What We Learned from the Books: “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals and The Midnight Library

Miylie Roan | August 19, 2022

One of the favorite activities of the Lawline team is our quarterly book clubs: One is a “professional development” book and the other is a “fun” book that can be any other genre. 


The professional development book chosen for Q3 was titled “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” by Oliver Burkeman that was presented by Rich Hernandez, our COO. The fun book was “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig presented by Cali Franks, our Program Attorney. We asked Cali and Rich a few questions related to running their book club team discussions and their answers are below:


Cali, why did you choose this book for the book club?

I chose this book because of the interesting topic. With the new popularity of the multiverse (thank you Marvel) - the idea of the premise of this book, different dimensions, is fascinating. This book provides a different view on the idea of multiverses and different dimensions that hits home.

How was your experience leading the session?

This was such a fun book to do a book club on because everyone, at one time in their life or another, can relate to the main character. It is also fun to imagine and dive into the aspects (and the possibility) of a multiverse / different dimensions. 

What is 1 thing you have learned from the book?

One thing I learned from this book was that, despite different paths and walks of life, emotions are universal across people and dimensions. 


Rich, why did you choose this book for the book club?

I had read this book earlier in the year and it had such a profound impact on me. So many books in this category of time management/productivity focus primarily on frameworks and tools, but this book really flipped the focus to be about you, the individual, above all else. This book, instead of trying to reinforce "getting more done", focuses on how to acknowledge and accept that your life (and your time) is finite - and through accepting this fact, we can gain a better relationship with how we prioritize our work (and or lives) to focus on what matter most right now and not get caught up in trying to do it all.

How was your experience leading the session?

Honestly I was a bit nervous because I love this book and wanted to do its message justice while also not oversharing my own thoughts. I had a great experience though and really enjoyed engaging with the team about what resonated with different people and reflecting on how we have implemented learnings (or failed to) from the book.

What is 1 thing you have learned from the book?

Just one?! This book is chock full of good thinking and perspective. But if choosing just one thing to share, something that really continues to resonate with me is the concept of strategic underachievement - being purposeful about deciding in advance what to fail at. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that whether you choose to or not, you're inevitably going to end up underachieving at something. So, you might as well be just as purposeful about what you are not going to be the best at (even if temporarily) both to remove the sting of shame and also to ensure you are kind to yourself and how much you can handle achieving at once!

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