Organization and Productivity for Creative Types with Oliver Burkeman of The Guardian


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Date: Thursday, July 12
Time: 8:00
Admission: $10 (tickets at the door)
Produced by Morbid Anatomy

Do you hunger to climb the corporate ladder with ruthless efficiency, leaving your rivals in the dust as you pursue your relentless quest for wealth and power? Hopefully not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow some tactics from such people and apply them to your own ends; to that end, this talk– by Oliver Burkeman, compulsive to-do-list-maker and journalist for London’s Guardian–will teach creatives, freelancers, and artists how to plan and manage multiple projects, better plan their time, and, in general, feel less overwhelmed by juggling a variety of projects at one time.

Burkeman has spent much of the last few years researching and reporting on self-help culture, including the fascinating history of the “how to succeed” publishing genre, and motivational gurus from Dale Carnegie to Stephen Covey, and sifting the wheat from the chaff. (There’s a lot of chaff.) Drawing on this research, this talk will explore some fundamental principles of getting organized, managing multiple projects, overcoming procrastination, time management, and being both more productive and less stressed in the kinds of sprawling artistic/creative/freelance lives that don’t get much attention in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. No cringe-inducing motivational speeches will be given; no Magic Systems for Instant Success will be promoted. Instead, we’ll plunder from the world of the grinning gurus the bits that actually work – so that you’ll leave equipped with a toolkit of immediately usable ways to do the stuff you’re already doing, and the projects you’re planning, with greater efficiency and ease.

Please note: This event is a lecture adaptation of a recent popular Observatory class by the same name.

Oliver Burkeman in a writer based in Brooklyn with an unhealthy interest in filing systems. He writes features and a weekly column on psychology for the (London) Guardian. His book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking will be published by Faber & Faber in the fall.

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