Four Thousand Weeks

Time Management for Mortals

Hardcover, 224 pages

Published July 13, 2021 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


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4 stars (5 reviews)

The average human lifespan is absurdly, outrageously, insultingly brief: if you live to 80, you have about four thousand 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 four thousand weeks.

Four Thousand Weeks is an uplifting, engrossing and deeply realistic exploration of this problem. Rejecting the futile modern obsession with 'getting everything done,' it introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life, showing how the unhelpful ways we've come to think about time aren't inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we've made, as individuals and …

4 editions

Mindblowing read

5 stars

This book challenges many of my views on efficiency, getting things done, distraction, etc. Besides offering a philosophical, historical, and down-to-earth perspective on life, it has solid advice.

About increasing the quality of the time you spend: 1) "cut out time for yourself first", 2) limit work in progress, 3) resist the allure of seductive but not essential priorities.

About patience: 1) develop a taste for having problems (it will always be that we have problems); 2) embrace radical incrementalism (small, constant work VS. big-bang work); 3) originality lies on the far side of unoriginality (the metaphor is those of busses leaving from a train station, that follow the same route initially, only to diverge later).

Five questions to contemplate in order to get closer to living more: 1) Where in your life or your work are you pursuing comfort when what's called for is discomfort? Does this choice diminish …

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