The 4-Hour Workweek book summary

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek is an amazing book written by Tim Ferriss on how working fewer hours a day or week can make you more productive than aimlessly working long hours. He also explains various methods of how to get closer to the goals, than just trying to work for no reason. Here is a short summary of the book.

  • Mindset Surgery: Any rule not set in course by nature or your government can be bent or broken.
  • The life cycle of a typical human: go to school, study hard, get a good job and have a family; continue working, save up for retirement than wait until you die. There is nothing wrong with these arrangements if it’s something you enjoy.
  • But a lot of people become disinterested a few years into their jobs. They just feel like the job is sucking away their lives. They rarely have time for friends, family, or any fun activities. They are stuck.

Outside of science and law, all rules can be bent or broken, and it doesn’t require being unethical.

Tim Ferriss
  • Many people desire to break out of the 9-5 prison, but only a few succeed at it- and it all boiled down to the fear of the unknown, who would want to lose their job if there’s no tangible hope of getting something better on the scales of time and freedom?
  • The world will be a happier place if enough people find the courage to leave jobs they dislike and go on to do what their souls desire.
  • You can move beyond your fears to create the lifestyle you want by setting goals and taking massive action toward achieving them.
  • Timothy Ferriss once had a business that was rewarding financially, but he had to work 15 hours daily that simply sucked his time and freedom.
  • He realized taking a year-long vacation in Europe would help cool his head, but fear of losing his business made him shove away the idea of taking a year-long vacation.
  • Timothy Ferriss noted all the possibilities that could in the scenario of him taking a vacation, his business might crash, he may go broke in a strange country, or even more sinister things could happen.
  • He deeply thought about possible survival strategies and he figured out he could make a living outside of his business.
  • Things would go rough at first, but he could take a mental job and cut down on luxuries such as eating out.
  • He went on a vacation of 15 months, and surprisingly, his business thrived more in his absence. The moral of the story: your fears aren’t always as bad as they seem.
  • If you truly want to live a rich lifestyle, you will have to master the art of overcoming your fears.
  • Is the fear of the unknown limiting you from making a major change in your life and career? Do you really want to change? If yes, pick up a pen and paper, write down all the possible worst-case scenarios as well as the things you can do to overcome them.
  • It also helps to focus on your plan for the future. This will lead you to find inspiration.
  • Ferriss suggests that you set high unrealistic expectations for things you would like to be, do, and have between now at least the next 6 months.
  • After that, begin finding out ways you can bring those things to pass. Draft out a complete plan for manifesting your unrealistic expectations.

There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, ‘Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything, ‘ and an optimist who says, ‘Don’t bother doing anything, its going to turn out the fine way.’ Either way, nothing happens.

Yvan Chouinard
  • Remember, your goals have to be unrealistic. Keeping them realistic is the fastest escape from demotivation.
  • While doing all these, beware of optimistic fears, the refusal to take action, and change your situation in the hope that things will change by themselves over time.
  • For instance, the fact that your job is just uninspiring and not a living hell can be a good excuse to not act, in the hopes that things will change in the near future. This is optimistic fear. what if nothing changes after a year or two?
  • Elimination is the key to productivity – Forget anything that has to do anything with time management. The idea of doing more in less time–has kept many people busy without moving.
  • Don’t get too lost in the idea of filling time with activity, and not accomplishing the most important things at the end of the day.
  • You should be more concerned with being effective than efficient.
  • Efficiency is being busy doing stuff that isn’t necessarily contributing to your grand goal, but when you are effective, every task your complete is moving you toward your goal.
  • For Example, you can be busy replying to emails for 3 hours, when you could easily outsource that at a lower cost and focus on doing more important activities that will lead you to your end goal. Replying to your emails may be a part of your job description, but spending hours on that alone doesn’t make you any more efficient.
  • Wherever you are in your life, productivity is important if NR(New rich) is the goal.

There are two ways you can incorporate into your life to rapidly boost your personal and professional productivity: the 80/20 law and the Parkinson’s law.

A task will swell in (perceived)importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.

Parkinson’s law
  • Distractions at work take up more time than you think. Try staying away from distractions and see how fast you can do your daily tasks.
  • Outsourcing is the lifeblood of the New Rich. Don’t forget the goal is to be in charge of your life and have others working for you while you focus on the activities that matter most to you.
  • Every task must be both time-consuming and well defined before it can be delegated.
  • The Secret of all NRs is building a business around something they love, and keep it simple and automated so they can enjoy doing other things. The goal is not business, but fun.
  • The easiest way to get into business and make tons of money is to find a product you can sell to a particular target market.
  • Being super productive will make it easier to negotiate remote work, but you need something more than productivity.
  • You need a strategy because it’s not always a walk in the park to talk to management into allowing you to work from anywhere in the world. What your company’s management needs to see is how your working from will contribute more to the organization than working from the office.
  • When you’re effective in the workplace, you stand a good chance of negotiating better work conditions.
  • Work is simply a means to living and not the goal itself.
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