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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The 4-Hour Work Week | Tim Ferris


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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The 4-Hour Work Week | Tim Ferris