Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, actively encourages people to give up the impossible quest of becoming the optimized, infinitely capable, emotionally invincible, fully independent person they could be if they only learn to manage their time better.
Instead, it explores how to construct a meaningful life by embracing finitude, developing the courage to make necessarily difficult choices, and recognizing that it is a privilege to have four thousand weeks to live in the first place.
It’s a book that advocates deep introspection to understanding what you value above all else and spending your time on what matters to you to live a more fulfilling life.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book because I loved many of the insightful stories, parables, and allegories of the ancient and contemporary philosophers and psychologists that Oliver Burkeman references in Four Thousand Weeks. I will be sharing some of my favorites with you to encourage you to take the time to read this incredible book!
What I Learned From (WILF) – Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
- Most people yearn to live more than one life – one in which it is possible to be a loving partner, an excellent parent, achieve stellar professional success, be a pillar of the community, and have time to devote to a hobby or two, along with running a marathon regularly. It’s not possible because once you start trying to do it, you realize you will be forced to make trade-offs.
- “Since every real-world choice about how to live entails the loss of countless alternative ways of living, there’s no reason to procrastinate or to resist making commitments, in the anxious hope that you might somehow be able to avoid those losses. Loss is a given. That ship has sailed – and what a relief.” – Oliver Burkeman
- Make a list of the top 25 things you want out of life and then arrange them in order from the most important to the least. The top 5 should be the ones you organize your time around. The remaining 20 are the ones you actively avoid at all costs because they are ambitions that are insufficiently important to you to form the core of your life yet seductive enough to distract you from the ones that matter the most.
- “It turns out that when people make enough money to meet their needs, they just find new things to need and new lifestyles to aspire to; they never quite manage to keep up with the Joneses, because whenever they’re in danger of getting close, they nominate new and better Joneses with whom to try to keep up. As a result, they work harder and harder, and soon busyness becomes an emblem of prestige. Which is clearly completely absurd: for almost the whole history, the entire point of being rich was not having to work so much.” – Oliver Burkeman
Additional Thoughts on Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
I found this book so insightful that I reread it a second time directly after my first read. I also insisted on Mark reading it so that we can have in-depth discussions about it during our phone and tv free dinners.
Thank you, Oliver Burkeman for spending your time writing this book!