EP.54: LIFE IS SHORT, TO-DO LISTS ARE LONG: OLIVER BURKEMAN ON TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MORTALS
Play • 52 min

This podcast is about your relationship to time. 

My guest is Oliver Burkeman. Oliver is a journalist and author. He writes and publishes a twice-monthly email newsletter called "The Imperfectionist." You can find The Guardian column he wrote from 2006 to 2020 online. It's titled "This Column Will Change Your Life." He's also the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, and his most recent book is Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. It is also the topic of the podcast. 

Four Thousand Weeks explores concepts of time and time management, arguing that our modern attempts to optimize our time leave us stressed and unhappy. The book's first sentence is: "The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short." (About 4,000 weeks, on average; thus the title.). It is not your classic time-management book and in it, he explores the most profound questions we have in life. 

In the book and on this podcast, Oliver prompts us to question the very idea that time is something you use in the first place." 

Some of our talking points. 

  • On what he's learned about happiness
  • What we should seek besides happiness 
  • Defining personal growth 
  • The importance of frustration tolerance 
  • How we relate to time 
  • The problems with time management
  • Optimizing the wrong things 
  • To-do list and apps and the trap of planning
  • The challenges of prioritizing 
  • Practical tips on project management 

And Oliver certainly helped me sort through my struggles with allocating my time, so I found the conversation very useful. I think you will, too. 

For show notes and more, visit www.larryweeks.com 

 

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