The 4-Hour Work Week Book Summary I New Way to Work & Life

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Book – The 4 Hour Work Week

Author – Timothy Ferriss

Genre – Self-Help

Published in –2007

Living like a millionaire requires doing interesting things and not just owning enviable things.

– Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Work Week was waiting on my reading list for a long time, as my Employee mindset couldn’t conceive the idea the book title suggests.

I remember reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad & The Cash Flow Quadrant which introduced me to different perspectives about money, work and investing.

I liked what one of the praises had to say about the book – The 4-Hour Workweek is a new way of solving a very old problem: just how can we work to live and prevent our lives from being all about work?

About the Book

Whether you are looking to embark on the entrepreneurial journey or willing to slow down at work without a negative impact on your income, this book will help you with it without drama, and overwhelming feelings.

Tim discusses how New Rich thinks and works to sustain, or even double their income while creating time freedom to do things that you buried when so-called life took over.

You may find many Ideas, suggestions counterintuitive, and yet I suggest reading the whole book with an open mind and seeing where it takes your train of thoughts.

Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it. He calls it the “freedom multiplier.”

Options, the ability to choose is real power. This book is all about how to see and create those options with the least effort and cost.

It just so happens, paradoxically, that you can make more money a lot more money by doing half of what you are doing now.

Tim explains the process in four parts named Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation.

Here are a few ideas from the Book

The Idea of Retirement

Retirement is worst-case scenario Insurance – Retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed for at least three solid reasons:  Don’t mistake retirement for goal.

1) Interest and energy are cyclical – The NR aims to distribute “mini-retirements” throughout life instead of hoarding the recovery and enjoyment for the fool’s gold of retirement.

2) By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable. It’s the perfect example of having your cake and eating it, too.

3) Alternating periods of activity and rest are necessary to survive, let alone thrive. Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane. Plan accordingly.

The Timing is Never Right

  • For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time.
  • If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.

Emphasis Strengths, Don’t Fix Weaknesses

  • Most people are good at a handful of things and utterly miserable at most.
  • The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre.

Relative Income v/s Absolute Income

  • Where absolute income only focuses on the income, relative income also considers the work we put in mostly number of hours, days, year to earn that money.
  • Tim shares a great relative income example in the book. Two people may make the same money, however the one who spends less hour working for that money, has higher per hour earning, which is relative income.

System Reset

  • Tim suggests to flip the questions and focus on what will excite you rather than what are your goals, It’s the process, striving that makes goals exciting.
  • He claims that opposite of happiness is not sadness, but boredom. Remember, boredom is the enemy, not some abstract “failure.”

Effective v/s Efficient

  • Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible.
  • Two truisms to keep in mind: 1) Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. 2) Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.

80/20 Rule Two Questions

Tim suggests asking below two questions as often as possible to refrain from time-wasting, energy-draining, non-productive activities & people.

  • Question 1 – Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
  • Question 2 – Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?

Two Questions for Beating Procrastination

Two more questions to refrain from wasting time on trivial things and hurting results.

  • Am I being productive or just active?
  • Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?

Creating Sense of Urgency

I like the hypothetical questions Tim offers for people who think they can’t let go of anything from their current to-do list to free up any time.

  • If you had a heart attack and had to work two hours per day, what would you do?
  • If you had a gun to your head and had to stop doing 4/5 of different time-consuming activities, what would you remove?
  • Learn to ask, “If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?”

The Low Information Diet

Tim suggests cultivating selective ignorance, where is information and its sources are abundant and offer few ideas.

  • It is imperative that you learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant, unimportant, or unactionable. Most are all three.
  • Develop the habit of asking yourself, “Will I definitely use this information for something immediate and important?” – just-in-time information instead of just-in-case information.

Outsourcing Life

  • If you spend your time, worth $20–25 per hour, doing something that someone else will do for $10 per hour, it’s simply a poor use of resources.
  • Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined.

Filling the Void

Tim offers amazing advice on the biggest problem. How to utilize newly found time freedom?

  • Decreasing income-driven work isn’t the end goal. Living more and becoming more is.
  • What can I do with my time to enjoy life and feel good about myself? There are two components that are fundamental: continual learning and service.

I have also created a video of a few quotes from the book. Please do subscribe to YouTube channel self-help books quotes- Myread4change


Whether you choose to create a business or negotiate more remote work to create more income and free time in your current job, this book will help you achieve both. It will be like having your cake and eating it too. It’s a must-read book.

You may download The 4-Hour Work Week free E-book here. If you like this book, you may also like Your Money or Your Life.

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7 thoughts on “The 4-Hour Work Week Book Summary I New Way to Work & Life”

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  4. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I’d like
    to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
    I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15
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    Appreciate it!

    • Hello Dear,

      I too face this before writing every post and this is how I cop up with it.

      1. I make lots of notes while reading the book.
      2. Read the notes before starting the post.
      3. Just start and keep writing and editing in the end.

      For me beginning is the main part. Once, I start and build momentum, I start enjoying it, and before I know the post is over.

      Hope this helps.


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