Thursday, 24 April 2014

Book Review.The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

This book genuinely changed my life.  I re-defined my goals, increased my productivity at work 300% and am now doing a lot more things that I love to do.

I confess that I hadn't read the 4-Hour Workweek until recently because I had always assumed it was one of those 'get rich quick and have the perfect life with no effort' type of books that always seem to make the best seller list because it is selling a dream that is largely unachievable.  A classic example of a book like this is Rich Dad Poor Dad (see my full review here).

I only really read the 4-Hour Workweek because my business plans had stalled and my girlfriend mentioned that it was an incredibly good book.  I promptly bought the book and hated the first few chapters.  However I had promised her that I would read the book and actually complete the questions at the end of each chapter so I thought I would plod through it and then write a review about how much I hated it.

As it turned out...I had to eat my words because this book was one of the few that has actually changed the way I live my life.  If I think back to all the books I've read, there are few which had such an immediate impact.  I know that's a big call but this is what the book did for me

  1. It made me sit down and outline my goals in a way I hadn't thought of before
    • It made me list what I wanted (things), what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be
    • It made me list the cost of each of these things
    • I wasn't allowed to limit myself to what was reasonable
    • Then you cost each of these things and draw up a plan for getting there
    • Seeing on paper what my goals actually were and how achievable they really were was incredible
  2. It made me sit down and work out what I wasted time on
    • I am an amazing procrastinator...especially at work
    • However it also made me think about what I waste time on when I want to fell busy...we all have these things (email, reading the news, reading reports we know aren't going to make a difference)
    • It then got me to cut all of these things out...I did and I tracked how much more I was getting done.  My productivity genuinely increased 300% at work
  3. It helped me define my business plans, my goals and what I was doing it for
    • Interestingly, although this book promotes the value of international arbitrage, I could apply a lot of what I was reading to other online businesses that I was thinking about
When I was discussing the book with another friend we agreed that nothing in this book is particularly new or revolutionary but we never really think about the issues raised in the book.  Actually sitting down and evaluating what you do and why you are doing it is probably the most valuable part of this book.

If I can give you one piece of advice when reading the book: it is to push through the self promotion and 'this is why my life is awesome' sections of the book.  Perhaps that appeals to some...but it doesn't appeal to me.  Read everything, get to the questionnaires and do them! You will be surprised the difference it can make.

One last point about the increased productivity I experienced.  I was discussing the book with an investment banking associate friend of mine.  He works 80+ hours a week and is one of the most efficient people I know but after applying some of the techniques in the book he said he noticed a marked increase in his efficiency and how much he was getting done.

I highly recommend this book - buy a copy and read it.  Let me know what you think or if you've read it before and had similar experiences.

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  1. An amazing book and well done to you for sticking to it (and your GF for pestering you to read it) ha..

    Although some of these will take time to implement the principles are very solid :)

    1. Hi Jef! Thanks for the comment - One of the best things I found about this book was how much I could do right now. The hardest thing to do was breaking old habits re productivity and mental blocks against what was normal

  2. Yes definitely agree, I am in the product development stage right now and it really is about discipline and making sure that I am focusing on being strategic..

    Mental blocks, habits and distractions are the biggest challenges for most I'd say