The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss   

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 24 Aug, 2016

Bits and bobs

Pic from

The author, Timothy Ferriss is the author of the mega-best-selling 4-Hour series of self-help books ( The 4-Hour Workweek , The 4-Hour Body , The 4-Hour Chef ), which have made him something of a celebrity among the entrepreneurial set for a focus on maximising results while minimising time spent. There's one idea that ties his three books together, continuous self-improvement

In this book, his first and most famous, he makes a lot of bold claims, such as: “How do you create a hands-off business that generates $80,000 per month with no management? It’s all here.”

Ferriss does make a lot of bold promises, and some of the details along the way do read a bit funny ( to me). He started a business of his own going from working 40 hours a week for somebody else to working 80 hours a week for himself.

After learning about the 80-20 Principle he had a revelation:

80 percent of your productivity comes from 20 percent of your efforts, and likewise, 80 percent of your wasted time comes from 20 percent of the possible causes. So eliminate the 20-percent time wasters, and spend as much energy as possible on the productive 20 percent. Ferriss's favorite example of acting on this phenomenon comes from his BrainQuicken days, when he realized two customers were the source of nearly all of his work stress, and the effect was carrying over into his personal life. He read those customers the " riot act" . One reformed. The other Ferriss fired. Immediately, he had more time for his healthier business relationships, and his bottom line grew.

This principle allows you to identify the customers you really want to work with. If you never engage in the process, it's very difficult to have such a crisp definition of the kinds of people you're looking

He then streamlined his business, eliminating distractions and automating systems until it was not only more profitable, but also took less of his time. Much  less; he took a “mini-retirement”, and then decided to write a book about “lifestyle design”, about creating a life that balances work and play, maximising the positives of both.  

The 4-Hour Workweek  explores the components to lifestyle design:

  • Define your objectives.
  • Eliminate distractions to free up time. Learn to be effective, not efficient.
  • Automate your cash flow to increase income. Outsource your life
  • Liberate yourself from traditional expectations. Design your job to increase mobility.

I believe there's a disconnect between most ambitious entrepreneurs and the audience Ferriss seems to target in The 4-Hour Workweek . The book is about, and for, people who dislike what their work has done to their lives. For me ambitious entrepreneur make their passion work and work doesn't feel like work but fun.

However, even if you don't agree with what he says in its entirety, there are many tips and tricks that can be extracted and used to optimise your life, for example:

  • "If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?”- good question
  • Why it’s more productive to carry around a written to-do list than to keep one on your computer.
  • Learn the art of non-finishing.
  • How to be more efficient with e-mail.
  • How to reduce clutter from your life.
  • If you can’t define it or act upon it, forget it.
  • Life exists to be enjoyed — the most important thing is to feel good about yourself.
  • The value of a virtual assistant. I think that most people can draw something useful from it.

Read it and let me know what you think.

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Tanti Auguri di Felice Anno Nuovo 2018
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and lucky 2018


Laura xxx
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