# Four Thousand Weeks ![rw-book-cover](https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71udc7ZQtVL._SY160.jpg) ## Metadata - Author: [[Oliver Burkeman]] - Full Title: Four Thousand Weeks - Category: #books - Notes: [[Four Thousand Weeks - Notes]] ## Highlights - 1. Where in your life or your work are you currendy pursuing comfort, when what's called for is a little discomfort? (Page 220) - Tags: [[reflection]] - 2. Are you holding yourself to, and judging yourself by, standards of productivity or performance that are impossible to meet? (Page 221) - Tags: [[coaching]] [[reflection]] - 3. In what ways have you yet to accept the fact that you are who you are, not the person you think you ought to be? (Page 222) - Tags: [[reflection]] - 4. In which areas of life are you still holding back until you feel like you know what you're doing? (Page 224) - Tags: [[coaching]] [[reflection]] - 5. How would you spend your days differently if you didn't care so much about seeing your actions reach fruition? (Page 226) - Tags: [[reflection]] ### Appendix: Ten Tools for Embracing Your Finitude #### 1. Adopt a "fixed volume" approach to productivity. - Note: see also: [[Lean Software Development]] - keep two to-do lists, one "open" and one "closed." (Page 236) - establish predetermined time boundaries for your daily work. (Page 236) - Note: see also: [[Digital Minimalism]] and Deep Work #### 2. Serialize, serialize, serialize. - focus on one big project at a time (Page 237) - Note: see also: [[Lean Software Development]] #### 3. Decide in advance what to fail at. - strategic underachievement—that is, nominating in advance whole areas of life in which you wont expect excellence of yourself (Page 237) - fail on a cyclical basis: to aim to do the bare minimum….Then switch your energies to whatever you were neglecting. (Page 238) #### 4. Focus on what you’ve already completed, not just on whať's left to complete. - keep a "done list," which starts empty first thing in the morning, and which you then gradually fill with whatever you accomplish through the day. (Page 239) #### 5. Consolidate your caring. - consciously pick your battles in charity, activism, and politics (Page 240) #### 6. Embrace boring and single-purpose technology. - [make] your devices as boring as possible—first by removing social media apps, even email if you dare, and then by switching the screen from color to grayscale. (Page 240) - Note: see also: [[Digital Minimalism]] - choose devices with only one purpose (Page 241) - Note: see also: [[Digital Minimalism]] #### 7. Seek out novelty in the mundane. - pay more [[attention]] to every moment, however mundane: to find novelty not by doing radically different things but by plunging more deeply into the life you already have. (Page 242) - Tags: [[curious]] [[attention]] - Meditation helps here. But so does going on unplanned walks to see where they lead using a different route to get to work, taking up photography or birdwatching or nature drawing or journaling, playing “I Spy" with a child: anything that draws your [[attention]] more fully into what you're doing in the eery 'nou, present. (Page 242) - Tags: [[curious]] [[attention]] #### 8. Be a "researcher" in relationships. - when presented with a challenging or boring moment, try deliberately adopting an attitude of curiosity, in which your goal isn't to achieve any particular outcome, or successfully explain your position, but, as Hobson puts it, "to figure out who this human being is that we're with." (Page 242) - Tags: [[curious]] #### 9. Cultivate instantaneous generosity. - whenever a generous impulse arises in your mind…act on the impulse right away (Page 243) #### 10. Practice doing nothing. - "Do Nothing" meditation, for which the instructions are to simply set a timer, probably only for five or ten minutes at first; sit down in a chair, and then stop trying to do anything. Every time you notice you're doing something—including thinking, or focusing on your breathing, or anything else—stop doing it. (If you notice you're criticizing yourself inwardly for doing things, well, that's a thought, too, so stop doing that.) Keep on stopping until the timer goes off. (Page 245) - Note: see also: How to Do Nothing