Create out loud

with Jennifer Louden

21 | Oliver Burkeman On Accepting and Embracing Creative Limitations

Show Notes

In the first episode of Season 2, I connect with Oliver Burkeman over our complicated relationship with the term “self-help,” discuss how we can maximize our creative time, and explore how understanding our own limits can make us feel limitless in our creativity.

Oliver’s work has meant a lot to me over the years. It’s helped me move out of some of my time anxiety, embrace the truth that we can’t do it all, and find peace with the finitude of my life.

We dive in deep, right from the start, exploring the possibility that his work can be interpreted nihilistically. If we can’t get it all done, why bother?

In this episode:

A conversation about accepting and embracing creative limitations with Oliver Burkeman, New York Times and The Sunday Times bestselling author of The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Help! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, as well as a long-running column for the Guardian, This Column Will Change Your Life, and twice-monthly email The Imperfectionist.

  • How Oliver avoids nihilism in his approach to time management (2:47)
  • Ways to settle into our work and our creativity (6:15)
  • Giving ourselves permission to evolve as creatives (7:18)
  • Guidance for establishing creative parameters around our material (11:02)
  • Learning how we can accept ourselves as creatives (16:48)
  • How to avoid boxing ourselves into a creative identity (21:08)
  • Helping our creativity by actively being present (27:31)

Helpful resources mentioned in the episode:

Oliver’s website
Oliver’s Twitter
Oliver Burkeman’s last column: the eight secrets to a (fairly) fulfilled life
Anne-Laure Le Cunff: Releasing Creative Anxiety

Visit to get instant access to a collection of audios that will

  • help you with some of the most common struggles we creatives have to manage including fear of choosing,
  • falling into compare and despair, managing the inner critic (s),
  • and feeling too exposed and vulnerable when you put yourself or your work into the world.

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