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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 agains...

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.

(From Goodreads)

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Number of Pages: 288

ISBN: 0374159122

ISBN-13: 9780374159122


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...it over several days, capturing hundreds of Kindle highlights in the process. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, and one of my favorite chapters is titled “Cosmic Insignificance Therapy.” 2/4

Loving this book from one of my favorite modern philosophers @oliverburkeman on all things time!

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...

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.

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We all know our time is limited. What we don’t know―but what Oliver Burkeman is here to teach us―is that our control over that time is also limited. This profound (and often hilarious) book will prompt you to rethink your worship of efficiency, reject the cult of busyness, and rec...

We all know our time is limited. What we don’t know―but what Oliver Burkeman is here to teach us―is that our control over that time is also limited. This profound (and often hilarious) book will prompt you to rethink your worship of efficiency, reject the cult of busyness, and reconfigure your life around what truly matters.

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A wonderfully honest book, Four Thousand Weeks is a much-needed reality check on our culture's crazy assumptions around work, productivity and living a meaningful life.

This book, particularly the first half, is overall a must-read on how to think about the limited time we have. I think it’ll be eye-opening for almost anyone. I would say you should not read this book without also reading The Fountainhead, as that will…

As he did with The Antidote, one of my favorite reads of 2013, Burkeman is able to pull off this great magic trick of writing a self-help book that not only transcends its genre, it also pokes fun at it. (This trick was a big influence on my book, Show Your Work!, which is the fir...

As he did with The Antidote, one of my favorite reads of 2013, Burkeman is able to pull off this great magic trick of writing a self-help book that not only transcends its genre, it also pokes fun at it. (This trick was a big influence on my book, Show Your Work!, which is the first time I consciously wrote a book knowing it’d be shelved in self-help.) It’s very hard to pull off. I’d also like to point out that Burkeman takes time in between his books, and works through a lot of ideas in his column and great newsletter, which I think leads to much richer work. (For a taste of the book, see my post, “The Principles of Patience.”)

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I finally read @oliverburkeman's book -- in one day -- and it deserves all the acclaim it has received. I'm annoyed at him for being this good at writing books. Stop it, Oliver.

I am a bit of an Oliver Burkeman fan girl, so I was thrilled to see his latest book on Greater Good's list. One essential question is at its heart: "What if we paid more attention to the limited time we have on the planet and lived our lives accordingly?" Burkeman doesn't offer ju...

I am a bit of an Oliver Burkeman fan girl, so I was thrilled to see his latest book on Greater Good's list. One essential question is at its heart: "What if we paid more attention to the limited time we have on the planet and lived our lives accordingly?" Burkeman doesn't offer just the usual time management advice, but wrestles directly with mortality and our need to maximize the joy and satisfaction we get from our limited time here on earth.

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This book builds on the premise that the average lifespan is about 4,000 weeks. Using that as a framework helps you be rigorous when you're choosing how to spend them. It upends much of the common conversation around time management, productivity, "hacks," and tips.

In addition to whatever help it might offer, Four Thousand Weeks is also just good company; it addresses large, even existential, issues with a sense of humor and an even-keeled perspective. I found that reading it―Burkeman might balk at this particular way of describing it―was a...

In addition to whatever help it might offer, Four Thousand Weeks is also just good company; it addresses large, even existential, issues with a sense of humor and an even-keeled perspective. I found that reading it―Burkeman might balk at this particular way of describing it―was a good use of my time.

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[Four Thousand Weeks] is perfectly pitched somewhere between practical self-help book and philosophical quest . . . As with all the best quests, its many pleasures don't require a fast-forward button, but happen along the way.

Four Thousand Weeks is a book to read and re-read, to absorb and reflect on. Compassionate, funny and wise, it has not left my mind since I read it. The modern world teaches us to pretend to be immortal―this book is a dip in the cold, clear waters of reality, returning us refreshe...

Four Thousand Weeks is a book to read and re-read, to absorb and reflect on. Compassionate, funny and wise, it has not left my mind since I read it. The modern world teaches us to pretend to be immortal―this book is a dip in the cold, clear waters of reality, returning us refreshed and alive.

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Four Thousand Weeks will challenge and amuse you. And it may even spur you on to change your life.

Burkeman is the self-help writer for people like me who find self-help books oversold on magical transformations . . . Four Thousand Weeks is full of such sage and sane advice, delivered with dry wit and a benevolent tone.

Oliver Burkeman provides an important and insightful reassessment of productivity. The drive to get more done can become an excuse to avoid figuring out what we actually want to accomplish. Only by confronting this latter question can we unlock a calmer, more meaningful, more resi...

Oliver Burkeman provides an important and insightful reassessment of productivity. The drive to get more done can become an excuse to avoid figuring out what we actually want to accomplish. Only by confronting this latter question can we unlock a calmer, more meaningful, more resilient approach to organizing our time.

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Provocative and appealing . . . The discipline of time management has historically been concerned with maximizing productivity and efficiency, but Mr. Burkeman imbues it with existential weight . . . Mr. Burkeman is funny and engaging, and Four Thousand Weeks is an enjoyable, insi...

Provocative and appealing . . . The discipline of time management has historically been concerned with maximizing productivity and efficiency, but Mr. Burkeman imbues it with existential weight . . . Mr. Burkeman is funny and engaging, and Four Thousand Weeks is an enjoyable, insightful, and occasionally profound book, one well worth your extremely limited time.

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I have long loved Oliver Burkeman's wise and witty journalism that both interrogates and elevates the 'self-help' realm―revealing its possibilities for absurdity while honoring the deeper human impulses that it meets. Four Thousand Weeks is a splendid offering in that spirit. This...

I have long loved Oliver Burkeman's wise and witty journalism that both interrogates and elevates the 'self-help' realm―revealing its possibilities for absurdity while honoring the deeper human impulses that it meets. Four Thousand Weeks is a splendid offering in that spirit. This book is at once sobering and refreshing on all that is truly at stake in what we blithely refer to as 'time management.' It invites nothing less than a new relationship with time―and with life itself.

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Subtle, provocative, and multi-layered . . . Four Thousand Weeks offers many wise pointers to a happier, less stress-filled life, with none of the usual smug banalities of the self-help genre.

This book is wonderful. Instead of offering new tips on how to cram more into your day, it questions why we feel the need to . . . My favorite kind of book is this one―a book that doesn't offer magic solutions to life because there aren't any. Instead, it examines the human strugg...

This book is wonderful. Instead of offering new tips on how to cram more into your day, it questions why we feel the need to . . . My favorite kind of book is this one―a book that doesn't offer magic solutions to life because there aren't any. Instead, it examines the human struggle with intelligence, wisdom, humor, and humility . . . Reading this book was time well spent.

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