The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

by Jessie on August 25, 2010

‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ is a rather idealistic sounding kinda book.  OK definitely idealistic. But before you palm off this book as another one of those obscurely written, theory-based books that seeps out investment-speak- give it a chance! While it may not guarantee six-day weekends, it will deliver ideas and guidance to reducing the workload and gaining maximum finance by thinking and acting smarter.

The book is an inspiring study of time management, business, wealth, goal making, advertising and ‘lifestyle design’, a phrase coined by the author himself.

What stood out to me was that ‘The 4-Hour Work week’ is the real deal. While a lot of financial advice and self-help books maintain a good story, they often offer little more than just that.  Ferriss focuses on the nature of happiness and defines it through its antonym, boredom.

His book is an uplifting philosophy deconstructing many principles that thwart the reaches of our successes. Interestingly, something I had never considered before was a concept that is prevalent in much of his work: Fear. An insightful point Ferriss makes is that fear is usually disguised as optimism – we justify our mundane careers with the hopes that things will improve, yet this is most likely a result of our innate fears to act or to alter our lifestyles. Ferriss describes this fear as a ‘losing’ outlook. Plans need to be executed. We spend far too much time on matters of insignificance yet procrastinate the really important things because they seem tiresome and tedious. This particular point rang true to me.

I found the ‘time management’ chapter particularly important. Ferriss applied the Pareto principle, that is, that we should eliminate 20% of the small factors that are wasting 80% of the time.  He introduces the idea of automation, describing at length the various methods of creating and sustaining successful automatic sources of income.

What I love about this book is that Ferriss almost accidentally encourages the reader to step outside of their microcosmic world and to swallow the fear and conquer a new system, prioritizing tasks and minimizing the distractions that hinder short-term goals.

‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ gave me many business ideas that capitalize on our modern, technological lives. He tells of his positive experiences in hiring a virtual assistant for $4 an hour in India and how useful this has been in multiplying his effectiveness. I cannot wait to try this and until now wasn’t even aware of such things!

While I began this book with eye-rolls and skepticism, it opened my eyes to many opportunities. While it is impossible to properly condense the intricacies of his book into a short summary, this book is loaded with possibilities that are ready to be entertained. This book is effective, as it does not attach itself to a marketing agenda; instead, lifestyle shaping is at the very heart of this book.

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