Stare at the Same Painting for Three Hours to Improve Patience

August 30 2021

Image of Stare at the Same Painting for Three Hours to Improve Patience

Picture: Bodley Head

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Susie Mesure from has written a short piece on the claim that staring at the same painting for three hours can improve patience. The claim is made in Oliver Burkeman's new self-help book Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It who seems to have borrowed it from the art historian Jennifer Roberts at Harvard University.

According to Burkeman:

In a world geared for hurry, the capacity to resist the urge to hurry – to allow things to take the time they take – is a way to gain purchase on the world, to do the work that counts, and to derive satisfaction from the doing itself, instead of deferring all your fulfilment to the future.

I'm sure that this method is well-known amongst the readers of AHN.

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