Book Review – The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek is one I picked up later on in my journey when I started refocusing from paying off debt and building wealth to doing what I’m passionate about without having to worry about how I would pay the bills.

I normally go through a book then write out pointers when I’ve finished reading but this time, I did things differently. 

I took notes throughout the reading on my huge flip chart and had 3 sheets of this when I was done; that was how profound of an effect the book had on me.

Like The Automatic Millionaire, the name makes the book sound like you’ll learn how to make a lot of money for doing almost nothing.

The first time I heard about the book, my initial thought was, “Yeah, right.” However, the truth is far removed from this.

I believe a lot of people will identify with Timothy Ferriss in the first few chapters of the book.

He described his experience working at a job that sucked everything out of him over 40 hours a week.

The entire book revolves around the 80-20 principle i.e. 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your time, and the other 20% of your productivity eats up 80% of your time.

In simpler terms, if you eliminate the 20% productivity which consumes 80% of your time, you will be able to live a more efficient life.

The 4-Hour Workweek commences with an FAQ for doubters followed by his story and why you need the book.

He has done some pretty interesting things like becoming a tango and kick-boxing champion although the mode he used to win is debatable.

The book is subsequently broken down into 4 steps, which will help you to reinvent yourself:-

Reinvent Yourself with the 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich

4-Hour Workweek Step 1 – D for Definition

The section advises the eradication of the working till 65 to retire and then finally have some free time mentality, and urges you to define the things you want and set goals for them.

This step also discusses the amount of your time your exchange for money, a concept also discussed in Your Money or Your Life.

4-Hour Workweek Step 2 – E for Elimination

This section introduces the first of the lifestyle design ingredients – time, and outlines techniques you can use to manage your time and be more effective while working.

I tried to practice a few things from this chapter while I was with my previous company such as checking emails twice a day and declining meetings without a clear agenda.

My boss shut me down on both counts and insisted I check my emails every hour. When I attended meetings without a clear agenda, the directionless ranting went on for hours.

Reinvent Yourself with the 4-Hour Workweek

I no longer work there, and currently, practice a lot of these in my business. The tips in this chapter are invaluable and can help increase your productivity by over 70%.

4-Hour Workweek Step 3 – A is for Automation

We are introduced to the second lifestyle design ingredient – income. In my opinion, the tips outlined in this section aren’t something the average person will be able to implement.

However, there are still some valuable nuggets about outsourcing and putting things on autopilot.

4-Hour Workweek Step 4 – L is for Liberation

This part discusses taking mini-retirement breaks over your life instead of waiting until after the end of your career.

It also suggests becoming location independent instead of being chained to a desk 5 days a week and achieving the final ingredient for lifestyle design – mobility.

In case you missed it, the first letter of each step discussed above spells out DEAL.

Timothy Ferriss claims this is the process involved in becoming a member of the New Rich – those who use time and mobility to create the life they want to live now rather than wait till retirement.

The final part of the book offers several posts from his blog, more tips, and case studies from people who have successfully achieved the 4-hour workweek.

Final Word on the Book

4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich is an enjoyable read but I wouldn’t advise implementing everything you read word for word.

Identify what applies to you and adapt it to your situation with the final goal being – living the life you want now rather than some distant time in the future when your career ends.

Overall, I give 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich 4/5 and recommend it even if you are happy with your regular job.

The expanded and updated version of 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich is available HERE.

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