A review by vivianleemit
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

challenging emotional reflective medium-paced


The premise of the book is surprisingly simple, and I’ll summarize it here in the author’s own words from the epilogue: “The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short. But that isn’t a reason for unremitting despair, or for living in an anxiety-fueled panic about making the most of your limited time. It’s a cause for relief. You get to give up on something that was always impossible—the quest to become the optimized, infinitely capable, emotionally invincible, fully independent person you’re officially supposed to be. Then you get to roll up your sleeves and start work on what’s gloriously possible instead.” -Oliver Burkeman

This is a tough book to read, not because it is despairing or dark, but because it requires you to suspend disbelief and accept the fact that we are but tiny little flickers of moment in the vast, incomprehensible darkness of the physical universe and infinite time and timelines. Just an insignificant spark in the grand scheme of things. But acknowledging this fact is the red pill that takes you out of your rat race, assembly line life and allows you to really, truly appreciate the limited time you do have. As someone who has always considered herself Type A, high achieving, and neurotically productive, this book had all the emotional impact of a deep tissue massage - painful and challenging to get through, but a calmness and relief once you let the ideas truly sink in. 

On a side note, I find this book to align very well with Buddhist principles, if you are so inclined.