—Systemic change begins with personal change—

696: Oliver Burkeman, part 1.5: Removing Obstacles, not Making Arguments


How do you feel when you mean to do something but don't do it. Do you tell people about it? Do you hide it? Nearly no one is acting as much on sustainability as we need to to avoid disaster. Beyond not acting, we aren't facing our inaction. How do you think a globally recognized productivity guy would feel and if he didn't yet do what he said he would? I've talked to people who have loved Oliver's book and columns. I think many would both be surprised if he didn't do something he said he would and would feel bad if they didn't do something they said they would. I love his writing. I consider his views on time and values new and valuable. Others share my views. But he's human, like all of us. I think the sustainability movement would benefit from more up front acknowledging our fallibility but not give up or rationalize and justify inaction. We benefit from learning from out mistakes and keeping going. In this episode, we'll hear how Oliver handles not doing a commitment but not hiding it, complaining, rationalizing, justifying, or giving up. We also cover the behind-the-scenes of writing his book, developing his views, and living them. We also continue the parallel between his views on time and mine on energy.

691: Oliver Burkeman, part 1.5: Embracing Our Inevitable Limitations on Time and Energy


I've been recommending Oliver's book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals a lot. When people ask about it, I have a hard time explaining what it says, only that it's valuable. He has a way of communicating important things about values, time, intent, decision, and related concepts that are hard to express otherwise. In this conversation he shares more. One thing I can express that I value: what he says about time parallels what I say about energy, specifically energy as physicists describe it, not emotional energy. We don't have infinite amounts of time or energy. If we see life as missing out on what we lack time or energy for, we'll crave what we lack. We'll be insecure. If instead, we recognize we don't have time or energy to do everything we'd enjoy, we can construct the lives we want, which will be abundant. Being an episode 1.5 means he only started doing the commitment from last time, but is gracious enough and a leader enough to share, regroup, and if we can find another way forward. I bring leaders to sustainability because they have learned not to hide vulnerabilities, at least not all of them.

674: Oliver Burkeman, part 1: Time Management and Sustainability for Mortals


Oliver's book Four Thousand Weeks deserves the incredible praise it gets. I've recommended it to many friends and can't for the life of me put into words how he refines and changes how I look at time, priorities, how to choose what to do, why, and how to feel about it. The best I can come up with is that instead of worrying what I'm missing or craving doing what I can't, which leads to a life of feeling like I'm missing out and scarcity, it leads me to construct and build, which makes me feel abundant. I can enjoy what I am doing instead of missing what I'm not. It forces me to think deeper questions than just what would increase my productivity. Productivity doesn't help if I'm pointed in the wrong direction. His views resonate with me because I've transformed similarly in how I look at consuming natural resources. Stopping flying, for example, led me from craving visiting places I heard of to realizing the best I can do is enjoy where I am with whom I am as much as possible. The result: I get the life value I wanted without polluting. If I do travel, things I would have disdainfully dismissed as small, like biking somewhere and camping overnight bring me more value than trips I flew to. I think it's fair to say we connected meaningfully and learned from each other. Listen to hear for yourself, but I think the Spodek Method resonated with Oliver more than most.

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