Four Thousand Weeks

We all only live about 4000 weeks.

This deadline of living on Planet Earth can make us do stuff quickly, trying to be as productive as possible in the short time we have.

This phenomenon of speeding up, called the productivity trap leads us to unhappiness and eventual disappointment. Counterintuitively, we need to slow down to make the most out of life.

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How to escape the 'productivity trap'

bbc.com

Factories and mills of the industrial age put their focus on time management, productivity and efficiency, pressurising the workforce to work maximum in minimum time. This practise is still being followed by corporates.

This method does not work, as it puts us in a productivity trap, which is a recipe for disaster.

Example: Answering every email may sound productive, but it actually increases your workload as more and more replies pile on.

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Doing things faster does not free up time. Rewards, achievements and accomplishments do not really make us happier, a phenomenon called hedonic adaptation.

The feeling of time slipping away decreases our happiness levels and makes us conscious of how little time we have.

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It is fine to leave certain projects that you haven’t been able to do, instead of fretting about it. You only have 4000 weeks and there is a limit to what you can achieve.

One trick is to create a have-done list, which is empty in the morning, and by the end of the day is filled with all the tasks, planned or unplanned, that you ended up doing.

This exercise reframes your mental workload and provides a sense of achievement.

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