Book Review – The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

Title: The 4-Hour Work Week
Author: Timothy Ferriss
Format: Paperback
Written: 2007
Published: 2011. Expanded & Updated Edition

The 4-Hour Work Week is a self help guide that can be described as lifehacking, and the goal is to redesign your lifestyle so that your income producing activities only take four hours per week, freeing you up to spend time on the important things in life such as family, friends, and fulfilment.  There are ideas in here that will intimidate a lot of people, but it is important to note that this book has been written by a man who has achieved the goal, not someone writing about an abstract philosophical concept.

The book is divided into step-by-step sections, and Ferriss targets both business owners and employees. Most of the fundamental concepts that he introduces are neither new nor revolutionary, but the spin he puts on them is. He combines ideas from different disciplines to produce something exciting and inspirational. The logic he uses is sound; if you can double your efficiency then you can halve the hours you work to achieve the same result. This book shows you how to do that repeatedly.

Becoming financially liberated is the obvious goal, but there is a lot in this book for people who just want to feel less pressure in their work life. He has tips for eliminating boring tasks, negotiating for what you want, and living in the moment. The focus is on being happy today and not wasting the best years of your life. 20-somethings might find this book less emotionally challenging than 50-somethings, but all concepts can be applied by anyone who is willing to make a change.

One potential issue with the book is that Ferriss provides plenty of guidelines, tips and tricks, but does not tell you exactly how find a business idea. This will be a problem for some, and it is a problem the book is incapable of solving; the whole point is to find something meaningful for the reader, not for the author. It means that many readers will probably enjoy the concepts and then do nothing with them for lack of starting inspiration.

If you apply even a small percentage of the ideas in this book, you can create a significant improvement in the quality of your life. Simply working through the mental exercises in the book can help you to change how you prioritise and what you believe is possible. There is a lot of substance in this book, and for that reason I am giving it 5 out of 5 pages.


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