Friday, June 08, 2007

Book Review: The Four Hour Workweek

With a title like The Four Hour Workweek, author Timothy Ferriss has hit an interesting new point for a book. Essentially Tim combined time management with economics and a slash of small business sense and a pitch of retirement to create a very entertaining read.

First Tim shows us his currently lifestyle, he spends less than four hours a week running his business which uses about 200 to 200 people to run with very little input from him. Basically Tim is the owner, but not the manager of his own business. He delegates everything so that he can have the maximum amount of time to chase his own dreams.

Overall this is a hard book to summarize since there is so much different material that he covers, but I'll try to hit the high points for you. Tim is using the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. First he applied it to his business and then every other part of his life. Basically he did a huge edit to his life of what was working and starting gutting the rest, he calls this lifestyle design.

For example, Tim suggests that we are all over consuming information. We swim in it everyday and it's eating our time up slowly but surely. He suggests that to really free up your time, you stop reading all that extra material you don't really need in a day. For example, Tim doesn't read a newspaper or online news. Why? It is really important someone will talk to him about so he can get the 20 second summary rather than lose 30 minutes to a news show.

Then Tim outsourced his own life to India and other locations to virtual assistants to ensure he is only working on the stuff that adds the most to his life. Everything else is outsourced from paying bills to booking a hotel room. All for the low price of $5 to $20/hour depending on where you hire your assistant and how skilled they are. Overall it isn't a bad idea. For example I could outsource my editing of this blog to someone else since I know I suck at it and make my reader's more happy.

One other item I particularly liked was the idea of the mini-retirement. If you can manage to outsource most of you life, then you can manage to stop dealing with it for a month fairly easily, this basically allows you then to move to a city of your choice worldwide for a month and rent an apartment for the same cost of a hotel for a week or two. If you can manage to give up or rent your current place during this time you end up actually living on less elsewhere than you would at home, so you end up saving money and having a great time.

Overall this was a fun book, I may not take everything Tim suggested to heart, but it did make me think a bit about my our life and where I want it to be going.

Have a good weekend,


Mr. Cheap said...

I reviewed this book as well ( and was less impressed then CD was.

There's some interesting ideas, but a lot of chaff.

My girlfriend started reading it and gave up (she felt like all the author did was brag).

Canadian Dream said...

Mr. Cheap,

You do get a bit of the bragging in the book. Overall I enjoyed it more than you, but I also went in expecting it to be more entaining than educating.