Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

by Oliver Burkeman (Author)

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.

Discover the Art of Time Management with "Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals" by Oliver Burkeman

In a world where time seems to slip through our fingers like sand, Oliver Burkeman's "Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals" offers a refreshing perspective on time management. Burkeman argues that the traditional approach to time management, centered on productivity and efficiency, is not only ineffective but also counterproductive.

Burkeman challenges the notion that we can control time and instead encourages us to embrace the reality of our limited time on Earth. He argues that we should focus on making the most of our time rather than trying to manage it. This involves accepting the inevitability of distraction, imperfection, and failure, and learning to navigate these challenges with grace and acceptance.

Through insightful anecdotes and thought-provoking examples, Burkeman guides readers through a journey of self-discovery, helping them to identify their values, set meaningful goals, and create a lifestyle that aligns with their priorities. He offers practical strategies for overcoming common time management obstacles, such as procrastination, overwhelm, and the fear of missing out.

"Four Thousand Weeks" is a profound and transformative book that challenges conventional wisdom about time management. It invites readers to rethink their relationship with time, to embrace the beauty of imperfection, and to live a more intentional and fulfilling life.

Key Takeaways from "Four Thousand Weeks":

  • Time is finite and limited, and we cannot control it.
  • Trying to manage time can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout.
  • We should focus on making the most of our time rather than trying to manage it.
  • Accepting the reality of our limited time can help us to live more intentionally and meaningfully.
  • We should focus on setting meaningful goals and creating a lifestyle that aligns with our values.

Whether you're a busy professional, a student, or simply someone seeking to live a more fulfilling life, "Four Thousand Weeks" offers a thought-provoking and practical guide to time management that will change the way you think about time.


Farrar, Straus and Giroux
10 August 2021