Some time ago I read Tim Ferris’ seminal book ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’. It’s a bold take at lifestyle design that challenges common misconceptions about what work actually means and how we should live our lives.
In this book Ferriss outlines four main steps for an independent, self-determined life:
- Definition: Self-awareness. What do you truly want in life? What are your real goals? Do you really want to work till you drop in order to become rich just to live up to society’s expectations?
- Elimination: Time management. Are you really productive or just being busy? Do you actually get things done or do you just pretend to be working while you really are being active doing things that just feel like work because they are not fun? Get rid of activities that feel like work but lead nowhere. Free yourself of distractions like constantly checking eMail and taking phone calls throughout the entire day. Adopt the Pareto Principle for measuring and managing work (80% of your benefits come from 20% of your efforts). Essentially, don’t measure work by the time wasted but by its actual outcome.
- Automation: Automate as many tiresome and repetitive activities as possible. Attempt to generate passive income using techniques such as drop-shipping, automation, Google AdWords and outsourcing. Basically, try to apply the first virtue of a programmer to your life.
- Liberation: Free yourself from geographical location and 9-5 jobs. Live anywhere. Work from anywhere.
While the book’s cover somewhat brazenly displays someone lying in a hammock in a holiday-like setting ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ is not promoting idleness but rather taking control of your life and your life’s purpose. It’s also not about an easy ‘get rich quick’ scheme. Following the ideas presented in this book requires hard work, bold and difficult decisions and might result in failure sometimes. Although complete success the way Tim Ferriss has achieved it might not be possible or even desirable for everyone, trying out and applying just some of those ideas can be beneficial to both your life and your working environment, which is why I recommend you read this book.