📚 Book Recommendation: 4000 Weeks - Time Management for Mortals

Andrew Lapidus
Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster Posts: 412 Community Admin
edited November 2022 in Community Café

Hi all! 👋 I wanted to try something a bit new here: I recently read a book on productivity and time management that I can't help but share with our community.

It's called "4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals" by Oliver Burkeman (German: 4000 Wochen: Das Leben ist zu kurz für Zeitmanagement)

I may not fully agree with 100% of the author's ideas, but I found his take on real-life productivity and "work-life balance" completely original, refreshing, and fascinating. To me, the book definitely belongs in any list of the classics of productivity self help!

A couple of the ideas I found really interesting:

"Facing Finitude"

The main overarching theme of the book is to take a classic goal of productivity and turn it on its head: Instead of providing productivity hacks to get everything done and reach the mythic status of "inbox zero", the author coaches us to "face finitude" and recognize that the modern inbox is never empty. According to the author, the true key to productivity is recognizing this inability to get things done and learn to prioritize by "saying no".

Work-Life Balance

Maybe the most interesting part of the book was the author's deep dive into what "work-life balance" really is: Once we embrace the idea of not getting it all done and prioritizing our choices, the line between work life and personal life becomes blurred forever. In the end, being "productive" is actually about choosing to spend time wisely - this applies to work, friends, family, and any activity!

I'm not totally sure I agree with the everything in the book - personally, I am a huge productivity nerd who's always down to read the next lifehack. But I am definitely struck by how often prioritization and wise choices about how to spend our time is neglected in the mad rush to just GET IT DONE.

___

Anyways, this book has gotten me thinking about classic books in productivity. Since we've got so many experts in our community, I'd be interested to hear the books and resources you've found to be most useful and inspirational in your journey to true productivity. Let me know in the comments!

Comments

  • Andrew Lapidus
    Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster Posts: 412 Community Admin

    @Andres D'Andrea already shared some Kanban resources here, but I also wanted to tag some of our resident productivity experts: @Jörg Koper and @Cathy Fanning, what books on time management/digitalization/productivity have been the most influential on your journeys?

  • Jörg Koper
    Jörg Koper Consultant & Coach Hannover & HamburgMember, DACH Partner Posts: 330 Mastermind
    edited October 2022

    Hey @Andrew Lapidus, thanks for mentioning me 🙂

    I've been very impressed by this book too. It's a great inspiration. I personally had to deal with the issue of self-management at an early age. Starting in the military, then by becoming self-employed and especially when working with industrial business teams.

    As a result of my meditation practice of over 30 years, learned from a tibetan monk, I have developed my own life balance project a few years ago. In my opinion we have to deal with all parts of life as one. We have to bring ourselfs in the right position, not the things, we're surrounded of.

    So, I totally agree with Oliver Burkeman in most parts of his book, but I do like the book "Getting Things Done" of David Allen and "The one minute Manager" of Kenneth Blanchard as well. The German author and Neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer wrote some very good books too. And I can recommand the German Book "Human Digital Work" from the authors Sebastian Wörwag and Alexandra Cloots.

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MindMeister und MeisterNote gerne weiter.


    Weitere Informationen findest du auf agenturkoper.de

  • Jörg Koper
    Jörg Koper Consultant & Coach Hannover & HamburgMember, DACH Partner Posts: 330 Mastermind


    I'd like to recommand a few more books which are also worth to be mentioned:

    • Effortless (Greg McKeown)
    • Essentialism (Greg McKeown)
    • Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager (Ken Blanchard)
    • 24:7 Zeitmanagement (Tim Reichel)
    • Das anständige Unternehmen (Reinhard K. Sprenger)


    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MindMeister und MeisterNote gerne weiter.


    Weitere Informationen findest du auf agenturkoper.de

  • Cathy Fanning
    Cathy Fanning Director Melbourne, AustraliaMember, International Partner Posts: 51 Star Contributor

    Thanks @Jörg Koper 😊

    Regards

    Cathy Fanning

    www.thetemporaryalternative.com.au

  • Andrew Lapidus
    Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster Posts: 412 Community Admin

    Super interesting to hear about your meditation practice @Jörg Koper - I actually first heard about Burkeman's book via a podcast about meditation! I've been meditating for about three years now, so I'm much more of a beginner than you (congrats on 30 years! 🤯) but even with my limited experience, I've found mindfulness to be extremely relevant to time management and the focus I bring to work and life more generally.

    I was also very much influenced by Getting Things Done, although I've recently been drifting away from implementing it in MeisterTask (see this thread).

    And @Cathy Fanning - I've ALWAYS been curious about reading the 7 Habits, but hadn't heard about Eat the Frog - just did a bit of a deep dive and I'm very intrigued!

  • Jörg Koper
    Jörg Koper Consultant & Coach Hannover & HamburgMember, DACH Partner Posts: 330 Mastermind

    Hi @Andrew Lapidus, 30 years of meditating pass by so fast when it becomes part of the daily life experiance 😉 You can practice in nearly every situation. It's not dependent on times or rituals. In the 90's I even meditated together with my flight instructor while I was flying the airplane on sunset above the clouds (please never try this in normal road traffic) 😋

    The thread you've mentioned is great and I can only confirm what @Andres D'Andrea described. I have also set up the agenda for my main focus when I started to work with MeisterTask.

    We all know that it's important to take a holistic perspective on each project and then to aligne it accordingly on the most important work steps...and of course MeisterTask is the ideal tool for this process. Especially related to the Kanban method.

    For all those who want to learn more about the Kanban method, I recommend the beautiful book "Kanban", written by Mike Burrows (german version).

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MindMeister und MeisterNote gerne weiter.


    Weitere Informationen findest du auf agenturkoper.de

  • Emily
    Emily Member Posts: 78 Star Contributor

    Wow @Jörg Koper each of your posts blows my mind further 😁. Meditating on an airplane...what a life!

  • Jörg Koper
    Jörg Koper Consultant & Coach Hannover & HamburgMember, DACH Partner Posts: 330 Mastermind
    edited October 2022

    Hi @Emily those were the 90's...long time ago and sometimes very crazy as well 😎😅

    ...today i prefer to walk in the Highlands of Scotland and of course to meditate in this beautiful nature too 😉

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MindMeister und MeisterNote gerne weiter.


    Weitere Informationen findest du auf agenturkoper.de

  • Andrew Lapidus
    Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster Posts: 412 Community Admin

    @Jörg Koper What an incredible story 😁 I am super intrigued at how mindfulness and productivity can complement each other in such new and holistic ways. As meditation grows in popularity, I definitely feel like this will be a major area of discovery in workplaces in the next few years.

    Thanks all for the recommendations - I've just picked up "One Minute Manager" (Blanchard) and "Essentialism" (McKeown) 😁 Excited to see what they bring!

  • Andres D'Andrea
    Andres D'Andrea Digital Solutions Architect Worldwide Availability In English Or SpanishMember, International Partner Posts: 167 Mastermind

    "I even meditated together with my flight instructor while I was flying the airplane on sunset above the clouds ..."

    @Jörg Koper I'm intrigued to know if you were flying IFR or VFR during those times. I hope IFR 😅

    I got involved in several projects the last 4 weeks and certainly missed this great discussion.

    Thanks for the wonderful book suggestions @Jörg Koper , @Cathy Fanning , and @Andrew Lapidus , I've got new stuff to read.

    Best regards.

    Follow me on LinkedIn and:

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  • Jörg Koper
    Jörg Koper Consultant & Coach Hannover & HamburgMember, DACH Partner Posts: 330 Mastermind
    edited November 2022

    Hey @Andres D'Andrea 👋🙂

    We've meditated with open eyes to enjoy the sunset...and I flew of course with an eye on the instruments and the surrounding area. Let's call it mindful VFR flying 😊

    I hope you have fun with the new reading 😉

    Best regards

    Jörg

    Als Experten-Partner von Meister führe ich in meiner Agentur u. a. Workshops für die Integration der Meister Software durch. Hier in der Community freue ich mich auf den Austausch mit Euch und helfe bei Fragen zu MeisterTask, MindMeister und MeisterNote gerne weiter.


    Weitere Informationen findest du auf agenturkoper.de