AUGUST BOOK CLUB: “Four Thousand Weeks”

“Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” By Oliver Burkeman.

Time is a precious resource that we all have in limited supply. How we choose to manage and utilize our time can greatly impact the quality and fulfillment of our lives. In this blog post, we delve into Chasing Brighter’s August 2023 book pick: “4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” by Oliver Burkeman. Rather than offering traditional productivity tips, Burkeman explores a more philosophical approach to time management, encouraging readers to focus on what truly matters and make the most of their finite time on Earth.

Burkeman’s book challenges the conventional notion of time management by encouraging readers to embrace their limitations and focus on what truly brings meaning to their lives. He introduces the concept of “strategic underachievement,” which suggests that it’s more important to choose what’s meaningful and significant, rather than attempting to cram in endless tasks and activities.

“4000 Weeks” introduces the idea of embracing finitude – the awareness that our time on Earth is limited. This perspective encourages us to live in the present, making the most of every moment and prioritizing activities that align with our values and passions. By letting go of the need to control the future, we can find greater peace and contentment in the present.

Burkeman’s book touches on the concept of JOMO, the joy of missing out. In a world filled with constant distractions and the fear of missing out, embracing JOMO allows us to focus on what truly matters and find contentment in our choices. Instead of trying to do everything, we can choose to do fewer things that bring us genuine happiness and fulfillment.

When we are in relationships when you say we’re going to stick through this better or worse, it relieves anxiety and fantasy thinking that you’ll find this perfect mate elsewhere, and allows you to just focus on that relationship. This also allows you to enjoy joy of missing out.

“Convenience culture seduces us into imagining that we might find room for everything important by eliminating only life’s tedious tasks. But it’s a lie. You have to choose a few things, sacrifice everything else, and deal with the inevitable sense of loss that results.”

― Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

One of the central themes of “4000 Weeks” is the idea that quality should always triumph over quantity. Burkeman advocates for making deliberate choices about how we spend our time and energy, whether it’s in our personal relationships, work, or leisure activities. Rather than succumbing to the convenience culture that encourages us to do more and more, he suggests that we should strive to do less – but with greater intention and significance.

The book encourages readers to practice mindfulness in their daily lives, treating each activity as if it’s the last time they’ll do it. This mindset promotes a deeper appreciation for the present moment and enhances our capacity to derive joy from even the simplest experiences.

“choosing curiosity (wondering what might happen next) over worry (hoping that a certain specific thing will happen next, and fearing it might not) whenever you can.”

― Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

Setting boundaries and establishing limits is another crucial aspect of effective time management. Burkeman emphasizes the importance of not being available 24/7 and of training others to respect our time. By defining our availability and prioritizing our commitments, we can reduce stress and create a healthier work-life balance.


“4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” challenges conventional notions of time management and encourages readers to embrace a more thoughtful and intentional approach to their lives. By focusing on meaningful experiences, setting boundaries, and appreciating the present moment, we can make the most of our finite time on Earth. This book serves as a reminder to shift our perspective and prioritize what truly matters in the grand scheme of things.

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