#115: The Resilient Surgeon: Oliver Burkeman

November 29, 2021

In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews British journalist and best-selling author Oliver Burkeman. How can we make the most of our finite lives in a world of impossible demands and relentless distraction? This intriguing conversation reveals profound insights on how to make the best use of time—our scarcest and most precious resource. A recovering productivity geek, Oliver lends his expertise about what brings value and meaning to our lives and how this intersects with the “tsunami” of the modern world. He challenges listeners to change their way of looking at and thinking about time. Stop trying to “clear the decks before you move on to the important stuff because the decks will never be clear,” he advises. Oliver also describes a linear notion of time, comparing time to a conveyor belt with “various containers going by and we have to fill the containers.” But beware—getting more done can be just a way of inviting more to do, and this productivity pressure often turns into a chronic sense of urgency. According to Oliver, we need to rethink our worship of efficiency and give up attempts to “be infinite and limitless.” Hear how to reconfigure life around what truly matters. “The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.

Oliver can be reached at oliverburkeman.com and @oliverburkeman

Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.