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Four Thousand Weeks: Embrace your limits. Change your life. Paperback – 17 August 2021
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Perfectly pitched somewhere between practical self-help book and philosophical quest ... as with all the best quests, its many pleasures don't require a fast-forward button, but happen along the way -- Tim Adams ― Observer
Life is finite. You don't have to fit everything in. Enjoy your life. Breathe out. Read this book and wake up to a new way of thinking and living ― Emma Gannon, author of The Multi-Hyphen Method
A wonderfully honest book, Four Thousand Weeks is a much-needed reality check on our culture's crazy assumptions around work, productivity and living a meaningful life -- Mark Manson, bestselling author of Everything is F*cked and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
His book will challenge and amuse you. And it may even spur you on to change your life. At the very least reading it would be a good use of one of your four thousand weeks -- Robbie Smith ― Evening Standard
About the Author
- Publisher : JONATHAN CAPE & BH - TRADE (17 August 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1847924026
- ISBN-13 : 978-1847924025
- Dimensions : 13.5 x 2.2 x 21.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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This mixture of self deprecating humour and reasonably dry academic data helped with some of those understandings.
Probably better to read and understand these truths in the first fifth but there you go. That’s how it rolls most of the time (is that a pun?)
We have a one in 400 trillion chance of being born into our current human form. No, we may not all die Rhodes Scholars or with monuments in our honour, but to deny the magic of life is to deny life itself.
It also could have been a chapter shorter without the constant reiteration to the reader that he is “woke”. We get it. You live in NYC. Trump and climate change=bad; you telling everyone your problems with the world, regurgitating the mainstream narrative and mentioning that you volunteer regularly= good.
Overall, a good book that got me thinking about (how I think about) my priories but not a particularly inspiring read to me. If you're looking for inspiration to live a rich and fulfilling life and rethink time as we know it, I'd be more inclined to read the classics with a more idealistic nature (e.g. In Tune with the Infinite). I found this book to be too materialist for me.
As others have said, there's a balance with hope (as with anything). My BS metre goes up when ideas or philosophies are explained in black and white.
Top reviews from other countries
The book presents ideas that, while not necessarily new, he has made infinitely more accessible and relevant by restating them, with wit and self-deprecating humour, to fit the context of today's life and technology. It's not an understatement to say the book has been transformative for me.
Deep wisdom masquerading as a book about time management.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2021
A self proclaimed productivity geek, Burkeman has come to a lot of the same conclusions that have started to bug me over the last few years. Time is finite. No matter how efficient we get we'll never do everything we feel we're supposed to do. The answer he says is to acknowledge our limitations and be honest with ourselves that the life we're living right now is what we have.
By stopping struggling against the limits of time we can enjoy what we're doing right now, and really invest and commit to it. Instead of believing we're capable of engaging with every opportunity the modern world presents to us, we have to make hard choices about what we really want to do. What if you weren't trying to get somewhere? What if you accepted that you're already as here as you're ever going to be, what would you do then? He highlights the peril the instrumentalisation of time, always doing something for what might happen in the future. Taking a picture of fireworks so you can enjoy it later instead of enjoying the moment.
It's not necessarily an easy thing to do. Because the theme that runs through the book is that you genuinely can't do everything you want to do, and not doing some things means giving up on some of your dreams. But it is liberating to realise that actually, it doesn't matter in the end, you can let go and really focus on what you're doing. It means trading in a flawless fantasy where you do everything perfectly for the messy reality where you do a handful of things in ways you might fail at. It means giving up certainty to some extent, since committing to something means taking a path without knowing exactly where you're going. But the alternative is to go nowhere.
It's a level headed read that takes in a wide range of influences from philosophy and other writers, to great effect as the wisdom of the book is much deeper than you would expect from what is technically a tome about time management. I've highlighted all the way through and I'll definitely be returning to it to absorb it more fully.
There aren't really any tricks or frameworks to subscribe to. A while ago I read books on techniques on how to make better choices, how I could weigh up each option and make the "right" choice. It's more like a guide to confronting reality, accepting that you will fail and you will make the wrong choices sometimes. But that's ok, and it's a lot less stressful than trying to maintain the impossible standard of always choosing right, always filling your time in the right way.