"You definitely won't have time for everything you want to do": Oliver Burkeman

#Book Review, #books, #Choice, #Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, #Oliver Burkeman, #productivity, #review, #time management, #Work life

Burkeman explains that time management techniques are often guided by a focus on the ‘I’ rather than ‘we’. And when efficiency is put on a pedestal, relationships are often seen as less important and therefore neglected.

Has the pursuit of efficiency turned you into a nervous wreck? Are you perpetually dissatisfied with how productive you’ve been? Do you struggle with managing your time? These thoughts, feelings and experiences are more common around the world than you might imagine.

Oliver Burkeman, a British writer based in New York, has been engaging with these questions for a while. For many years, he wrote a weekly column titled “This Column Will Change Your Life” for The Guardian. He has now written a book titled Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals (Allen Lane, 2021).

#Book Review, #books, #Choice, #Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, #Oliver Burkeman, #productivity, #review, #time management, #Work life
Burkeman’s book will not teach how you to pack more activities into your waking hours so that your impossible to-do list can be tackled. He is not interested in converting you into a supermom, superdad, or super-whatever-else who has the miraculous ability to please one and all. He has no magic tricks for people whose bucket list grows with every novel thing they hear about. Before you reject the book for these reasons, check out what he does have to offer

“I’m aware of no other time management technique that’s half as effective as just facing the way things truly are,” he says. If you pride yourself on being pragmatic, this statement might seem too impractical to serve you. In a workplace or a household that always demands more than you feel able to give, asking people to just accept things the way they are can be tough. They may think that you not only take them for granted but are also unapologetic about your absence.

Burkeman says, “In practical terms, a limit-embracing attitude to time means organizing your days with the understanding that you definitely won’t have time for everything you want to do, or that other people want you to do—and so, at the very least, you can stop beating yourself up for failing. Since hard choices are unavoidable, what matters is learning to make them consciously.”

His book focuses on how to make these choices rather than letting them get made by default.

One of the impediments that many urban professionals face today is the fear of missing out (FOMO). There are movies to watch, trainings to participate in, weddings to show up at, friends to catch up with, yoga classes to attend, parties to be seen at, in addition to work hours and family time. According to Burkeman, FOMO is not a problem at all if one realizes that choosing to miss one thing for another is “what makes our choices meaningful in the first place.”

Burkeman has a philosophical explanation. He writes, “When people stop believing in an afterlife, everything depends on making the most of this life. And when people start believing in progress—in the idea that history is headed toward an ever more perfect future—they feel far more acutely the pain of their own little lifespan, which condemns them to missing out on almost all of that future. And so they try to quell their anxieties by cramming their lives with experience.”

He also makes the crucial observation that time management techniques are often guided by an excessive focus on the ‘I’ rather than ‘We’. When efficiency is put on a pedestal, relationships are often seen as less important and therefore neglected. We view the time that we spend with people in transactional terms. Instead of allowing ourselves to learn about other people, and listen to what they have to say, we try to gauge whether they are worth investing in or not.

Burkeman lists technological inventions – dishwashers, microwaves, jet engines – meant to help human beings “gain the upper hand over time”. With all the hours that have been freed up, “time ought to feel more expansive and abundant”. It doesn’t. He writes, “It’s somehow vastly more aggravating to wait two minutes for the microwave than two hours for the oven—or ten seconds for a slow-loading web page versus three days to receive the same information by mail.”

This book will make you reconsider your relationship with time, and check whether you have fallen into the trap of wearing busyness as a badge of honour. If your self-worth is bound up with how you are “using time”, is this approach benefiting you and others? Is your “productivity obsession” helping you combat the precariousness of life itself? Are you using work to numb yourself emotionally? Burkeman asks these questions from a place of care, not condescension.

If you are hoping for an “oasis of relaxation” after all your tasks are out of the way, Burkeman strikes a note of caution. According to him, this attitude “wrenches us out of the present, leading to a life spent leaning into the future, worrying about whether things will work out, experiencing everything in terms of some later, hoped-for benefit, so that peace of mind never quite arrives.” Burkeman encourages us to make peace with “the shortness of human life.”

This is a quiet, introspective book. It does give you “ten tools to embrace your finitude” but Burkeman’s most precious insight is this: “it’s scary to confront the truth that almost everything worth doing, from marriage and parenting to business or politics, depends on cooperating with others, and therefore on exposing yourself to the emotional uncertainties of relationships.” Accepting this can liberate us from wanting to be in control and on top of everything.

Here is the toolbox if you are looking for take-aways: 1. Adopt a “fixed volume” approach to productivity. 2. Serialize, serialize, serialize. 3. Decide in advance what to fail at. 4. Focus on what you’ve already completed, not just on what’s left to complete. 5. Consolidate your caring. 6. Embrace boring and single-purpose technology. 7. Seek out novelty in the mundane. 8. Be a “researcher” in relationships. 9. Cultivate instantaneous generosity. 10. Practise Doing Nothing.

Burkeman does not pretend to have perfected what he is offering here. He draws on the work of several philosophers, psychologists, spiritual teachers, environmentalists, scholars and poets – including Seneca, Hannah Arendt, Alan Watts, Pema Chödrön, Raina Maria Rilke, Martin Heidegger, Henri Bergson, Sylvia Keesmaat, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kieran Setiya, among others.

Buddhist scholar Geshe Shawopa – one of the people Burkeman is inspired by – says, “Do not rule over imaginary kingdoms of endlessly proliferating possibilities.” This is an invitation to stop agonizing over possible futures, to make a choice, and to gracefully accept the consequences.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Startups and the Gen Z Worker: A Match Made in Tech Heaven

The latest phenomenon in the world of business big and small is that workers are quitting in droves, in a movement that has come to be known as “The Great ... Read more »

‘Insanely hot women still throw themselves at me:' John McAfee's last words

McAfee with two members of his “harem” at his compound in San Pedro, Belize, in 2012. NY Post photo composite John McAfee was an eccentric computer programmer, famous for inventing ... Read more »

Elon Musk Prompts Creation of McDonald's Meme Coin, Hits $6 Million Market Capitalization

Elon Musk and a McDonald’s Happy Meal — the collab we never saw coming and didn’t know we needed. picture alliance | Getty Images The Twitter-fiending billionaire took to the ... Read more »

How to lower body fat percentage: Strategies for fat loss, muscle gain & more

© Provided by Fit&Well How to lower body fat percentage Ever thought about how to lower body fat percentage? Maybe you had your body mass or adiposity index measured as ... Read more »

Part of a SpaceX Rocket Is Going to Collide With the Moon

A SpaceX rocket is predicted to land on the moon — or at least a part of it. Constantinos Hinis | Getty Images Since 2015, a booster from a SpaceX Falcon 9 ... Read more »

Redmi Note 11S, Redmi Note 11 price, specifications announced

Redmi Note 11S price in India is expected to be around Rs 16,000. Redmi Note 11S price and specifications have been announced. The budget smartphone was unveiled at the Redmi ... Read more »

Gary Vaynerchuk to Open World's First NFT Restaurant in NYC

NFTs have been exciting (and baffling) the world since they went mainstream in 2021; artist Beeple sold one of his pieces for $69 million at Christie’s, and household names like ... Read more »

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G launched alongside a 4G variant with 108MP camera sensor: Check price, specifications

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G India launch details remain unknown at the moment. Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G and Note 11 Pro 4G have been launched globally. The two new ... Read more »

This city is no. 1 in the world for places that take the most gym selfies

Boxer Teofimo Lopez works out at a gym in Las Vegas. The city ranked 12 in the list of top 25 global gym selfie cities. Beating cities like Dubai, Las ... Read more »

Heritage tourism back in J&K after two decades; check out 15 heritage sites

Pather Masjid in old Zaina Kadal, Srinagar. (Photo: Indrajit Das via Wikimedia Commons 4.0) Jammu and Kashmir government has revived heritage tourism in the Kashmir Valley after nearly two decades. ... Read more »

Meet the Padma-winning Karnataka farmer who changed barren land into lush farm

Padma Shri awards: Amai Mahalinga Naik was lauded as “water warrior” by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. (Image tweeted by @gssjodhpur) A farmer from Karnataka, who transformed barren land ... Read more »

Bengal couple invite guests on Google Meet for virtual wedding celebration

Representational Image Kolkata’s Sandipan Sarkar and Aditi Das made headlines recently for choosing to get married virtually. The couple arrived at the decision as many people were infected with Covid ... Read more »

Watch: Mumbai Police's video for its 'Nirbhaya Squad', directed by Rohit Shetty

Mumbai news: Women in the city can also dial 103 to seek help from the police. (Screengrab from video tweeted by @MumbaiPolice) Filmmaker Rohit Shetty has directed a special video ... Read more »

The toughest Wordle ever? Players say, 'Try to be gentle, still dealing with pandemic'

Wordle, an engrossing word-guessing game, is the internet’s latest obsession. Wordle is the internet’s latest obsession and a source of frustration at the same time. The addictive word game involves ... Read more »

Solar vastras: This startup is spinning yarn on solar charkhas, weaving fabric on solar looms and stitching clothes on solar sewing machines

During the pandemic, renewable energy giant ReNew Power stepped in with its CSR initiative and helped Greenwear make masks. In four months, Greenwear made five lakh masks with the help ... Read more »

Man takes football star's place at university exam, arrested

Mostafa Mohamed, 24, is in Cameroon with the Egyptian national team. A young Egyptian man scored an own goal by pretending to take a university exam for professional footballer Mostafa ... Read more »

‘Happy to hand over the baton': Gita Gopinath's message after stepping down as IMF chief economist

Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, said she hoped the world truly exits the coronavirus pandemic in 2022. (Screengrab from video tweeted by @Gita Gopinath) Indian-American economist Gita ... Read more »

Imagine no possessions: Beatles memorabilia (virtually) up for auction

A guitar given by John Lennon to his son Julian is seen in this handout image, in Los Angeles, California, US, January 2022. (Image: Julien’s Auctions/Handout via Reuters) John Lennon’s ... Read more »

Snow White and the 7...? Disney takes a different approach to avoid reinforcing dwarf stereotypes

Disney claims it has been working on reimagining the dwarf characters since its earliest production stages. (Image credit: Disney) Disney is developing a live-action remake of the classic tale ‘Snow White and ... Read more »

Watch: Never-seen-before cockpit view from fighter jets at Republic Day flypast

Republic Day 2022: A cockpit view of a fighter jet in flight. (Image credit: Twitter @SpokespersonMoD) As 75 aircrafts flew past over the Rajpath to mark the 73rd Republic day, ... Read more »

Storyboard18 | Tata Sky is now Tata Play. 'We have a job cut out for ourselves', says MD Harit Nagpal

Tata Sky (Tata Play from January 27, 2022) started out as a DTH operator in the world of television, but over the years, it has become a distributor of content ... Read more »

Sania Mirza says 'regretting' retirement announcement: 'Made it too soon'

File image of Sania Mirza Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who recently announced that 2022 would be her last season, says she had made the announcement too soon and was ... Read more »

On Republic Day, PM Modi wears cap from Uttarakhand, stole from Manipur

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Republic Day morning paid homage at the National War Memorial, a monument to the soldiers who have made supreme sacrifice for the country. The Prime ... Read more »

Watch: On Republic Day, ITBP officers unfurl national flag, take out marches in freezing temperatures

Republic Day 2022: Indo-Tibetan Border Force officers mark the Republic Day in Ladakh. (Screengrab from video posted on Twitter by @ITBP_official) Personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), serving in ... Read more »

Best smartphones under Rs 20,000 in India: Redmi Note 11T 5G, Realme 8s 5G and more

Redmi Note 11T 5G price in India starts at Rs 16,999. The phone comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 810 SoC, a 6.6-inch IPS LCD with a 90Hz refresh rate and ... Read more »

Republic Day 2022 | The Indian Constitution is a work of art, its pages illustrated by the best artists of the time

(from left) Nature is seen as mountains (Himalayan range), desert and ocean; a detailed portrait of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, done by Rammanohar Sinha, can be seen at the beginning ... Read more »

OnePlus Nord CE 2 to launch on February 11, feature a triple-camera module

OnePlus Nord CE 2 launch date has leaked online. The upcoming mid-range OnePlus smartphone will launch as a successor of the original Nord CE. The leaked image has also revealed ... Read more »

Adar Poonawalla's warm note and a throwback pic as father gets Padma Bhushan

Covid vaccine maker Cyrus Poonawalla was among those who were awarded Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award, on Tuesday. The awards were announced on the eve of Republic Day. ... Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022 date announced; Galaxy S22 Ultra official launch event on February 9

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra launch event will be hosted on February 9 at the Galaxy Unpacked 2022. Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022 official date has been announced. The South Korean tech ... Read more »

Yuvraj Singh, Hazel Keech welcome baby boy, congratulations pour in

Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech married in November 2016. (Image credit: Photo Instagrammed by yuvisofficial) Former cricketer Yuvraj Singh and wife Hazel Keech welcomed their first child, a boy, on ... Read more »

Ricky Kej and Bickram Ghosh on their song ‘Vande Bharatam', created for the 2022 Republic Day parade

Ricky Kej says he and Bickram Ghosh made ‘Vande Bharatam’ to evoke pride and patriotism. When two maestros work together, often magic happens. An example of this unfolds during the Republic Day parade, ... Read more »

Republic Day 2022: Google Doodle celebrates 73rd Republic Day

Republic Day 2022: Republic Day marks the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950. As India marks its 73rd Republic Day on January 26, Google ... Read more »

Review The Royal Treatment: 5 Alasan Film Ini Bikin Kamu Kepincut

The Royal Treatment jadi salah satu film romantis komedi yang saat ini sedang booming di Netflix. Film ini masuk ke dalam daftar Top 10 film di berbagai negara, termasuk Indonesia, ... Read more »

OnePlus 9RT Review: The flagship killer OnePlus device we deserved

OnePlus recently dropped a new budget flagship smartphone in India, in the form of the OnePlus 9RT. The OnePlus 9RT’s price in India is set at Rs 42,999 for the ... Read more »

Restaurant Chain Slammed For Viral Photo of Policy Claiming Employees Must Earn Five-Star Reviews or Be Terminated

Chances are you’ve probably been at a restaurant or in a store and had employees mention to you that they would be appreciative if you could leave a review for ... Read more »

Bob Dylan's Entire Music Catalog Sold for Estimated $200 Million

Sony Music Group has long been an entertainment industry giant that has continued to purchase and gain ownership over major music catalogs. Dave J Hogan | Getty Images Just last ... Read more »

Analysts Predict Elon Musk Will Earn Billions This Year Despite Not Taking Home a Salary From Tesla

If predictions for Tesla are correct, CEO Elon Musk is going to have a really good 2022.  FREDERIC J. BROWN | Getty Images Analysts predict that Tesla will report strong financial ... Read more »

The Top SEO Trends for 2022

A new year is a perfect opportunity to take a close look at your website and make sure your SEO is doing all the work it can be. Best SEO ... Read more »

Paul McCartney's Handwritten 'Hey Jude' Notes to Be Auctioned as NFT

NFTs have certainly made a splash as of recently, with everything from original artwork, to social media posts to event tickets being sold digitally to respective owners. Dimitrios Kambouris | ... Read more »

Q4 of 2021 records highest ad volumes for a quarter since 2019, up by 27%

Advertising volumes on TV that took a hit in 2020 saw strong recovery last year with the fourth quarter of 2021 recording highest ad volumes for a quarter since 2019. In the fourth ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic