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  • Published: 17 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847924025
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $38.00

Four Thousand Weeks

Time and How to Use It




The average human lifespan is absurdly, outrageously, insultingly brief: if you live to 80, you have about four thousand weeks on earth. That’s a pretty good argument for spending less time on Twitter.

Of course, nobody needs telling that there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed by our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, the ceaseless struggle against distraction, and the sense that our attention spans are shrivelling. Yet we rarely make the conscious connection that these problems of time management only trouble us in the first place thanks to the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.

Four Thousand Weeks is a travelogue about this idea, combining first-person reportage and historical storytelling with excursions into philosophy, literature and psychology, and covering the past, present and future of our battles with time. It’s a book that goes beyond practical tips to transform the reader’s worldview.

Burkeman sets out on an unashamedly philosophical exploration of time and our relationship with it. Drawing on the insights of ancient philosophers, Benedictine monks, artists and authors, Scandinavian social reformers, renegade Buddhist technologists and many others, he sets out to realign our relationship with time – and in doing so, liberate us from its grasp.

  • Published: 17 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847924025
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $38.00

About the author

Oliver Burkeman

Oliver Burkeman is an award-winning feature writer for the Guardian. He writes a popular weekly column on psychology, ‘This Column Will Change Your Life’, and has reported from London, Washington and New York.

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