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Four Thousand Weeks Cover

Nothing extra-ordinary in terms of content, but special when you think of the book as a compilation of useful frameworks to think about time.

Alas, I stumbled upon Four Thousand Weeks at such a point in my life where I’ve already been a productivity addict for so long that it’s impossible for me to make a fresh start. The central theme of the book - that you won’t ever get to do all the things you’ve set out to do so you should consciously choose and be happy about your choice - is such an aphoristic statement that no matter how you spin it, it always feels bland.

Having said that, the self-help ocean that this book is a part of, is filled with heaps of garbage books, so stumbling upon this one is like finding a needle in a haystack. Few ways of thinking about time and choices that I found interesting:

Don’t think of these things as life hacks - don’t treat life as a faulty contraption in need of modification.

A spin on FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): missing out is what makes our choices meaningful in the first place, every decision to use a portion of a time on anything represents saying no to every other thing that you could’ve done but you didn’t.

The anti-skill of staying with the anxiety of never having time to do everything.

Picking one item from the menu represents an affirmation rather than a defeat. The fact that you could’ve chosen a different and perhaps equally valuable way to spend this afternoon bestows meaning on the choice you did make.

A hobbyist is a subversive: they insist that some things are worth doing for themselves alone, despite offering no payoffs in terms of productivity or profit.