Review: The 4 Hour Working Week by Tim Ferriss

The 4 Hour Working Week by Tim Ferriss is here to help us work less and live more.

Would you like to work less but earn more?  Most people would jump at the chance to spend more time doing what they want, rather than spending more hours in a cubicle or doing a job they feel they have to do in order to make a living.

There is a caveat to this though. Tim Ferriss very early on states that this book isn’t about how to become a multi-millionaire. It’s about working less and earning more. It is a book that highlights how to get more time to live your life the way you want to.

The 4 Hour Working Week is about abandoning the traditional life plan.

Society, for many years, has dictated the way we work. We have all grown-up thinking about the career we are going to embark on that will see us working between 35-80 hours per week in order to achieve our goals. It, therefore, seems absurd that we could achieve a similar outcome in just a few hours each week.

Surely that isn’t achievable. Nothing is that easy.

In The 4 Hour Working Week, Tim Ferriss however, insists that life doesn’t have to be hard. We shouldn’t have to exchange years of our lives in order to enjoy relaxing weekends and a bit of vacation time. Let’s think about it for a minute. If you work 35 hours for 5 days each week that is a large chunk of your waking time do what you feel is necessary in order to live the lifestyle you wish. Of course, there are people out there that really enjoy their job, but surely even those individuals would love to become more effective so that they can spend more time doing alternative things.

People believe that if they work harder for longer they will achieve more both career-wise and personally. People want to experience what they believe only millionaires can buy therefore surely it’s the lifestyle they chase and not the money.

Why do we spend the best years working hoping for happiness after retirement? We need to stop waiting for what we believe will be the best years of our life. We need to stop thinking about working and saving now to enjoy what, we hope, will be a fantastic life later on.

Instead, begin now to think about what you would prefer your work-life balance to look like. Remember, the reality of your situation is negotiable. You can bend it, legally, to help yourself achieve what you want.

Stop living the way you believe you should and start living the life you actually want.

How can The 4 Hour Working Week help with this?

The 4 Hour Working Week has been written to help you:

  • Replace self-defeating assumptions;
  • Eliminate time management assumptions to become more effective;
  • Look at your income growth so you can be more mobile and liberated from your bonds which is what the luxury lifestyle is often about.

When you begin reading this book, some of this will appear impossible but you need to open your mind to new ideas.

Einstein once said:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We are insane to think that continuing to work the same way we have always done will finally achieve the results we strive for. We need to do something different and often thinking outside of the box and moving out of our comfort zones is extremely liberating and makes us far more successful.

Perhaps what we need to do instead, is learn to do something that excites us rather than just doing what we feel will pay the bills each week. We need to stop spending time on things that don’t matter. Start thinking about what quality activities you can undertake to achieve your goals without the extra clutter that is worthless but takes up most of your day.

Stop working for the sake of it; start thinking about your personal freedom.

What Tim Ferriss says you should consider changing?

The main point stressed over and over again in The 4 Hour Working Week is that you need to stop thinking about things in a conventional way.

Do you need to live in your current location? Would you prefer the freedom to live wherever you choose? It may mean that your bills could be cheaper and therefore your outgoings decrease considerably.  This could open up a wealth of new potential in terms of working hours. For example, this could lead to remote working which automatically will give you more time as you will no longer need to commute. 

While thinking about remote working, have you ever considered approaching your current employer to see whether it would be possible to continue in your current role but from a different location? If you are able to highlight that you will be just as productive, if not more so, then surely this is something for them to consider.

Start to think about where there are loopholes to expose.  How can you use them to your advantage? Stop following the crowd. Start to push the boundaries and change your existing working model to benefit you.

Think about:

  1. Waiting for retirement is floored. Most people can’t retire and retain their flexibility to do what they want. This means that your golden years aren’t going to be so golden.
  2. Some careers are impossible to sustain long term. You need to rest to thrive. Why can’t you have many mini-retirements during life, this will make you more productive.
  3. Doing less does not make you lazy. Start instead to focus on personal productivity. Think about how to produce more meaningful results in less time. You need to stop being busy for busy sake and cut out the noise in your working life.  We have been trained to think that we must work 9-5 and fill each and every hour whether we are productive or not. Why waste hours being unproductive, it is not like you are achieving anymore.
  4. Money alone is not the solution. ‘If only I had more money’ is often the excuse not to do things. You need to stop using money as a scapegoat and start thinking about what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.
  5. Not all stress is bad. Distress is harmful; this is to be avoided but stress that stimulates you into doing something is to be embraced.

Ultimately, you need to step out of your comfort zone and try something. Most people will choose to be inactive, and never change what they are doing because they fear failure.  If you continue to feel this way you will never change your working habits. Only you can free yourself from the environment you have created.

If you are nervous about trying something different maybe you need to approach it in another way. Think about what your absolute worst nightmare would be. Try to envisage every element of it. What would the permanent impact of this nightmare be? Then think about what the chances are of this actually happening and how you can prevent it from doing so while still changing elements of your life. Then move on to look at how it can positively impact your life as this will help you to succeed.

“Options are limitless you just need to replace the rules”.

The 4 Hour Working Week by Tim Ferriss is here to make our working lives easier. Who would not want to work less!

Buy Tim Ferriss books here

My Thoughts After Reading Tim Ferriss’ Book

To begin with, when I starting listening to what this guy has done, my BS radar was flying high, but why did I assume it is not true?  Surely some people are just extremely successful. These people are who we need to learn from rather than always being so cynical of.

Fear is the thing that stops us from trying to achieve our goals. We have become conditioned into thinking that we need to follow the crowd and work in a way that is ‘normal’ for all. But what if we were to do something different? Could we really achieve our lifelong goals by thinking outside the box?

So frequently I hear about how entrepreneurs have succeeded against all odds, fighting against the guidelines that society has put in place for us. They have achieved what they set out to so why can’t everyone else?  They are not superhuman, they are simply not afraid of failing. Therefore why do we put things off? It’s the inaction that is causing us to fail, not our inability to do something.

Tim Ferriss says that we need to change our mindset and I think this is something we all need to adopt. For so long we have been taught to think in a certain way, to achieve things in a certain order and to look at success in terms of material gain.

What we need to do is to start thinking for ourselves. What does success look like for you? It is not necessary money-oriented or promotion driven. It could reflect a different way of living or the ability to work less so that you have more free time. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others that appear to be succeeding and start thinking solely about what we want to achieve in life.

It may not be an easy path to follow, but it could be far more rewarding.  If we believe we can do something then in time we will attain our goals.

Don’t underestimate yourself. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, how will others.

For those looking to achieve something new, this is a book that will definitely give you a kick where needed, although you need to remember that simply reading it will not change you. You need to take action and change parts of your life in order to flourish.

Elements of The Four Hour Work Week will resonant with you, while other sections will hold no value what-so-ever. My advice; follow the guidelines highlighted by Tim Ferriss himself, stop wasting time on things that will not help you. Look at the topic heading of each chapter before starting and skip those that hold no relevance for you. You may go back to them at a later date, or they may never be useful. Don’t feel that you need to read this book from cover to cover, instead see it as a working document that may help you in different ways at different times in your life.

Have you read The Four Hour Working Week or listened to any of Tim Ferriss’ podcasts? Perhaps you have discovered other motivational books that would help others achieve their goal in life.

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Want to know the secrets to working less? The 4 Hour Working Week by Tim Ferriss highlights exactly what we need to do to work less and enjoy life more. See a full review via @tbookjunkie for more information

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