We are all constantly trying to find ways to be more productive, to "squeeze" more time out of our days. But in the end, the solution is often simpler than we think: we need to accept that our life is limited and focus on less and more meaningful things. In his book "Four Thousand Weeks: Embrace Your Limits. Change Your Life," author Oliver Burkeman discusses how mindfulness can help us do just that. He argues that we all have on average 4000 weeks in our lifetime, so it's important to focus on what matters most to us and live each week mindfully.
Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening in the present. You focus on the moment and what is happening around you. It can help you live a better life by paying attention to what matters to you.
If you still think that 4000 is a big number (although I guess the opposite), you can quickly visualize your whole life at a glance:
What I loved about the book is the truth, that everyone actually knows that our life is limited, and we have very limited time to do things we love. It's a great argument that we should decide as soon as possible, ideally now, to focus on what truly matters to us, and not in the future, that (will) never come.
As long as you believe that the real meaning of life lies somewhere off in the future – that one day all your efforts will pay off in a golden era of happiness, free of all problems – you get to avoid facing the unpalatable reality that your life isn’t leading towards some moment of truth that hasn’t yet arrived.
There is never going to be an ideal situation where you have everything under control, you will never be able to squeeze a long list of tasks in a single day. You will only make your life miserable and frustration will rise, while you think about what truly matters to you.
And throw away all those productivity books, tips and tricks. Most of them are pretending to help you, while just making you more stressed.
I'm butchering the great discussions on how actually you can focus on what matters, at that moment, and let everything else go because there's actually nothing more you can do.
We are composed of unlimited potential, but we dispose of immensely limited time. Better make us of it in a good way!
The book provides insightful arguments backed by evidence that will make you question everything you know about time and productivity. If you're looking for a way to change your life for the better, this book is definitely worth reading!
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