Tim Ferriss | The 4-hour Workweek | Part 4

I left off on page 112 by talking about distractions. I’m going to fast forward 150 pages. If you’re serious about changing the way you work and creating a business for yourself, you should read this book and those 150 pages! It touches on outsourcing, building a system to replace yourself, affiliate networks, website creation and any other tool that Ferriss used to get to where he is now. You can also check out Jeff Bullas’ (@jeffbullas) post on, “How to start a WordPress blog in 5 Minutes” to get started.

“True freedom is much more than having enough income and time to do what you want. It is quite possible – actually the rule rather than the exception – to have financial and time freedom but still be caught in the throes of the rate race.”1

That should resonate very well with you! The rate race… made famous by Robert Kiyosaki in “Rich Dad Poor Dad“. Basically, you owe money and you’re working to pay off your bills. It’s a continuous race because you keep working to pay off the stuff you’re buying. 80% of us owe money to institutions2, whether it be banks, universities or hospitals. You’re free… because it’s a right, but you’re not actually free. First step, pay off the stuff you owe!

Now, if you’re like the other 20% that are financially free… how is your time spent? Are you a sucker to your phone? Are you responding to emails at midnight and working 10 hour days? “But I don’t owe any money and I make a lot of money”. That doesn’t mean you’re not in the rate race. Take sometime to think about this passage! It’ll help you decide what type of life you want… I know I have! I’ve even had a few people reach out to me letting me know that they’re making changes to their life. There’s that “Ah-Ha” moment!!

If you can’t define it or act upon it, forget it. If you take just this point from this book, it will put you in the top 1% of performers in the world and keep most philosophical distress out of your life.”3

This comes shortly after Ferriss uses the example, “What is the meaning of life?” On the surface, it seems like such a deep question. Everybody has their own meaning and until they can define it themselves, you won’t know. This point he’s making though, is that if you can’t define it yourself and create a plan on action, don’t bother asking it.

Life was created to be enjoyed. Happiness is contagious! Love yourself, love others and keep pushing forward to be better each day. Look at the most successful people in your network and I’m positive that a common denominator of those people is that they keep learning.

“I can’t offer a single answer that will fit all people, but, based on the dozens of fulfilled new rich I’ve interviews, there are two components that are fundamental: continual learning and service.”4

There are SO many avenues to learn these days! Cousera, edX, Khan Academy, Duolingo (languages)… The list goes on! Follow No Pay MBA as well! @NoPayMBA She provides such incredible information for free.

The latter of the two, service, isn’t rocket science people! Treat people like you want to be treated and be a good person. Easy as that.

The last part of Ferriss’s book is filled with incredible information. Check lists on ‘how to’ or ‘how not to’ do things. I won’t touch base on all of them because you need to read them yourself. A few are:

“Do not agree to meetings without agendas… Do not let people ramble… Do not check e-mail constantly… Do not always carry your cell phone…”5

Its your time; whether it’s your first job or you’re the owner. Get things done, don’t get distracted and enjoy your freedom. Separate yourself from your phone and see how good it feels!

 

Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with Tim Ferriss @tferriss

 

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Tim Ferriss | The 4-hour Workweek | Part 3

Prior to reading The “4-Hour Work Week”, I have never heard of the “80/20 principle”. The late Vilfredo Pareto takes full credit for this phenomenon. It is also called “Pareto’s Law” or “Pareto Distribution”.

“Pareto’s Law can be summarized as follows: 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs.” or “80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time.”1

This is a prime example that can be materialized within any role and within any organization. Spend time and energy on things that are going to give you the highest ROI. Cut out or minimize time spent on things that do not give you an ROI. If you’re spending hours answering complaints from people that don’t perform, it might be time to cut them. Better yet, let them know you’re changing your processes. (You get to choose your processes) Something that is important that goes well with this, is communication. Making your clients/co workers, etc, well aware that you’re doing the best you can and what changes they should expect in the future. You don’t always have to respond to their email right away!

There’s another law Ferriss brings to the table which will blow your mind. Remember in high school or college when you’d have a really important project due and you had 3 months to work on it? You’d typically start the weekend before it was due and you’d cram for 48 hours straight.

“Parkinsons’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.”2

I’m sure you’re kicking yourself at this point saying, “Wow. That’s what I’ve been doing these past X years when I’ve needed to get important things done.” You need to get better at time management and choosing which tasks are the most important. Set clear and short deadlines and remove all distractions. If it’s a ‘make or break’ type of situation, turn off your phone, stop checking email and get off social media. Remove the distractions!

Two questions that I think can really help you narrow down the most important tasks are:

“Am I being productive or just active?” And “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?3

We’re all guilty of doing things to avoid the important. It happens everyday. Especially being in the information age and always being connected to the internet. “OH, I got a ‘like’, someone Tweeted me, Oh a new LinkedIn connection.” Those things will distract you from what you’re trying to accomplish. I suggest removing the notifications on your phone for social media. I already know you click on your apps every hour anyways.

This is the perfect leeway into the next area of conversation; Distractions. Ferriss’s definition and plan of action is extremely in depth and worth the read. For someone that works more than 4-hours a week, I’m going to leave some of it out.

“Turn off the audible alert if you have one…”4

Every time you get some type of notification, it will throw a kink in your current task. Your attention will draw away from what you were doing and on to the notification. Even if you don’t act upon the notification, you’re still going to think about it. It goes the same for checking your email at 10PM at night. If you’re not going to respond, don’t bother checking. 90% of us aren’t working in a life or death situation… and if we were… they’d call us.

When it does come time to email people,

“Get in the habit of considering what ‘if . . . then’ actions an be proposed in any e-mail where you ask a questions.”5

That way, if they can’t have a meeting on a certain date, you have a second option or they can propose a time. The last thing you want is to go back in forth asking what time works best. During that process; set the stage and either provide an agenda or make them provide one. You don’t want to get on the phone and have nothing serious to talk about. You’d just be wasting time. Last but not least; have a time frame set in stone. Do not let the meeting go over the time allotted. Time is money and when you’re not utilizing your time well, you’re losing money.

A funny quote to wrap up a discussion on distractions is;

“Blaming idiots for interruptions is like blaming clowns for scaring children – they can’t help it. … Learn to recognize and fight the interruption impulse.”6

 

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Tim Ferriss | The 4-Hour Workweek | Part 2

Did you do something today that you feared yesterday? If not, go to part 1 and re-read the last paragraph!

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”1

Push the envelope on everything! Set your goals higher than they’ve ever been. If you pick something that’s realistic, you’re only going to work towards average. This seems like a really obvious point to make, but have you actually tried it yet?! If you’ve read Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, you’ll have learned to begin with the end in mind. Figure out what you want, how bad you want it and then go get it!

The next part really gave me an “Ah-Ha” moment and I hope you can feel this too. From the age of 10, people always ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do for a living?

Who knows! Honestly… there aren’t a lot of people out there that actually know what they want to do. Then they say, “Do what makes your happy!” Well crap! I know what makes me happy, but how can I get compensated for it… It’s not that simple. What about that piece of paper I got for $130,000? Aren’t I supposed to have it all figured out after those 4+ years?

“When people suggest you follow your ‘passion’ or your ‘bliss,’ I propose that they are, in fact, referring to the same singular concept; excitement.”2

Re-read that! Do it again! “Ah-Ha”. That’s what we’ve been looking for all along. Now ask yourself, “What excites me?” Do you like working with people? Do you like managing people? Is start-up life exciting for you? Do yourself a favor and write down some questions. Then, try and answer them. You don’t need to thank me now.

“‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ – Samuel Beckett”3

This can really put things into perspective. Regardless of what line of work you’re in, you can’t be afraid to fail. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never get anywhere in life. Look at me… I started writing a blog. I’ve had my doubts ever since I started writing… but I’m not afraid to fail! There are all sorts of cliches out there about finding success after failing. So, I suggest, start failing! (Within reason)

“From this moment forward, remember this: What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things.”4

I think that this is a very valid point. Get things done, but don’t sacrifice your brand or your company’s brand. This goes back to the ‘busy’ scenario.

“Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.”5

With those two sentences, you should be able to put more time back into your day doing things that matter. Strive for productivity towards things that matter. “I don’t care how you do it, just get it done.” (Within reason) That’s one of those popular quotes in movies or from your manager.

When it comes to sales, ask the successful sales people in your company what they do and how they do it. Don’t spend time recreating the wheel that someone successful has already created. Make changes to your liking and coin it as your own. It’s a huge compliment to your coworker and it will save you a lot of time.

 

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Tim Ferriss | The 4-Hour Workweek | Part 1

If you’ve ever stepped into a book store or asked someone what their favorite book is, you’ve definitely heard of “The 4-Hour Workweek”. This book will show you so many different creative ways to work smarter, get more done, and spend less time being ‘busy’. Here’s ANOTHER example of an author telling their readers to stop being ‘busy’.

Start differentiating yourself from everybody else. Ferriss uses the example of how he won the gold metal at the Chinese Kickboxing National Championship by

“… doing the uncommon within the rules.” 1

He had four weeks of preparation and walked away with gold. You’re probably thinking to yourself right now, “He must have cheated.” Nope, he didn’t cheat. He read the rules and found two unexploited opportunities that nobody had taken advantage of. Now his name is set in stone because he thought outside the box. The “Ah-Ha” moment is a reminder that you need to try something different. The outcome of that difference could save you time! Time is money and with more time in your day, you can do thing that you actually want to do.

“Less is not laziness.

Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance is NOT laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.” 2

WAIT! You mean that if I can work less hours but get more done, I’m going to be better off?! YES! If you know you only have 5 hours to get everything done, you’re going to bust your ass! We all know that if you HAVE to be at work for 9 hours (that includes lunch), you’re not going to work all 8 hours. That’s extremely difficult and you get burnt out fast. The times are changing and companies are starting to judge their people based on success rather than time spent at work.

A few years back, I worked at a company where I had to be at work for the full 9 hours. It took me an hour to get to work each day, so that makes 11. Technically, I spent 11 hours ‘working’. Ain’t that some crap. First off, I could have easily done that job from home and second off, I could have done the daily tasks in about 5 hours. Guess what I was doing the other 3 hours!! That’s right… I wasn’t working.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy”3

Boom! There it is. He uses his own examples of how he was busy and what he did to become unbusy. Currently, he is busy… traveling the world and doing what he wants to do. The incredible stuff he has written about in his book obviously makes sense to a lot of people. Check him out on Twitter (@tferriss)… He’s got over 1.3 Million followers. Do something different tomorrow that is going to allow you to be more productive than you were today.

“You’re afraid, just like the rest of the world”4

Wow… he’s right! When I first started with my new company, I was afraid to walk into a prospects business and introduce myself. After talking with ONE person, the fear was gone. Just like that. I was overthinking it, which we all do, and telling myself the prospect was going to shout at me and tell me the leave. Pffft, was I wrong. I recommend writing that on a sticky note and keeping it with you or putting it next to your phone. What’s the worst that could happen?

“Resolve to do one thing everyday that you fear”5

It’ll be the best thing you’ve done all year. Pick up the phone and ask for the CEO of a company. Tweet a celebrity. Do whatever you need to do to push your fear meter!

 

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