4 hour work week is one of those books which motivated me to blog. It is one of the best books for time and resource management. Tim Ferris shares all his tips and tricks which he has learnt from his own experience and which he has tried and tested himself. Do not read the book if you are happy with your 9 to 5 job. This book is how Timothy Ferris went from $40000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40000 per month and 4 hours per week. Following are the 9 lessons which I believe should be learnt from the book. They are good for everyone but they are especially useful for bloggers. Also Blogging is one of the only few professions where you can practice 4 hour work week to great extent.
Lesson 1: Believe that it is possible to have 4-hour work week
The first time I read the cover, I was thinking it was a scam. I did not believe that any one can even earn basic living by working 4 hour a week. But after reading all the examples Tim Ferris provides including his own, I am of an opinion that it seems possible. In fact, I have made it one of my life goals as well. Blogging is a profession which gives you freedom to work in flexible time. This 4 hour work week is especially true for bloggers in a long run.
Lesson 2: Behave like “New Rich” category of people
He calls his type of people as New Rich who make money, chase dreams, distribute retirements as mini-retirements sort of adventures throughout life on a regular basis and recognize that inactivity is not the goal. Doing that which excites them is their goal. Bloggers should do this as they are usually free to choose their working time. Also bloggers once they establish their blogs have lot of free time to pursue their passion.
Lesson 3: Have a sense of direction as to where you are going
Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to”
Alice: “I don’t much care where….”
Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go”
Tim Ferris shows in above conversation from Alice in Wonderland the importance of directions or goals in our lives. All the bloggers should have a sense of direction, their future plans, few targets, plans to achieve the targets and future long term goals.
Lesson 4: Pareto’s 80/20 Rule
Vilfred Pareto’s law can be summarized as follows:
80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes.
80% of the results come from 20% of time and effort.
80% of the company profits come from 20% of the products and customer.
This suggests we should identify those important 20% and focus our more attention on them. For bloggers also, more effort should be made in more productive things. We should not only keep writing on and on. We have to give more emphasis on marketing as well.
Lesson 5: Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. A task can be done in 24 hours also and one week also. In second case, you will make a mountain out of a molehill for the first six days.
Limit tasks to the importance to shorten work time and shorten the work time to limit tasks to the important. Bloggers usually do not have any deadline. So they take lots and lots of time for a content which could had been done in few hours. We should avoid that and keep strict deadlines for all the tasks we do. This is very crucial to have 4 hour work week.
Lesson 6: Outsourcing
Outsource all the redundant tasks as well the tasks which free you to focus on more important tasks. There are various freelance services as well as Virtual Assistant service providers. Although they are costly, it depends how costly is your time!
For bloggers, writing few related articles or Email marketing or Social Media marketing can be outsourced to an external agency depending on budget and time constraints of the blogger.
Lesson 7: Act of disappearance
As Robert Frost says: “By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.”
It is very important to learn the art of disappearance. Try for working from home for few days. Do not micromanage. If you have outsourced a task, trust them. You can cross verify them at times. Overworking daily on blogs for 8 to 10 hours would make blogging boring as 9 to 5 job itself. Hence learning the act of disappearance is helpful as well.
Lesson 8: Mini Retirements
For a person working about 50 weeks a year, travelling 5 countries in 2 weeks is like an unlimited food buffet party for a starving dog. It would eat itself to death. Tim Ferris suggests mini retirement for about one to six months before moving to home or another locale. Although many of us with daily jobs to not have the luxury of time like he has, he clearly provides enough examples and cases which prove that just like him, there are hundreds of other people living this lifestyle. Bloggers can usually take such breaks as their hands on presence is not required throughout the year. They can enjoy life with their mini retirements.
Lesson 9: References and case studies
Tim Ferris suggests lots of cool tools to be used during our day to day life for various activities in 4 hour work week.
He also mentions lots of websites where there would be relevant information for each of the lessons of the book. There would also be few selected blog articles and testimonials of various people who have been living his “New Rich” Lifestyle. These case studies serve as a source of great motivation. Most of them are online start-ups and blogs which bloggers can relate to.
Next Plan of Action
After learning these lessons, you should read the full book “The 4 hour work week”. The points I covered in the article are just the tip of iceberg compared to the entire book. It is an awesome book on lifestyle! After reading the book, you should start implementing these principles in your life and blog. Escape the 9-5, Live anywhere and join the new rich. Apart from above lessons, lots of cool tools and services are discussed which save a lot of time. You can buy the book by clicking on the link. I also happen to be an affiliate for Amazon Affiliates program. Do buy the book by clicking the links below if you find the article worth exploring in detail.
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5 (Indian viewers link for Amazon.in)
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5 (US Viewers link for Amazon.com)
This book deserves a place in bookshelf of all bloggers and people wanting to escape typical 9 to 5.