The 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferris is a critique of the current system that forces us to work 40 hours a week or more and then retire at 65 and start “enjoying life.” ”.
Contrary to the classic approach, the author proposes new ways of doing things to manage to work much fewer hours, making better use of time, and taking time off periodically in the form of “mini-retirements”.
Only the title of the book can already put more than one back, and in fact, what it raises in its pages can only be fully used by a few, but reading it brings many surprises and can make us rethink many things that we took for granted . supposed .
The book is mainly based on the author’s own experience, developing a phased method that would be called DEAL (Define, Eliminate, Automate and Release). With this way of doing things, Tim managed to go from working 40+ hours a week, to to work very little, to travel all over the world and to learn things as varied as Spanish, tango or martial arts, and all this while getting rich, the plan does not sound bad.
In this first phase , the author wants to overturn our most deeply rooted ideas about work, money and lifestyle , introducing the concept of the nouveaux riches, who are not those with the most money but those who best know how to take advantage of it to have their desired lifestyle.
At this stage we work with concepts such as remote work to improve productivity, relative income as opposed to absolute income, and invite us to work with our fears so that they do not paralyze us.
Finally, it encourages us to define what we really want, to be unrealistic in our ambitions and plans, because we have to aim for the stars in order to reach the moon.
This has been my favorite part of the book, from which I have learned the most and from which the greatest number of practical elements can be extracted.
Basically it explains how to get rid of what is not essential , not only to be more productive but to be less tied to a particular site.
In this section, he brings out Pareto and his 80/20 law , which tells us that 20% of our actions determine 80% of the results, so we have a lot of room to empty our pockets of useless things. In addition, focusing on what is important, our productivity will increase considerably. Pareto is also applicable to many other areas, such as 20% of actions that give us 80% of happiness…
With the elimination we are preparing for the following phases.
Here begins the most idyllic part for some but it can be very complex , especially depending on the country in which we find ourselves.
Start playing with the idea of having a virtual assistant to whom we can delegate all the tasks that do not add value to us, both personal and professional tasks. Obviously, this practice is much more developed in the US, being able to count on excellent assistants in India at a really competitive price.
In any case, we have to stay with the idea that, as entrepreneurs, we should not assume all possible roles, but rather outsource all those areas that do not produce value for our company , as far as possible. It is also a good idea to use the crowdsourcing systems that exist in the market for specific things.
And here comes what would be ideal for anyone, finding an Internet business that can work on autopilot mode and that generates enough money to live well , with minimal worries. Very nice, and it would be very useful to combat the crisis, but if it were easy we would all live very well.
If we achieve all of the above, we will be able to relocate both our professional and personal activities.
In the case of continuing to work as an employee, if our autopilot business still does not generate enough, the author’s proposal is to gradually convince our company to let us work from home, taking the opportunity to show them our growing productivity achieved thanks to the elimination phase. In this way we will achieve greater freedom of movement. Of course, with the ultimate goal of living exclusively from our business.
And when the sewing goes well, we can start taking our mini-retirements so that we can live for several months in other countries . It also proposes places where it is possible to live better than in the US for example, with less money. Obviously this only works for “strong” currencies such as the dollar or the euro.
This is the real end goal of the book, to be able to live wherever we want, traveling the world with plenty of free time to keep learning and experiencing new things.
Despite the initial suspicion that the title of the book caused me, I ended up reading it due to several recommendations. My main opinion is that the complete proposal of the author is impractical for 99.9% of the people, however it dares to confront stale ideas about life and work, which can help us improve things to a lesser extent. .
The chapter that stands out for its practical usefulness from the moment it is read is the one on elimination, with which we will be able to consider our way of working and begin to reduce everything else we do. I think that for entrepreneurs this section is really interesting.
The automation part, especially when talking about outsourcing, can also make us reflect on the tasks we are doing now that really do not add value to our business and that for an affordable price someone else could be doing them better, and also freeing up time to rest or focus on more important things.
Despite the overall fantasy approach, I can only recommend the book to people who are willing to question a lot of established things about the way we do things, both personally and professionally.