In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Oliver Burkeman. Oliver is the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. For many years, he wrote a popular column on psychology for the Guardian newspaper. He also has a new book called Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.
The average human lifespan is brief. Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But often, such techniques often end up making things worse.
In this episode, I talk with Oliver Burkeman about concepts from his book: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. We discuss the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time, and how to think and do things differently so that we can show up better in the present moment.
Questions I ask Oliver Burkeman:
- [1:15] Did you study psychology at all or were you just practicing with your readers?
- [1:58] When I was reading the book, a big point that I heard is that we need to give up the fight when it comes to using time. And I was thinking, where are the hacks — but that’s obviously the point of the book, right?
- [7:25] In the book, you mention David Allen, the Inbox Zero Guys, the Pomodoro method — can you talk about those methods and your perception of how/if they work?
- [11:01] You spent a lot of time really setting a philosophical point of view in the book — you mentioned farmers and how they didn’t have watches in the past. They didn’t pay attention to time. They didn’t have incremental wages based on how many hours they worked. And now, it’s almost like that’s all we have to sell now is our incremental inventory, right?
- [12:46] What is time from a philosophical perspective?
- [14:42] Can you talk about the stuff thieves, like email?
- [16:28] Chapter four was my favorite chapter — can you talk more about it?
- [20:31] How much is the way we work that you’ve described contributing to this growing sense of loneliness and depression in the world?
- [23:19] Is there anywhere else that you’d like to invite people to connect with you?
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