Four Thousand Weeks: Embrace Your Limits. Change Your Life. Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Brought to you by Penguin.
The average human lifespan is absurdly, outrageously, insultingly brief: if you live to 80, you have about 4,000 weeks on Earth. How should we use them best?
Of course, nobody needs telling that there isn't enough time. We're obsessed by our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, the struggle against distraction and the sense that our attention spans are shrivelling. Yet we rarely make the conscious connection that these problems only trouble us in the first place, thanks to the ultimate time-management problem: the challenge of how best to use our 4,000 weeks.
Four Thousand Weeks is an uplifting, engrossing and deeply realistic exploration of this problem that draws on philosophy, literature and psychology to cover the past, present and future of our battles with time. It goes far beyond practical tips, and its many revelations will transform the listener's world view.
Drawing on the insights of ancient philosophers, Benedictine monks, artists and authors, Scandinavian social reformers, renegade Buddhist technologists and many others, Oliver Burkeman sets out to realign our relationship with time - and in doing so, to liberate us from its grasp.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 53 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||26 August 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank||
692 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
1 in Physics of Time (Books)
1 in Time Management (Audible Books & Originals)
2 in Personal Time Management
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Top reviews from Australia
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This mixture of self deprecating humour and reasonably dry academic data helped with some of those understandings.
Probably better to read and understand these truths in the first fifth but there you go. That’s how it rolls most of the time (is that a pun?)
We have a one in 400 trillion chance of being born into our current human form. No, we may not all die Rhodes Scholars or with monuments in our honour, but to deny the magic of life is to deny life itself.
It also could have been a chapter shorter without the constant reiteration to the reader that he is “woke”. We get it. You live in NYC. Trump and climate change=bad; you telling everyone your problems with the world, regurgitating the mainstream narrative and mentioning that you volunteer regularly= good.
Overall, a good book that got me thinking about (how I think about) my priories but not a particularly inspiring read to me. If you're looking for inspiration to live a rich and fulfilling life and rethink time as we know it, I'd be more inclined to read the classics with a more idealistic nature (e.g. In Tune with the Infinite). I found this book to be too materialist for me.
As others have said, there's a balance with hope (as with anything). My BS metre goes up when ideas or philosophies are explained in black and white.
Top reviews from other countries
A self proclaimed productivity geek, Burkeman has come to a lot of the same conclusions that have started to bug me over the last few years. Time is finite. No matter how efficient we get we'll never do everything we feel we're supposed to do. The answer he says is to acknowledge our limitations and be honest with ourselves that the life we're living right now is what we have.
By stopping struggling against the limits of time we can enjoy what we're doing right now, and really invest and commit to it. Instead of believing we're capable of engaging with every opportunity the modern world presents to us, we have to make hard choices about what we really want to do. What if you weren't trying to get somewhere? What if you accepted that you're already as here as you're ever going to be, what would you do then? He highlights the peril the instrumentalisation of time, always doing something for what might happen in the future. Taking a picture of fireworks so you can enjoy it later instead of enjoying the moment.
It's not necessarily an easy thing to do. Because the theme that runs through the book is that you genuinely can't do everything you want to do, and not doing some things means giving up on some of your dreams. But it is liberating to realise that actually, it doesn't matter in the end, you can let go and really focus on what you're doing. It means trading in a flawless fantasy where you do everything perfectly for the messy reality where you do a handful of things in ways you might fail at. It means giving up certainty to some extent, since committing to something means taking a path without knowing exactly where you're going. But the alternative is to go nowhere.
It's a level headed read that takes in a wide range of influences from philosophy and other writers, to great effect as the wisdom of the book is much deeper than you would expect from what is technically a tome about time management. I've highlighted all the way through and I'll definitely be returning to it to absorb it more fully.
There aren't really any tricks or frameworks to subscribe to. A while ago I read books on techniques on how to make better choices, how I could weigh up each option and make the "right" choice. It's more like a guide to confronting reality, accepting that you will fail and you will make the wrong choices sometimes. But that's ok, and it's a lot less stressful than trying to maintain the impossible standard of always choosing right, always filling your time in the right way.
The book presents ideas that, while not necessarily new, he has made infinitely more accessible and relevant by restating them, with wit and self-deprecating humour, to fit the context of today's life and technology. It's not an understatement to say the book has been transformative for me.
Deep wisdom masquerading as a book about time management.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2021