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Why Our Obsession With Productivity Is All Wrong With Oliver Burkeman (Video)

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In this 18 April 2024 video from Modern Wisdom, host Chris Williamson has a discussion with Oliver Burkeman, a journalist for The Guardian and an author.

We often find ourselves caught in a productivity spiral, feeling as though we aren’t accomplishing enough and scalding ourselves when we fall short of impossibly high bars. What drives this constant pursuit of perfection? Is it truly beneficial to continuously seek efficiency?

Expect to learn why so many of us have a ruthless obsession with being productive, the problem with trying to optimise efficiency as much as possible, why control is such a point of tension in our lives, what the relationship is between control and emotions, whether there is power in embracing your limitations instead of trying to fix them, why it’s so hard to cut ourselves some slack, how we can make writing less hard and more.

00:00 Why We’re Obsessed With Productivity
07:12 Humans Crave Control Over Their Lives
17:21 Strategies to Relinquish Control
23:47 Why You Need More Self-Compassion
28:33 The Source of Our Inner Tyrants
34:37 Recognising High-Quality Interruptions
39:27 Getting Rid of Fear as a Motivation
48:56 The Benefit of External Accountability
53:44 Accepting that Life is Messy
1:02:24 Oliver’s Work With the BBC
1:08:12 Where to Find Oliver


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