Monday, June 11, 2012

4 Hour Workweek?

As I mentioned recently, I am reading Timothy Ferriss's "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich ."  I've implemented a few of the simpler strategies from his book, and must say that I am amazed at how much time I have freed up!

Huh...I didn't realize how much time I was wasting when it felt like I was being productive!  Although there are loads and loads of tips and ideas to become rich, take "mini-retirements", work less and enjoy more, it was a few simple tweaks that I found most compelling.  But, guess what?  They aren't as easy as I thought they would be.

The smaller tweaks I've made this past week:
  • Limiting Facebook, Twitter, social media to twice per day, and for no more than 30 minutes each.
  • Limiting e-mail to 3 times per day.
  • Limiting checking my bank account to once per day.
Those don't seem that big, nor do they seem that hard, but WOW!  I didn't realize how many HOURS I was spending just on those three things!  HOURS!  The hard part isn't simply spending all that time on social media, email, or checking my bank account.  Avoiding them, or limiting my time with them was actually quite easy.

The hard part was finding something else to do with my time!  Even after cleaning, sorting those "I'll get to it someday" piles of paper, studying, extra walks with the dog, more time actually interacting purposefully with my son, and so on, I still had TONS of free time left!  It was a strange sensation.  I frequently found myself sitting, and twiddling my thumbs wondering what to do next.  With all of our digital connections, we seem to be less active, and less connected than we have ever been before.

So, here is my challenge to you: Find three things that you do over and over and over throughout the day that aren't absolute necessities for your job or part of taking care of your family, or similar.  Three things that you could do without, even if you think you might miss them.  For the next three days, limit those things to two or three times per day for no more than half an hour each.  Or, go cold turkey for three days.  Report back on how you felt during that time, and what you did instead.  I'm curious!  If you liked the results from only three days, stretch the experiment to a full week, then a month!

I plan to keep limiting my social media, e-mail checks, and banking check-ins for the long term.  Instead, I plan to fill my time with actively being involved with my son and our dog, studying (I'm working on learning three languages - Spanish, German, and Turkish), reading, and being PART OF THE REAL WORLD.

Updated:  I have been continuing to make small tweaks and changes to our daily lives here and there, and am amazed by how much time I am freeing up for FUN and ADVENTURE with my son! Although I haven't seen a big financial impact yet, our small tweaks are diverting more cash from the outgoing pile to the piggy bank.  Have you read the book?  What are your thoughts? Have you implemented any of Ferriss's ideas to your own life?


  1. WOW! that you're taking on 3 languages! My brain would likely explode if I tried that.

    I started actively getting away from the computer and going to just sit in the yard for at least 15 minutes - no coffee, no notebook, no camera. My biggest problem is that I also do a lot of work on my computer, so the temptation to peek into my social networks is always there.

  2. This is definitely a book I need to read - I want to learn how to work "smarter," not harder! :)


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