Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich By: Timothy Ferris

I have already posted about Tim Ferris' most recent publication, The 4-Hour Chef, that I happened upon in my library.  The 4-Hour Workweek is Ferris' first publication (The 4-Hour Body is the remaining book in the series).  The title alone had be compelled to pick up the book, let alone read the entire thing and take notes.  What about working only 4 hours a week could be bad?

Tim Ferris describes a period of time in his life where we was finished living the 'rat-race' of the office and how, what began as a much needed vacation, turned into an eye-opening approach on how to design one's own life into a high earning, low time-commitment, workweek.

I began reading Ferris' book with reservations as often with books of this type-often there is little instruction and more, 'if you build it-they will come' hocus-pocus.  Did you ever read, The Secret?  Yeah, me too and I didn't want to lose more hours on a book that was a waste of my time.  So, when I began 4HWW (as Ferris refers to it), I almost put it down because it began, very much in that similar tone.  I pushed through, and by Chapter 5, the book began to hit its stride.  Chapter 5 is about time management and the difference between efficient and effective.  I found this chapter to be a great read alone or with the rest of the book because it addresses how so many people send their day in the 'grind' with telephones, computers, email, Facebook, etc.  Ferris offers actual suggestions for anyone looking to send less time doing busy-work and more time being effective.

A significant part of the book discusses strategies to make a lot of money with little effort, also known as 'automatic income'.  This idea can be appealing and I think creating awareness about alternative forms of income generation, especially in this day-in-age,  is highly beneficial so that if the opportunity presents itself-we are prepared with the tools to make it happen.  But the bigger message I received from Ferris' book, was how to stand out by being effective and how to go it.  To often, we are given the wrong message about how we need to conduct our work-when a lot of that message is counter-productive: stay up on emails, attend meetings, look busy.  Its an easy counter-productive trap, but if you can turn these norms on their head-you can make yourself more valuable because you are being more effective.

I really enjoyed reading Tim Ferris' recant of business practices and how we have morphed them into a counter-productive animal.  His ideas and theories are now regular topics of conversation in my home and office and I would not be the least bit surprised to see Franklin-Covey classes switch over to 4HWW classes in the future.

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