This review was written on 5th May 2009
We all want to have more free time in our lives while at the same time earning enough money to live on. But the question that keeps coming up again and again is, "How do you do that?"
Well luckily Tim Ferriss came up with the answer in his latest book "The 4-Hour Workweek" where he does indeed tell you how you can reduce your 40-hour workweek down to a 4-hour workweek. And the good news is that he tells you in detail how you can achieve it too.
What I Liked About This Book
I loved the up-beat and humorous style that this book is written in. It makes it easy to read and once I started reading I couldn't stop. There aren't many books that are so good that even when I'm not reading them, I want to.
But this book did just that and whenever I had to put the book down and stop reading, I just wanted to pick it up again because I was learning so much that I just didn't want to stop and was eager to learn more.
My Gripes About This Book
I think my only gripe, and it is a minor one, is that at the end it went on quite a bit about how to organize cheap holidays so that you can spend your time travelling the world instead of working.
But my reason for working less isn't so that I can travel. When I do go on holiday I like to have enough money so that I can afford the more expensive hotels and apartments so that I have more comfort than when I'm at home, rather than less.
But if your ideal life is to travel alot without breaking the bank, then this information will be invaluable to you. But it just wasn't the type of information that I was looking for. I wanted to know how to work a 4-hour week, and not be told how to spend my new-found free time.
This book is based on the premise that working all your life and then retiring when your old is a bad plan. Tim Ferriss thinks that the ideal life is to work less and enjoy your life now while you're still young enough to do it.
He doesn't see being rich as a priority. He see the full-time working life as unfulfilling and thinks that most people work lots of hours just to buy things that they never get the time to enjoy.
He sees the need for a better quality of life and thinks that we would all be better off if we got rid of most of the things we own as they are just clutter and material possessions that we don't need.
There is also information on the way to de-clutter your life too, so that you can create the freedom to pursue your dreams now instead of working till you're old and then being too tired to do anything. We need to live every aspect of our life as a minimalist instead of cluttering up with things and information we don't need.
He uses the phrase "Ask for forgiveness. Not permission" repeatedly throughout the book to emphasise the need to live now and not to let fear stop you from quitting a boring job that you hate.
Just think of what could be the worst case senario as a result of your actions and if the worst thing that could happen won't harm anyone, then do it.
He seems to be of the belief that we were born naked and so ending up that way after everything we do means we've lost nothing. And after reading his book, I think he may be right. We spend too much time fearing the consequences of our actions, when they may not ever happen, and if they did they may not be so bad after all.
Even if you quit your job and then find you can't pay your mortgage, the worst thing that could happen is that you may have to sell your house and buy a smaller one.
Just ask yourself what it's costing you financially, emotionally and physically if you postpone doing what you want to do? You need to make life changes to have more free time to enjoy yourself more.
This book even provides you with work sheets and action plans to help you decide what you want to do and helps you to implement the necessary changes you need to make to achieve your goals. It also provides examples from the smallest goals (e.g. cooking a great meal) to changing your career and changing how you live your life.
You also receive details for vastly improving your time management in all areas of your life. There is also indepth explainations about the 80/20 rule, which is, we receive 80% of our results from 20% of our actions. It then explains how to cut out unnecessary and unproductive activities from your life and your working life. A good example of this was the piece about de-cluttering your home so you have less to look after and less to insure. And how you should only check emails once a week instead of once every 5 minutes.
Tim Ferriss follows the premise that the only reason we work such long hours (40 hours a week) is because we make our work last to fit the time we are given to do it in. Therefore shortening schedules forces more focused action and helps us to complete our work in less time.
Outsourcing is also another topic that is covered in detail because it's better to outsource the less important jobs we have to do which can free up most of our time.
There is also a large section on how to enjoy your life more and travel the world now that you've erradicted the unnecessary things from your life so that you only have to work 4 hours a week - and those 4 hours can be worked from anywhere in the world.
This is a fascinating book to read. It gives great detail about what you need to do to minimalize your working week and even gives the contact details of companies that can help you achieve this.
This book is written with great humour and the ideas contained within it really can help you to save a lot of time.
I myself have used this book to shave a day off my working week by minimalizing time spent on emails, the telephone, filing, researching and other small tasks which were cluttering up my working week. I also now work to tighter deadlines and produce the same amount of work in less than half the time.
I was really impressed with the amount of information in this book and read it through twice in one week. And even though I've so far only implemented a few of the strategies, I've already saved a lot of time that I never before realized I was wasting.
So if you want to work less and earn more, this book really is an investment.
You can read more about The 4-Hour Work Week at Amazon.com