The 4 Hour Workweek
As a true efficiency freak the title of this book by Tim Ferris really drew my attention immediately. Starting with the necessary precautions 'how the fuck is it possible to only work 4 hours a week, this without compromising your monthly income?'.
I must admit it is a real page-turner and eye-opener.
Our generation is attributing more and more importance to living in the 'here' and 'now'. Old beliefs that you need to work hard today and have little joy today in order to live the goodlife after your retirement are vanishing. As the author describes todays' wealth is defined by having luxury in the here and now. Having more freedom and more free time to do what you want whenever you want.
I hear you wondering "Well sure, but how ?".
The author defines this in a very a simple way : the DEAL formula
It all starts with defining your ideal life and redefining your approach to work. For a lot of people retirement is the light at the end of the tunnel. Reject this and start living for intense periods of working combined with small periods or retirement in between.
Once you've defined your goals or ideal life you can move on to the rest of the DEAL formula.
Did you know probably 80% of your work output comes from only 20% of your input ? Research shows the more time we have to complete a certain task the longer it will take us to complete that task. Just think of those days when your to-do list is just that a little bit smaller than usual - you might start the day in a more relaxed way and by lunchtime you still did not complete any of your tasks, very recognisable right ?
Now what if we could pinpoint that 20% of input that would get us 80% of the output ? This would definitely give us some more free time to spend on other stuff.
This is where the principle of elimination comes in: eliminate all time wasters and only focus on the tasks that bring you further to your bold goal or ideal life.
Here are some ways to put this in practice:
- Go on an information diet. Look at how much time you spend on consuming media from reading newspapers to watching the news, to scrolling endlessly through your instagram feed. And try to skip this for a week while at the same time asking your partner or a good friend to fill you in on the most important events once a day. We'll assure you you won't miss a thing and you'll be amazed by the time you'll have left in a day to spend on other stuff.
- Ask yourself the question with every task you do "Does this bring me closer to my bold goal?" If the answer would be "no" you'll have to skip the task. During the lockdown I came to the conclusion that I spent a lot of time in housekeeping (of course forced as the cleaning lady was not allowed to come). Still it made me think about the future, I didn't get anything extra out of 3 hours of ironing in the long term. However I could easily spend those 3 hours differently and use them to work on my bold goal. As a result I increased the amount of time the cleaning lady comes to my house and freed-up time to build on my ideal life.
- Try to avoid unnecessary meetings. Only host meetings when there is an important decision or outcome that should come out of it. Also try to make sure there's a clear agenda and ask other participants to prepare their points in advance. This will make sure your meeting will be way more efficient.
- Don't spend too much time on emails. This is the most difficult one, as more and more office jobs are being reduced to answering emails from colleagues or clients throughout the whole day. Try to only look at your mails 2 times a day for example once in the morning and once before going home. Close your mails the rest of the day and you'll be amazed by the amount of work you'll get across without being hindered by unimportant emails. If something really urgent should pop-up you can trust that your clients/partners will surely reach you in another way.
Build a business that functions on autopilot. Try creating automated sources of income so that you will generate income without spending all your time at work.
The only way this is possible is by surrounding yourself with the right people and partners. Make sure you give them as much responsibility as then can take on so that they can take decisions autonomically without needing your advise at every step of the way.
Last but not least - Liberation: free yourself from the location you are working from. When you are an employee I must admit this principle is the hardest to put in practice.
However the author gives 4 steps to make you be able to vanish from the office:
- By increasing your value to the company
- By proposing a trial period of working remotely
- By proving your increased output when working remotely
- Step by step expand the time you work remotely by proving your increased efficiency and output.
So who's excited to start putting these principles into action and start living a wealthy live of living in luxury in the here and now ? Let us know what you think and surely keep us updated on the impact of it on your life !