“There is time enough for everything in the course of the day if you do but one thing once; but there is not time enough in the year if you will do two things at a time.”Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
- Capitalist Realism, Mark Fisher: Only 81 pages but an eye-opener. Is common sense re: the economy and your place in it really common sense or have you been taught to think that way?
- Deep Work, Cal Newport: In our current time, with so many opportunities for distraction, shallow thinking and shallow work can prevail, but we can go against the stream and, with work, reclaim our focus.
- Tribe, Sebastian Junger: According to Junger (and the research he cites), in times of war and hardship the rates of suicide and depression in a given country dropped, but in ‘peacetime’ rose again. Why is that? Junger also explores (to use one example) how early settlers in America, who were captured by Native American tribes and were ‘rescued’, ran away to rejoin their supposed ‘captors’. What did these tribes have that were so alluring compared to ‘civilised’ society?
- Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It, Oliver Burkeman: The gist? The average human lifespan is four thousand weeks and there is always more to do than what can be done, especially in a capitalist society, so embrace your limits (even though society doesn’t want you to). In the long run you’ll feel better.
The Kindle Store had a sale a few days ago and, among other things, I bought Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky’s Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day for £1.99. The market for productivity and time-management books is crowded but what makes these guys different is, instead of a rigid and complex productivity system, they offer a simple 4 part time-management framework: Highlight, Laser, Energise, Reflect.
It’s easy to assume we manage our time only to be more productive (because that’s what everybody else is doing!) but, like so many others, Jake and John remind us that the highlight of our day doesn’t always have to be work:
“Make Time is not about productivity. It’s not about getting more done, finishing your to-dos faster, or outsourcing your life. Instead, it’s a framework designed to help you actually create more time in your day for the things you care about, whether that’s spending time with your family, learning a language, starting a side business, volunteering, writing a novel, or mastering Mario Kart.”Knapp, Jake; Zeratsky, John. Make Time (p. 3). Transworld. Kindle Edition.