Athletic Bookworms Book of the Month: “Four Thousand Weeks” by Oliver Burkeman

by | Dec 6, 2021 | Mindset

OK, this month’s Athletic Bookworms is a little different. Rather than another memoir like last month’s, I decided to go for something that felt like a good read to take us into that goal-setting time of the year. So, we’re reading “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” by Oliver Burkeman. I’ve started it already, I admit, and I have to tell you, it’s a great one as I’m starting to think about what 2022 will bring, and how I want to show up in the world.

Picture a philosophy of time combined with a ‘getting things done-esque’ manual. I’m loving it! And it’s making me think about athletic goals and aspirations as well as work and life ones. Is there some irony in adding the Athletic Bookworms back onto my plate while also reading this book? Yes, but it does bring me a ton of joy—and gives me an excuse to read great books like this! So, if you’ve been waiting for something a little more tactical, this book might just be the perfect entry into our book club. I want to make sure we’re reading great books by awesome people, and that we’re balancing some beautiful writing and storytelling with things that will help you on a daily basis. I think this book does both!

About the book: The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.

Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society—and that we could do things differently.

Get it here: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman


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