The 4-Hour Workweek is the manifestation of a fresh and better worldview, a deeply transformative shift that is the antithesis of some of the most entrenched and pervasive assumptions of modern society about the way life is and will be.
Tim Ferriss has sold more than 1.3 million copies of his book and spent seven years on the New York Times bestseller list. His blog and podcast have both ranked #1 in the world in their categories. Tim has also been an investor or advisor for Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Evernote, Shopify, Duolingo, and Alibaba.
First and foremost
To leverage the techniques in this book, you don’t have to quit your job or be a risk-taker, young, or single. Instead of passively accepting things for the way they are, be a dealmaker. This book is about having a lifestyle of complete freedom without having a million dollars. Real wealth comes from time and mobility, as well as money, and those who have learned to build these dual additional currencies have become the “New Rich,” he says. The framework for most of this book is structured under the acronym “DEAL”: Forget time management; learn to ignore the unimportant. The author shares the up-and-down journey and “lucky” breaks of his life in the book, which he calls a “brave” chronology of his own life, which I respect tremendously for its boldness.
Step I: D is for Definition
Chapter 1: Cautions and Comparisons: How to Burn $1,000,000 a Night
Tim sees being financially rich and being able to live like a millionaire as two profoundly different things. What we want isn’t money; it’s the power to do what we want with our lives, he writes. Money is multiplied in practical (or “lifestyle”) value if you can control what you do, when you do it, where you do It, and with whom you doit. “Do that which excites you is. New Rich” is the subtitle of a new book by author Tim Stanley. The book is called “The New Rich: How to Live the Life You Want”
Chapter 2: Rules that Change the Rules: Everything Popular Is Wrong
Tim started making all his calls only from 8:00 – 8:30 and 6:00 – 6:30, which netted him twice the number of meetings than the people who made calls all day long from 9 – 5.
In this chapter, Tim presents ten ways that you need to redefine and solve life in order to leverage this principle.
Retirement is worst-case scenario insurance.The whole concept of retirement is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you’re doing during the most physically capable years of your life, which is a terrible and completely unacceptable reality.
To be honest, building up enough capital to sustain a retirement above the poverty level is a mathematical impossibility for most people, given the realities of today’s market.
Only incredibly ambitious and hard-working individuals could ever reach such a goal, and if you’re that type, are you really going to want to sit around and do nothing?
You’ll probably want to get another job – so why did you wait all those years?
Interest and energy are cyclical.The key to thriving is alternating periods of work and rest, and that principle holds true at the career level.
By distributing “mini-retirements” throughout life, you not only have a more enjoyable life, but you are also more productive when you work.
Less is not laziness.Our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice over personal effectiveness, but the New Rich measure their contribution in results, not time.
Laziness isn’t working less; laziness is letting circumstances define your life for you, or “passing through life like a spectator from an office window.”
The timing is never right.Forget the pro/con list; whatever it is that you want to do someday, just do it now.
Ask for forgiveness, not permission.People will deny things on an emotional basis that they’ll actually accept after you’ve already done it.
As long as any potential damage is minimal or reversible, don’t give anyone the chance to say no; just do it, and you can ask for forgiveness later if necessary.
Things in excess become their opposite.This is true of time as well as possessions.
The point of this book is not to create excess idle time, but to allow you to use your time to do what you want to do rather than what you are obligated to do.
Money alone is not the solution.Adding more money isn’t the answer as often as we think it is.
We delude ourselves into thinking that we need more and busy ourselves trying to make more, thereby avoiding the real problem.
Relative income is more important than absolute income.Relative income is a measure of both time and money; for example, the person working 10 hours a week and making $10,000 is richer than the person working 80 hours a week and making $100,000.
Distress is bad, eustress is good.Eustress is a stress that helps you grow.
Embrace good stress instead of avoiding stress altogether.
Chapter 3: Dodging Bullets: Fear-Setting and Escaping Paralysis
By naming your worst nightmare, literally and specifically, cut through the ambiguous anxiety about doing what you want to do: what’s the worst that could happen? Then think about simple steps that you can take to recover if it happens. On a scale of 1-10, define the worst-case scenario, then do the same for the potential advantage. You might find that due to a possible temporary effect of 3, you are avoiding taking action that could have a permanent positive effect of 9. Now, compare that with the risk of being stuck for the next 40 years in an office. What does it really cost you to delay action?
Chapter 4: System Reset: Being Unreasonable and Unambiguous
Because most people are convinced they can only accomplish mediocre things, the competition for mediocre goals is actually more intense than the competition for incredible things.
Perhaps this is also partly due to motivation – we will try much harder for a dream worth dreaming.
Rather than asking yourself, “What do I want,” or “What are my goals,” try, “What excites me?”
You have to define that alternate reality to replace what you’re doing now.
Otherwise, you’re stuck with the vague, “I’ll make X dollars and then I can do what I want.”
Define what you want!
The author introduces the term “dreamlining”: applying a timeline to your dreams to make the shift from ambiguous wants to defined steps.
The goal has to be unrealistic to be effective, and it has to focus on activities to replace the work you’re doing now. • Create a 6-month and 12-month timeline, and for each one write down five things you dream of having five things you dream of being, and five things you dream of doing.Then convert each “being” into a “doing” to make it more defined.
If you need a more defined framework, write down one place to visit, one memory of a lifetime, one thing you’d love to do every day, one thing you’d love to do every week, and one thing you’ve always wanted to learn.
Out of all 15 for each timeline, circle the four that would change it all.
Research and calculate the monthly cost of each of those four.Think in terms of monthly cash flow, not the total cost.
Add up all the expenses, multiply by 1.3 (cushion for savings), then divide by 30 to get your target daily income.
Write down three first steps for each of the four dreams in your six-month timeline and take the first step now.
Do the second four steps by 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, and the last four by 11:00 a.m. the day after.
The steps should be doable enough that you can make this happen.
Step II: E is for Elimination
Chapter 5: The End of Time Management: Illusions and Italians
After defining what you want to do with your time, you have to free that time (without taking an income penalty).
The approach to time management that most people take is the wrong one: trying to fill every moment with productivity.
Because the expectation in an office environment is constant motion, not productivity, you must remove yourself from that environment.
As an employee, you’ll need to liberate yourself with a remote working arrangement before you can automate it.
If you’re an entrepreneur, the roadblock is your business, not your employer, so you’ll be going in the reverse order – automating in order to liberate yourself.
Tim then introduces the Pareto principle, famously observed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto: in any field of endeavor, 80% of results come from 20% of actions.
Ask yourself the following questions: What 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?
You’ll have to spend some time to think about these questions, but if you think you can’t answer them clearly, you haven’t thought about them enough.
There are no exceptions to the Pareto principle.
Tim’s example comes from when he realized that five of his customers were bringing in 95% of his revenue.
Two of those five were horrible, and the three others never caused any problems.
So, Tim stopped putting any effort into the 120 other customers and confronted the two problem customers.
One left; one shaped up.
Tim then focused all his effort on finding customers like the top three, and in a month doubled his income and cut his hours from 80 to 15.
If you’re going to join the New Rich, you need to make the fundamental mentality shift that “being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action… lack of time is actually lack of priorities.”
The other half of time management is known as Parkinson’s Law: “A task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.”
These two laws are synergistic: only do the 20% to shorten time, and shorten time so you focus on the 20%.
Chapter 6: The Low-Information Diet: Cultivating Selective Ignorance
Never read the news.
If it’s actually important, people will be talking about it and you’ll find out.
Tim does email once a week for an hour, which might not be possible for those of us stuck in the 9 – 5.
But the point is that if you remove yourself as the bottleneck, the problems disappear.
As a mental reset, he also recommends taking five days to completely eliminate television (except for one hour of pleasure viewing), reading books (except for one hour of fiction), and web surfing (unless necessary for work).
To wrap up the chapter, Tim gives some other tips and tricks, the most important of which is practicing the art of nonfinishing.
Most of us are in the habit of automatically finishing whatever we start, but if you feel an article, movie, meal, or anything else is wasting your time, stop.
It will take practice to break this ingrained and wasteful habit.