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The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss – Book Review
Title and author: The 4-hour work week by Timothy Ferriss – Book Review
The overriding theme of what Ferriss calls T4HWW (the 4-hour work week) is the idea that we’ve got it all wrong by committing suicide by working more than 50 hours a week and only taking two weeks vacation a year, if need be, and saving all the good times for “retirement” to occur at an uncertain time in old age. Ferriss argues that with some work and lifestyle adjustments, it’s entirely possible to drastically reduce work hours, take frequent “mini-retirements” of three to six months or more, and enjoy the full life before any thoughts of old age set in.
To that end, he offers various tips and techniques for working from home, automating your business or work through outsourcing and offshore software, and stopping the accumulation of many “stuff” and replacing them with many really interesting and enriching experiences. .
For example, rather than working all week to pay for toys like boats, motorhomes, and fancy cars, you can rent an apartment in Berlin, enjoy their local culture, learn their language, and have lots of adventures. Europeans. Or you could rent a place in a South American city and do the same. You can just as well choose from the Asian options. You can switch from one to the other. The opportunities are endless and often cost less than living in the United States.
Although this book is primarily intended for Americans, it could apply to people of any nation. The book works on two levels. On one level, it offers a kind of wandering life with few ties or relationships that might appeal to a young bachelor but may not appeal at all to families with children. On another level, it offers lots of tips, tricks and techniques to reduce your workload and enjoy your free time.
His work-saving ideas can work well for people in information businesses like writers and designers. It can also be adapted to certain professionals who do not need to see their clients to serve them.
For people who work in brick-and-mortar retail or are professionals who serve customers who expect personal contact, most of Ferriss’ ideas just don’t work. Most medical providers, government employees and retail workers would not be able to reduce their working hours because they are paid in part for the time they spend “on the job”. You can’t do much with automated systems and from a laptop in a cafe.
At best, this book will challenge you to think outside the box about your career and how you spend your time. It offers many tips and ideas that many can use to improve their work and personal lives. It offers ideas that make international travel more feasible than many realize. On the negative side, full adoption of the Ferriss model would be very disruptive to most people and rob families of the stability and connection to a home neighborhood so cherished by so many.
And the 4-hour work week – well, some could achieve that using almost any of its techniques. But for most of us, it’s an illusion. Because it’s technically possible and Ferriss apparently experienced it, I can’t say it’s entirely misleading – but for many the changes needed to make it happen would cost too much.
Readability/Quality of writing:
The writing style is very good. It’s easy to read. It is well-organized and uses concrete examples of how others have adopted its ideas. Ferriss is also very funny and will make you laugh at least once in every chapter.
Notes on the author:
Tim Ferriss is a writer and entrepreneur who has written for a number of newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. He is also a guest speaker and has run his own multinational company since 2003.
Three great ideas you can use:
1. To the extent that you can take extended work vacations or mini-retirements, you can enrich your life and avoid burnout.
2. Most of us don’t make major lifestyle changes or travel much because we don’t understand how and because of fear. With proper planning and proper technique, we can lead much more interesting lives and travel the world unless we choose to stay in jobs that forbid it.
3. You can free yourself from many mundane tasks, from reviewing emails to paying your bills, by outsourcing them either to trusted sources in the US or to more affordable companies in India and Asia . Ferriss explains how to do this and how not to do it.
The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss, copyright 2007, 2009 by Tim Ferriss. Published by Crown Publishing, a division of Random House.
rating for this book
Overall book rating: Very well
Writing style: Easy to read and understand.
Usefulness: Parts of the book will be useful to almost anyone. Other parts of the book may be of limited use depending on individual limitations and choices.
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