Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
“This is the most important book ever written about time management. Oliver Burkeman offers a searing indictment of productivity hacking and profound insights on how to make the best use of our scarcest, most precious resource. His writing will challenge you to rethink many of your beliefs about getting things done-and you’ll be wiser because of it.”
-Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of WorkLife
Time is our biggest worry: there is too little of it. The award-winning, renowned Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman offers a lively, entertaining philosophical guide to time and time management, setting aside superficial efficiency solutions in favour of reckoning with and finding joy in the finitude of human life.
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 struggle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “lifehacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often just 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 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 obsession with “getting everything done,” he introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life, 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.