The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

I’ve been following Tim Ferriss on social media for some time. Listening to his podcast and reading his blogs. I bought The Four Hour Work Week ages ago, but only recently decided to read it. It’s full of brilliant little nuggets of wisdom that have improved my life significantly. Here are some of my favourites.

  1. Don’t ask what’s your goal? Or what do I want? Ask, what excites me?
  2. I deal with rejection by persisting, not by taking my business elsewhere. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”
  3. Dreamlining – What would you do if there were no way you could fail? Dreamlining is designed to help you do just that.
  4. Being effective vs being efficient
    1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important
    2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important
    3. What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it
    4. Efficiency is still important but is useless if applied to the wrong things
  5. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant.
  6. Lack of time is is actually lack of priorities.
  7. Ask yourself 3 times each day “Am I being productive or just active?” & “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?”.
  8. Problems, as a rule, solve themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as an information bottleneck and empower others.
  9. Be selectively ignorant. Most information is time consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals and outside your influence.
  10. Meetings are time wasters. Meetings should only be held to to make a decision about a predefined situation, not to define the problem.
  11. Replace the phone habit of “how are you?” with “how can I help you?” to help cut down duration of phone calls. Get specific.
  12. Critic’s sandwich. Praise, raise issue and then praise on different topic.
  13. It is not necessary to be the best  – just better than a small target number of your prospective customers.
  14. Micro testing on website with google Adwords before launching product.
  15. If you must play decide on the things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the wiring time. A chinese proverb.
  16. Just because something had been a lot of work or consumed a lot of time doesn’t make it productive or worth while.
  17. Most situations are simple  – many are just emotionally difficult to act upon.
  18. If you can’t define it or act upon it, forget it.
  19. What makes you most angry about the state if the world? What are you most afraid of for the next generation, whether you have children or not? What makes you happiest in your life? How can you help have the same?
  20. One of the most universal causes of self doubt and depression: trying to impress people you don’t like. Stressing to impress is fine, but do for the right people  – those you want to emulate.
  21. Fast decisions preserve usable attention for what matters.

From reading this book I have implemented a few things that have ultimately changed my life for the better. I now meditate each morning, currently about 7 minutes but building up. I have a number of journals I keep each day and week. The first is a modified 5 minute journal that I type up each day.

  • It includes a quote to contemplate for the day
  • 3 amazing things that happened yesterday
  • How I could have made yesterday better
  • What I learned yesterday
  • 3 things I’m grateful for
  • What would make today great
  • A daily affirmation
  • Free writing to get out of my brain all the things that my head is lost in

Add to that a couple of handwritten journals, the first is a productivity & creativity journal for the personal projects I’m working that will add value to me; the second is my intention for the day – mood, behaviour, tasks.

I summarise, plan and think in a weekly journal that I do on Sunday/Mondays about the week gone and the week ahead.

I’m exercising each day. I focus on the tasks and emotions that I want to experience for the day which gives context to everything that pops up. It gives me an opportunity to evaluate how important it really is before getting upset about it, or jumping to do that task instead of what I’ve chosen. I’ve cut down my media consumption considerably – much less social media, much less news, blogs and feeds. i’m dedicating my time to reading books to improve my mind and taking courses that will teach me skills I desire. I’m feeding my soul the things it needs to thrive and be happy. I’m discovering more about stoicism as a philosophy and a practice.

I’m more calm, more productive, happier, kinder, more patient, a better mum and better partner, and working smarter. The blocks are all falling into place for me. The mental and emotional blocks I’ve had my whole life, the ones that have stopped me reaching for the stars are gone. It may change, it may not. For now it’s working for me. When it works no longer, I’ll read, I’ll experiment, I’ll find the next thing to break down the mental barriers I hold.

Good luck on your quest xo