Tim Ferriss and the 4-hour Workweek: How to Escape the 9–5 Routine?

Tim Ferris came out with his famous (read: controversial) book, ‘The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich’ in 2007. The book has sold more than 1.3 million copies and has been translated into 35 languages. Not only this, the book has also been a New York Times best seller for more than 4 years.

The core idea behind the book is to work less and make more money. Pretty much like work smarter, not harder.

Now, before coming towards the topic of how to adopt a 4-hour workweek culture, let’s first address the fire it has stirred. The book gave birth to an endless debate of whether it’s realistic and can work for anybody, or it’s a myth and doesn’t really fit in with the real-world problems.

So, basically there are two extremes to this, both quite strong, we must agree.

Tim says that in order to boost team motivation, you only need to manage your time smartly, rather than fitting everything in your schedule to achieve more. Move somewhere in the world, take your computer with you, and work remotely whenever you want to. So, that’s basically the crux of 4-hour workweek.

How to adopt a 4-hour workweek culture?

The whole concept revolving around the four-hour workweek emphasizes that all of us have enough time. We just don’t know how to manage it effectively. There’s no such thing as ‘too busy’ or ‘too little time’.

Some of the key takings from the book that can help you in adopting the 4-hour workweek culture are:

1. Pursue your Passion

He urges to look deep within yourselves and embrace your entrepreneurial instincts. Sit back and evaluate what you want to do with your life. Find your passion and just go for it. This tip is particularly useful for people who want to break the shackles of corporate slavery and run a business of their own.

There’s a dedicated section of the book where Tim gives suggestions for running a successful business.

2. Apply the 80/20 Principle

When it comes to your business, find those valuable customers and invest your time and efforts into retaining them.

Tim Ferris applied this principle to his life and within a month his income jumped from $30,000 to $60,000 and his weekly working hours dropped from 80 to 15.

Also read: How to Write Company OKRs for Effective Goal-Setting?

3. Delegate and Automate your Tasks

If there’s a thing that can be easily managed by a machine, it should be. Don’t try to do everything by yourself and waste your precious time and energies.

Another thing 4-hour workweek teaches us is to start outsourcing your work. If there’s a task that someone else can do for you (better than you), wait no further and delegate it immediately. For delegating tasks, hire a virtual personal assistant. The assistant will look at all the trivial and important tasks for you and will save you ample time to focus on things that matter.

4. Cultivate the Sense of Selective Ignorance

When adopting the four-hour workweek, teach yourself to ignore all the unimportant or irrelevant interruptions. Don’t check your social media again and again in the name of getting a break. Same holds true for all of your emails — what can be conveyed via chat does not need another email response in a long thread — here are some email alternatives you can look into. Stop watching news for longer times. Just go through the headlines, and don’t finish books you don’t feel like reading.

5. Make a To-Do and NOT To-Do list

Make a list of all the tasks that you can easily delegate to someone else, so that you can divert your attention towards more important tasks for the day.

Now coming towards the other side of the coin.

The Flip Side of The 4-Hour Workweek

Because the universal truth is that in order to achieve something big, you need to strive. And for that, you need time. Lots and lots of it. So, where exactly does this 4-hour workweek theory fits? Nowhere!

Another matter of the fact being pointed out by this bunch of intellectuals is that unless you already have a steady stream of revenue coming from some dot com platform that you’ve outsourced, making money requires a lot of time. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Two of the biggest negatives pointed out about this book are:

1. Entrepreneurship is not everyone’s forte

Jump on the bandwagon of entrepreneurship only if you have the energies and resources to make it work without giving up in the middle, because entrepreneurship requires your utmost dedication, sleepless nights, and definitely more than a 4-hour workweek.

2. Competition at work is real

This is what the 4-hour workweek certainly doesn’t address.

With that being said, you don’t have to drain yourself of your energies, or over-whelm yourself with plethora of work. Take a break whenever you have to and opt for work that brings you joy.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your work preferences and how things fit in with your schedule. Which end of the discussion do you agree with? Share your views with us in the comments below.

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Originally published at https://www.ntaskmanager.com on April 4, 2019.

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