How has your life improved from the “4-Hour Work Week”?
Hi, there are many things that the 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW) teaches, most of which have improved my life. While discussing 4HWW on any platform, I always say that it has been a life-changer for me.
Out of many principles that it teaches, the principle of anti-productivity, or effectiveness, I like the most. Today, people understand the concept of productivity and efficiency as getting more work done per day, thereby earning more, increasing the chance of getting promoted, etc. Ferriss has a much simpler concept. Instead of brutally optimizing every inch of your waking hours and turning into a efficiency/productivity robot, focus on what is most effective at making money. So his principle for productivity is not “get more work done in less time” but “work less for more money“.
This single shift in expectations has improved my life a lot over the years. Let’s discuss more.
The book was first published in 2007, but even in 2020, the book is in the list of top books on productivity. In 4HWW, Tim gives the exact blueprint for growing a business faster, making more money in a job, and managing available time (in a smart way) for creating a dream lifestyle and achieving financial freedom.
The principle behind escaping nine to five typical office routines and working for four hours a week has been presented very well, and it shows that such a thing really is possible, even for someone who works full time and could never have imagined such a lifestyle. The book suggests actionable tips on getting there. I have been successful in implementing most of those, since the book is pretty broad in its relevance to other people. There are very few people out there who want more money and free time that wouldn’t benefit from at least something in those chapters.
There are four major steps that 4-hour workweek is based around: DEAL. The book has several chapters for each letter in this acronym, which means Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation. I benefitted a lot from DEAL, because it was easy to take in and revitalize old ideas I already knew, while better contextualizing and understanding why other, newer ones to me were so important. For instance, I already understood the importance of Elimination concepts for the most part, but in the context of Definition first and Automation afterward, these ideas combine in an incredibly powerful way.
Another thing that has improved my life is Pareto’s principle. Also known as the 80-20 rule, it means 20% of your effort gives 80% of your results. The idea is to observe your entire workload and see what’s effective, versus that other 80% where you waste most of your time. After learning that, I started observing my effectiveness points in almost all my official tasks. For example, while beginning a typical day at work, the first task that used to be for me, was to check my inboxes for emails. I realized that’s a pretty small task. I also realized that anything truly important was going to come to me directly, in-person. There was nothing to lose by not checking email until later in the day while I had a minute. I simply created an unnecessary roadblock in my mind that before I could do my most pressing task, I had to know there were no new emails in my inbox.
I also learned that, while I did have some important emails that came in, they weren’t anything that couldn’t wait 24 hours. Nowadays I understand that there really are no urgent emails in work. If someone has an emergency, they’ll call you, or get someone to call you on their behalf. I started replying much shorter emails to clients, even if they sent very long emails. I wasn’t rude, but I wanted to save time and get my daily email checking done in 5 minutes or less. There were no negative effects like I was fearing. Nobody called me rude for writing shorter emails, in fact clients respected me more, because my short messages gave off the air of someone who has stuff to do and isn’t there to be their pen pal.
That’s just one example, and you can apply the 80-20 rule to almost anything, especially whatever literally makes you money. Focus on the 20 percent of clients that make you the most money and get more clients like that, letting go of the less profitable ones. Etc.
Well, I have a lot to say in the praise of 4HWW. Almost every part of it has improved my life. That may sound like exaggerating, but that’s reality. It’s worth mentioning here that I have discovered some shortcomings in the book too. It’s not the newest book on the subject, of course, and some of the web links are dead now. If you’re not a fan of wacky stories, the book might get on your nerves a little too, although I enjoyed that aspect of it, getting to see what kind of crazy life Tim leads because of financial freedom.
By the way, I have discussed my honest review of 4HWW on my website. If you are interested, check it out through this link.
In conclusion, 4HWW is a must-read and one of the best books on entrepreneurship I have read so far. To be clear, it’s not the only one, and no book is the be-all-end-all perfect guide to getting rich or taking your business to the next level, but yes, many books on entrepreneurship draw inspiration from it. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and more relevant than ever these days.
Please feel free to reply to me if you need any clarification.