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How long or how short does a week feel and how much or how little is it worth when you know your whole life is 4000 weeks long?

BERKELEY

Ten Ways to Make Your Time Matter

Ten Ways to Make Your Time Matter

greatergood.berkeley.edu

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The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly finite. If you’re lucky and you live to 80, you will have lived about four thousand weeks. This truth, which most of us ignore most of the time, is something to wrestle with if we want to spend our limited time on this earth we...

Given that, it follows that time management, broadly defined, should be everyone’s chief concern. Yet the modern discipline of time management (or productivity) is depressingly narrow-minded, focused on devising the perfect morning routine or trying to crank through as many tasks as possi...

When we recognize the shortness of life—and accept the fact that some things have to be left unaccomplished, whether we like it or not—we are freer to focus on what matters. Rather than succumbing to the mentality of “better, faster, more,” we can embrace being imperfect, and be ...

Time Management For Mortals

Here are 10 suggestions from the book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman about how to live with your ...

One way to do that is to keep 2 to-do lists—1 for everything on your plate, 1 for the 10 or fewer things that you’re currently working on. Fill up the 10 slots on the second list with items from the first, then set to work. The rule is not to move any further items from the first list ont...

Focus only on one big project at a time. Though it’s alluring to try to alleviate the anxiety of having too many responsibilities or ambitions by getting started on them all at once, you’ll make little progress that way. Multitasking rarely works well—and you’ll ...

You’ll inevitably underachieve at something, simply because your time and energy are finite. But strategic underachievement—nominating in advance areas of your life in which you won’t expect excellence—helps you focus your time and energy more effectively. For example, y...

Since the quest to get everything done is interminable by definition, it’s easy to grow despondent and self-reproachful when you can’t get through your whole to-do list. One counter-strategy is to keep a “done list,” which starts empty first thing in the morning, but whi...

Social media is a giant machine for getting you to spend your time caring about the wrong things—and too many of them at once. We’re exposed to an unending stream of atrocities and injustices, each of which might have a legitimate claim on our time and our charitable donations, b...

Digital distractions allow us to escape to a realm where painful human limitations don’t seem to apply: scrolling idly around online, you need never feel bored or constrained in your freedom of action, which isn’t the case when it comes to doing work that matters.

Y...

Time seems to speed up as we age, likely because our brains encode the passage of years based on how much information we process in any given interval. While children have many novel experiences and time therefore seems slower to them, the routinization of older people’s lives me...

The desire to feel in control of our limited time causes numerous problems in relationships, resulting not only in controlling behavior, but also commitment-phobia, the inability to listen, boredom, and missing out on the richness of communal experiences with others.

Whenever a generous impulse arises in your mind, give in to it right away rather than putting it off. Don’t wait to figure out if the recipient deserves your generosity or if you really have the time to be generous right now (with all of the work you have left to do!). Just do it...

When it comes to the challenge of using your 4000 weeks well, the capacity to do nothing is indispensable, because if you can’t bear the discomfort of not acting, you’re far more likely to make poor choices with your time, such as attempting to hurry activities that can’t be rush...

Doing nothing means resisting the urge to manipulate your experience or the people and things in the world around you, and to let things be as they are.

As you keep letting go, you’ll increase your ability to do nothing, and gradually regain your autonomy. You’ll no longer...

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