In a hypercompetitive, choc-a-block world, crammed with people frantically yet unsuccessfully looking for a way out to lead their life and work with harmony, when Tim Ferris launched his book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, back in the year 2007, he became an overnight celebrity, a New York Times bestselling author, and a ray of hope to millions of overworked people who thought finally there’s someone who has the right answer to their erstwhile work-life dilemma.
Why Tim Ferris is the ‘The world’s best human guinea pig’?
Well, because he’s a self-experimenter who lives out what he preaches first. The time management and personal productivity guru who really need no introduction wrote The Four Hour Workweek when he himself struggled to unburden himself from the busy schedule at his company and do what he loves instead – travel and read. After the publication’s stupendous success, The Newsweek gave Tim the moniker of ‘The world’s best human guinea pig’, while The New York Times hailed him as “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” His step-by-step practical instructions and easily relatable quotes in the book are what make this one truly engaging and different from several other time management and productivity reads. The result: The Four Hour Workweek has sold 1.3 million copies worldwide and till date enjoys a coveted spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Unsurprisingly, Tim Ferris’s other books have also been bestsellers, and his four hour work week and lifestyle design blog and podcast, The Tim Ferris Show have both ranked #1 in the world in their respective categories.
Tim Ferris’s DEAL framework
In The Four Hour Workweek Tim Ferris lays down a simple framework that defines everything the book preaches:
Definition: Replace self-defeating assumptions
Tim describes the differences between the New Rich (a growing tribe of innovative workers and entrepreneurs who go after the ‘deferred-life plan’) and the traditional minded people who work, earn, and retire.
Elimination: Forget time management; learn to ignore the unimportant
One of Tim Ferris’s best quotes goes “Doing something unimportant well does not make it important”. This is why the author stresses on making time for the work that really matters. How? By delegating all that is unimportant and time consuming to virtual assistants. Tim works with a number of virtual assistants across the world and even gives out tips on how to make the most of hiring a virtual assistant and getting him/her to work as a core team member. If you think you are not one of those super successful, rich people and don’t really need a virtual assistant, do a little math. Think of five personal and professional tasks you spend a good amount of time doing and which don’t really need you to be doing them – researching and calling up insurance companies for your car/home loan/taxes, administrative office stuff such as scheduling meetings, document management, inbox management, etc. and now think of the cost of hiring a virtual assistant to do the job – USD 4-15 per hour, the lower end being limited to simple tasks, while the higher end catering to more expertise requiring work such as database/podcasts/videos/PowerPoint creation, article writing, etc.
Automation: Learn to put cash flow on autopilot
According to Tim Ferris, working less should no way be a case for making do with less income. He believes cash flow should be cyclical and regular, rather than big pay days that come with traditional investments such as bank bods, insurance schemes, etc. He gives tips on how to identify where your maximum income comes from, how to set the right prioritises, ad how to maximize earnings without having to work more. The result being that you are able to narrow down focus to target with better preparedness and more clarity.
Liberation: Create freedom of location
Tim Ferris promotes the mobile lifestyle. He encourages people to take mini-retirements or extended periods of absence from work so they can experience life and do the things they really love to do with their time. Why work nonstop for 15, 20, or 30 years to save up for retirement when you can spread that big retirement into a series of recurring mini retirements that ensure your get the right work life balance and stay refreshed, happier, and satisfied – not to forget, rich throughout your life as well.
Whether or not you like time management and self help books, we promise that reading The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris will change the way you look at life, work, and beyond.