On Time and Trade-offs
Every choice is a trade-off
By far the best book I read this year was Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. It’s a meditation on our belief that we can do it all, even when we’re bound by the constraints of a finite amount of time in a life. For too long, I’ve been convinced that the way to resolve the tension between the finitude of our days and the boundless ambition of my mind is to find hacks and optimizations: to get faster and more effective so I can bust through the trade-offs and attempt to achieve it all. But Burkeman grounds us in the four thousand weeks of an average lifetime, and gently nudges us to accept the inevitability that we will never be able to do it all.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, every choice is a trade-off. We cannot have both. Accepting this allows us to step out of the constant games of optimizations and into the peculiar timelessness of moving with full attention from one moment to the next.