Four Hour Work Week
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss digs deep into the mechanics of working less. It is a guided plan for cutting back on work, creating a steady cash-flow and liberation from the 9-5. Although praised by many, the book does not have to be the next one on your list, because there is something wrong with the premise.
Work should be a place where you can build on your strengths and challenge yourself every day. It’s preferably work that will leave you with enough time to enjoy other things too, like vacations and weekends. It should however not be a place that inhibits you from progress and that you need a vacation to restore from the work you have done. If the latter is the case, The 4-Hour Work Week should maybe be the book you should pick up right now. But when you are confident about having a great job already, then do consider the book for it offers many tips and tricks that make life easier.
The first chapter is about setting goals, defining what you really want to do with your life. In a simple format, Ferriss encourages the reader to really think about what you would find important in life. A second part of the equation is the amount that this will cost you, this is almost always lower than you expect. In the chapter Ferriss also explains how to get over some fears that may hold you back, and how to reset your system (be unreasonable and unambiguous).
The book consists of four steps. The first, as just discussed, is Definition. The others are; Elimination, Automation and Liberation. Elimination is concerned with cutting away all things non-essential. Saying no and treating email as something you really ought to be doing only a few times a week are but two examples. In accordance with the 80/20 rule (you get 80% of the results in 20% of your time spent), Ferriss proposes to cut away at the 80%. In Automation and Liberation, the book covers topics like virtual assistants and generating cash flow through online businesses. It even includes tips on how to stay on your job, but at the same time disappear into week-long vacations.
All taken together, it is a brilliantly written book. It features techniques that could save you thousands of dollars/euros and/or hours. Yet at the same time misses the point that work can be fun and exciting. Timothy Ferriss is the living proof that the things he advocates in his books work. He has lived in a variety of countries, learned many new languages and sports. It seems he is really enjoying his life. And I urge the readers to do so too, be it with The 4-Hour Work Week or otherwise!
More on The 4-Hour Work Week:
http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ – The Blog, The Book, and more
http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/10/the-truth-behind-the-4-hour-fa/ – A critical perspective on the 4-hour premise
http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/05/31/a-love-letter-to-tim-ferriss-the-4-hour-workweek/ – One of the positive impacts the book has had