ML189: Oliver Burkeman on Using Your 4000 Weeks, Time Management for Mortals & Overcoming Convenience Culture
Oliver Burkeman is a journalist and author of the book 4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. He previously wrote a popular weekly column on psychology for The Guardian, playfully titled ‘This Column will Change Your Life’ and has also written two other books, Help and The Antidote.
What if you stopped trying to do everything, so that you could actually do what matters most?
Long to-do lists, overfilled inboxes & constant distractions are symptoms of modern life but the productivity hacks and on-demand services that promise to solve the problem and give us more time don’t really seem to work.
That’s because the fundamental problem here is that we are limited, and so is our time. If you live to 80, the total time you have on this planet is 4000 weeks - an incredibly short period when you actually think about it.
The solutions that actually work, as today’s guest Oliver Burkeman points out, are the ones that help us embrace our limits rather than denying them. In this episode we discuss:
- The time management myths that are holding you back
- Practical strategies that help you focus on what matters most
- The true cost of convenience culture
We also talk about how writing the book changed Oliver’s relationship to time, the path to producing original creative work and the issues with self-help culture. This was a great conversation - Oliver articulates so many things about time management and self-help that I suspected were true but couldn’t put the words to, so I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of it.
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