Being Well Podcast: Time Management for Mortals with Oliver Burkeman
June 26, 2023

The average human will live for roughly 4000 weeks. Foregrounding this can be a source of stress, leading us to constantly run from one task to another. Or, it can be a source of meaning and purpose, nudging us to focus on what really matters.

In this episode of the Being Well Podcast, Forrest is joined by bestselling author Oliver Burkeman for an exploration of what’s really at stake in what we call “time management”. You’ll learn why doing things faster only leaves you with more to do, the hidden payoffs of constant busyness, and how we can live a more fulfilling and enjoyable life by embracing its finite nature.

About our Guest: Oliver Burkeman is a bestselling author and journalist. His most recent book is Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, and prior to that wrote The Guardian column titled, “This Column Will Change Your Life.” He writes and publishes a twice monthly email newsletter called “The Imperfectionist.”



Key Topics:

0:00: Introduction

0:55: Oliver’s movement towards “anti-productivity”

2:55: Doing fewer things more purposefully

4:55: The paradoxical notion of perfect efficiency

10:15: The wheel of craving, secondary gains, and grappling with our mortality

15:30: Procrastination and freedom

20:15: The poignancy of limited choice

22:50: Existential crisis, insight, and fulfillment

30:20: Organizing your daily schedule around your top priority

35:55: Frameworks for working within someone else’s schedule

39:45: The allure of middling priorities

41:40: Identifying our wants and needs, and choices that enlarge and diminish us

45:50: Five questions to ask yourself

50:00: Suffering from trying to find a solution, and life not being a ‘prologue’

57:35: Recap

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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