Oliver Burkeman wrote a fantastic book called Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.
Adam Grant calls this “The most important book ever written about time management” and I will be interviewing Oliver about it on the School for Good Living Podcast.
In it, Oliver explains how he used to be a productivity geek and efficiency junkie, but discovered that no system, process, guru or app could help him get so much better / smarter / faster that he was ever stress free, content and joyous.
Quite the opposite.
Oliver writes, “The technologies we use to try to ‘get on top of everything’ always fail us, in the end, because they increase the size of the ‘everything’ of which we’re trying to get on top.”
You’ve probably experienced this if you’ve ever achieved “inbox zero”… when you send email, you tend to get even more email.
The core issue, as Oliver frames it, is that our lives are limited—in the neighborhood of 4,000 weeks—a fact that we’re dimly aware of but perhaps don’t really know.
Oliver writes, “It’s only by facing our finitude that we can step into a truly authentic relationship with life.”
When we do, we have a chance to overcome what Oliver calls “existential overwhelm,” which inevitably happens because, “the modern world provides an inexhaustible supply of things that seem worth doing, and so there arises an inevitable and unbridgeable gap between what you’d ideally like to do and what you actually can do.”
I’ve you’re looking for a book to help you live a deeper, richer, more fulfilling life, this might be it.
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