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  • Four Thousand Weeks

  • Embrace your limits. Change your life. Make your four thousand weeks count.
  • By: Oliver Burkeman
  • Narrated by: Oliver Burkeman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (906 ratings)

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Four Thousand Weeks

By: Oliver Burkeman
Narrated by: Oliver Burkeman
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The instant Sunday Times best seller.

A Financial Times, Guardian and Observer Book of the Year.

One of the Daily Telegraph's 75 Best Books of 2021.

What if you stopped trying to do everything, so that you could finally get round to what counts?

We're obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, the struggle against distraction and the sense that our attention spans are shrivelling. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the question of how best to use our ridiculously brief time on the planet, which amounts on average to about 4,000 weeks.

Four Thousand Weeks is an uplifting, engrossing and deeply realistic exploration of the challenge. Rejecting the futile modern obsession with 'getting everything done,' it introduces listeners to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing rather than denying their limitations.

Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman sets out to realign our relationship with time - and in doing so, to liberate us from its tyranny.

Embrace your limits. Change your life. Make your 4,000 weeks count.

©2021 Oliver Burkeman (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Life is finite. You don't have to fit everything in.... Read this book and wake up to a new way of thinking and living." (Emma Gannon)

"A much-needed reality check on our culture's crazy assumptions around work, productivity and living a meaningful life." (Mark Manson, best-selling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck)

"Comforting, fascinating, engaging, inspiring and useful, actually genuinely useful." (Marian Keyes)

What listeners say about Four Thousand Weeks

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thought invoking.

ironic that audible force you to write a fifteen word review of a book about not wasting your life when the two words are enough.

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16 people found this helpful

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Life-changing

I never read books twice because (ironically) I think life is too short. For this book, I am making an exception. It's one of the most important books I've ever read. I wish everyone could read it, the sooner the better, but especially at midlife.

Although it contains practical tips to apply, the way it changes you is rather through the way your perception will shift. We are coming to understand that "more, more, more" is not an attitude that serves personal or planetary wellbeing, but it applies just as much to time management. Just as there are limits to what we can physically consume, there are also real limits (which we are conditioned to ignore) regarding what we can get done in a single lifetime. Realising that can set us free from a lot of suffering.

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9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The anti-perspective

I like the title and concept 4,000 weeks of life, make the beast of it. I think some things are in the mark, some views were just not practical to me…for example…instead of writing a long to do list, the author suggests you write what you have done…or replace the to do with what I have done list. Two list are a waste of time…We only have 4,000 weeks…plus my to do list is almost a simply a reminder of things to do… but some really good concepts as well….perfection is not going to happen…but he say why have hope? I hope someone reads this review…if they don’t…no stress to me. If they do, I hope it helps. :-)

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5 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 19-06-2023

Meh

“Nothing you do matters. It’s all insignificant. Oh, but don’t let that dishearten you. Use that knowledge as fuel.”

Yeah right buddy.

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4 people found this helpful

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Worth the listen however nothing to life-changing

the author definitely has some good takes on life and how to life it and this book might apply more to someone working a 9-5 desk job who is hating their life. essential message is stop living as if you're preparing for some moment in the future when you'll finally have everything organised because it will never come. do the things you want to do now. there is no point worrying about trying to do an impossible workload because it's inherently impossible.

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4 people found this helpful

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Nice mix of philosophy and time

It’s about time philosophy and the meaning of life was presented in a time management book. Age old religions and thinking weaved into the how and why of managing time. Dam sight better than the usual tips to improve email. I love the English sense of humour that Oliver Burkeman uses throughout, but maybe don’t need to reinforce the same point so many times

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3 people found this helpful

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Snore

From the title I expected a book about how to use the time we have in our lives. But this author just loves the sound of his own voice. Repetitive and doesn't offer any nuggets on how to look at time with any originality or how best to deal with the finality of our lives other than just to accept it. Which is mindfulness but the author discounts mindfulness and meditation on a number of occasions. Spend your time elsewhere.

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1 person found this helpful

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Favourite book of the year.

ironically I had a similar experience as the author. I've spent the last few years scouring through productivity books, techniques and systems without finding the time I was hoping to gain back. This book offerers the perspectives I needed to evaluate my relationship with time, life, and myself. I already feel more at peace with my schedule and my plans, and feel more confident with how I approach my scheduling in the future.

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A simple yet profound message

This book is really very simple at heart — recognise and embrace your finitude.

Burkeman deftly explains that our society’s ideas about time cause much of the anxiety and discontentment we experience in our lives. While we cannot change society we can change our outlook and response to these ideas.

The narration by the author is superb.

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1 person found this helpful

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thought-provoking in all the right ways

An excellent book which I'll doubtless listen to a second and perhaps third time

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