but I'm left with the conclusion that life = time, and time kind of doesn't exist within our experience! We only truly have the moment we are in. Burkeman emphasized our desperate need to acknowledge, fully face, and live out of the encounter of our finitude. He called me out a lot, and gave me some good tips to time management that aren't quite of the "production guru" nature and more of one who values a MEANINGFUL life. Embracing our limits is so crucial for a good one! My only critique was his unnecessary critique about religion. Felt they did not support his topic and idea, and while I was unoffended completely since his secular view is his own, occasionally the language bordered on disrespectful in my opinion, and false. We are designed for hope, and religion brings very deep meaning to life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I identified with this author's addiction to productivity and appreciate his attempts to cultivate a more stoic attitude toward time. He wisely encourages us to embrace our finitude and to relinquish the complete control we think we have over our existence—and our to-do lists. All to the good. But I also found something deeply sad about this book, and I think it's that Burkeman can't seem to decide whether life is completely devoid of meaning or beautifully meaning-rich. Are the minutes, hours, I identified with this author's addiction to productivity and appreciate his attempts to cultivate a more stoic attitude toward time. He wisely encourages us to embrace our finitude and to relinquish the complete control we think we have over our existence—and our to-do lists. All to the good. But I also found something deeply sad about this book, and I think it's that Burkeman can't seem to decide whether life is completely devoid of meaning or beautifully meaning-rich. Are the minutes, hours, and days of our lives totally pointless, or of the utmost importance? I think the answer to this question has huge implications for how we use our time, and yet this tension, which runs like a current throughout the entire book, is never really resolved. Big takeaway point: We humans are pretty much destined to have a tricky relationship with time. I'm not sure this book makes that relationship any less tricky.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pratishtha

    There comes a time when you’ve read so much about time management that everything “new” you read feels redundant - recycled content with a new label on it. This book, however, is different. Here, Oliver Burkeman addresses a characteristic feature of the capitalist world defined by the fervent anxiety of making sure we’ve squeezed every ounce of “value” from every second of our day. He does this by going meta on our relationship to time - why its become akin to an economic commodity and why that m There comes a time when you’ve read so much about time management that everything “new” you read feels redundant - recycled content with a new label on it. This book, however, is different. Here, Oliver Burkeman addresses a characteristic feature of the capitalist world defined by the fervent anxiety of making sure we’ve squeezed every ounce of “value” from every second of our day. He does this by going meta on our relationship to time - why its become akin to an economic commodity and why that may not be the best way to look at it. He also talks about how calculated inconveniences, letting go of some control, and being present, are important - in concept and through practical suggestions, that have already helping shift I how think (and bolster shifts sparked by past experiences) about “managing time”. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed other books from the author, and this was no exception. All in all, I think a good book is one that rises above its subject, story, characters (if any) and becomes a book about life. Four thousands weeks is not just a book about time management, it is a book about life, and an absolutely worthwhile read. Highly recommended.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is not a book on tackling your to-do list, or being a more productive worker, or squeezing out every second of every day until you're left exhausted and wondering how all of this time has passed. It's about accepting your finite time--the average human will have four thousand weeks in a lifetime--and making the difficult choices about what you want to do in that time. Because sadly, for Type A personalities like me, there will never be a time when all problems and all tasks are conquered. T This is not a book on tackling your to-do list, or being a more productive worker, or squeezing out every second of every day until you're left exhausted and wondering how all of this time has passed. It's about accepting your finite time--the average human will have four thousand weeks in a lifetime--and making the difficult choices about what you want to do in that time. Because sadly, for Type A personalities like me, there will never be a time when all problems and all tasks are conquered. There is just accepting things the way they are. Scratching items off my to-do list was only leaving me exhausted and not feeling as fulfilled as I was hoping. Instead, I'm working on ways to make those choices, do what must be done and what I want to do, and let the rest of it go. This book is about working toward that attitude, and in a big way, it's about finding happiness and contentment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Crystal P

    This book was recommended to me by a friend with the warning that there were things in the book that could cause my overthinking, over anxious mind in times of stress, to go into overdrive. She wasn't wrong - however, Burkeman breaks down the usage of our own personal times and our goals in a way that puts things in a way that allowed me to think about my perspective on time and time management. We are all a product of the way we were raised and the environments we put ourselves in, however, Bur This book was recommended to me by a friend with the warning that there were things in the book that could cause my overthinking, over anxious mind in times of stress, to go into overdrive. She wasn't wrong - however, Burkeman breaks down the usage of our own personal times and our goals in a way that puts things in a way that allowed me to think about my perspective on time and time management. We are all a product of the way we were raised and the environments we put ourselves in, however, Burkeman's tools and overview of how time has been used, manipulated, and further more can be cultivated to be more supportive of our physical and mental well-being is something that everyone could benefit through the reading of his book. It feels like Four Thousand Weeks is a lot of time, but in a world where we are always rushing - is it? How can I best utilize these weeks that I have been given? Well, it starts with me, and it starts with my small successes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    The audiobook version, narrated by the author, is a relaxing read, especially before bed. I’ve enjoyed Burkeman’s articles in the Guardian but this was one of the rare instances where I enjoyed the spin-off book even more because it gave him enough time to really sink into the topics of each chapter. Productivity books are a bit of a guilty pleasure and this book is an antidote to the focus on checking off more to-dos from the checklist, which as the author points out can actually lead to gettin The audiobook version, narrated by the author, is a relaxing read, especially before bed. I’ve enjoyed Burkeman’s articles in the Guardian but this was one of the rare instances where I enjoyed the spin-off book even more because it gave him enough time to really sink into the topics of each chapter. Productivity books are a bit of a guilty pleasure and this book is an antidote to the focus on checking off more to-dos from the checklist, which as the author points out can actually lead to getting more done by lowering the bar.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Victo Dolean

    I would call this the "anti-time management book" - despite its title you won't learn a new technique of how to do things better or faster or... but just to face one's limits, to understand that not everything should be managed in order to gain more performance, that leisure is without purpose and to fully enjoy the moment, careful or forward planning can be harmful. Very refreshing view in the realm of self help books especially when one is tired of organising something which by definition cann I would call this the "anti-time management book" - despite its title you won't learn a new technique of how to do things better or faster or... but just to face one's limits, to understand that not everything should be managed in order to gain more performance, that leisure is without purpose and to fully enjoy the moment, careful or forward planning can be harmful. Very refreshing view in the realm of self help books especially when one is tired of organising something which by definition cannot be fully organised and predicted, i.e. the future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thien-An

    a good listen for a roadtrip when you're trying a little too hard to counteract burn out. also good for people who are peculiarly obsessed with their to-do list, like me. favorite concepts are: the joy of missing out, leaning into discomfort, understanding the finitude of yourself and your partner, and conscious contentment over the consequences of your choices. not too many offered solutions, but I actually prefer it that way a good listen for a roadtrip when you're trying a little too hard to counteract burn out. also good for people who are peculiarly obsessed with their to-do list, like me. favorite concepts are: the joy of missing out, leaning into discomfort, understanding the finitude of yourself and your partner, and conscious contentment over the consequences of your choices. not too many offered solutions, but I actually prefer it that way

  26. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Short book + Saturday= Two Day Finish. I was a regular reader of Oliver Burkeman's columns in The Guardian and excited to get this book about laying low and rethinking what it means to be productive. He's always given me a lot to think about. I think this is probably a re-read so I can take some notes. Not self-help, if that's what you're thinking. We each have about 4000 weeks of life. That's sounds long, but if you're my age, you're already at 3302! But that doesn't mean I'll go out and start r Short book + Saturday= Two Day Finish. I was a regular reader of Oliver Burkeman's columns in The Guardian and excited to get this book about laying low and rethinking what it means to be productive. He's always given me a lot to think about. I think this is probably a re-read so I can take some notes. Not self-help, if that's what you're thinking. We each have about 4000 weeks of life. That's sounds long, but if you're my age, you're already at 3302! But that doesn't mean I'll go out and start racking up experiences. Life is beautiful everyday.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zeke

    What a remarkable little book. I could go back and read it again immediately. Packed with so much insight about the gifts of finitude and the wrongheadedness of our hustle and hurried culture, though he handles everything with deftness and humor. Was even more surprised I saw a glowing review of it on Gospel Coalition, since the writer is by no means a Christian, and then further surprised to see him generously engage with TGC on Twitter about what changes and what doesn't when you view finitude What a remarkable little book. I could go back and read it again immediately. Packed with so much insight about the gifts of finitude and the wrongheadedness of our hustle and hurried culture, though he handles everything with deftness and humor. Was even more surprised I saw a glowing review of it on Gospel Coalition, since the writer is by no means a Christian, and then further surprised to see him generously engage with TGC on Twitter about what changes and what doesn't when you view finitude through the Christian lens of eternity. Well, well worth a read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Howard

    I'm not sure how the title or cover was approved as it definitely influenced (i.e.- lowered) my expectations of the book. I came across a positive review that piqued my interest and I'm glad I gave it shot. If you struggle with time management- and more specifically not feeling like you have enough time to do everything- than this book is worth the read. I'm not sure how the title or cover was approved as it definitely influenced (i.e.- lowered) my expectations of the book. I came across a positive review that piqued my interest and I'm glad I gave it shot. If you struggle with time management- and more specifically not feeling like you have enough time to do everything- than this book is worth the read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Wiley

    This is a book for those driven by productivity and achievement (*cough* where my enneagram 3s at?). It is a sobering reminder to choose what you do wisely - don’t simply try to do more, try to choose better, lasting, and fulfilling work / experiences because you only have so much fleeting time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Osborneinri

    This gave me an awful lot to think about. It also provided lots of useful strategies to reframe how I think of and use my time. This is going to take a lot of practice. I’m going to have to keep at this! (Ask me how I’m doing or what I’m doing/thinking differently in six months, okay?)

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