Nadav Spiegelman

Four Thousand Weeks

Author
Oliver Burkeman
My last highlight
2022-12-13
Number of highlights
5

My Highlights

In the modern world, the American anthropologist Edward T. Hall once pointed out, time feels like an unstoppable conveyor belt, bringing us new tasks as fast as we can dispatch the old ones; and becoming “more productive” just seems to cause the belt to speed up
pace with the speed at which life now seems to move. “The spirit of the times is one of joyless urgency,” writes the essayist Marilynne Robinson, who observes that many of us
The spirit of the times is one of joyless urgency,” writes the essayist Marilynne Robinson, who observes that many of us spend our lives “preparing ourselves and our children to be means to inscrutable ends that are utterly not our own.” Our struggle to stay on top of everything may serve someone’s interests; working longer hours—and using any extra income to buy more consumer goods—turns us into better cogs in the economic machine. But it doesn’t result in peace of mind, or lead us to spend more of our finite time on those people and things we care most deeply about ourselves.
The spirit of the times is one of joyless urgency,” writes the essayist Marilynne Robinson, who observes that many of us spend our lives “preparing ourselves and our children to be means to inscrutable ends that are utterly not our own.” Our struggle to stay on top of everything may serve someone’s interests; working longer hours—and using any extra income to buy more consumer goods—turns us into better cogs in the economic machine. But it doesn’t result in peace of mind, or lead us to spend more of our finite time on those
There was no anxious pressure to “get everything done,” either, because a farmer’s work is infinite: there will always be another milking and another harvest, forever, so there’s no sense in racing toward some hypothetical moment of completion. Historians call this way of living “task orientation,” because the rhythms of life emerge organically from the tasks themselves, rather than from being lined up against an abstract timeline, the approach that has become second nature for us today.