Summary of the 4 hour work-week| Writerque

If you've picked this book chances are, you don't wanna sit behind a desk until you're 62.

About this book-

'The 4- Hour work week' a book written by Tim Ferris which introduces you to a way to live your life to the fullest without postponing it for the future. You can live a large, happy life and in the moment, right now, without having to wait until the end of your career. He not only focuses on building a good and happy lifestyle but also exactly tells, how can you get there.

Tim says that, we don't really wanna be millionaires but we wanna experience what they think millionaires have. Therefore, there's actually a way to experience that without being a millionaire, this book is not about finding the 'perfect job' it's mostly about freeing up your time and automating most of your income. Tim ferris, doubtlessly has reached milestones, some of them include:

  • A guest lecturer at Princeton University

  • The first America Guinness World Record holder in tango

  • The advisor to over 30 world-record holders in both professional and Olympic sports

  • A national Chinese kickboxing champion

  • An MTV breakdancer in Taiwan

Let's hop onto the topic now, so let me just tell you these 2 terms,

  • The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design (LD)

  • Deferred-Life refers to put off (an action or event) to a later time basically to postpone or save it all for the end. Like over here it refers to us, saving money so that we can enjoy once we retire.

The structure of this book is in this way-

  • 'D' for definition- Ferris focuses on introducing new objectives and rules and aims to turn the misguided common sense on it's head.

  • 'E' for elimination- Over here, he argues for eliminating the concept of time-management,

  • 'A' for Automation- He focuses on putting most of your income at automation, that is you earning without having to be physically working to earn via passive incomes and more.

  • 'l' for Liberation- Tim argues that liberation isn't necessarily about cheap travel but it's about breaking free from things that keep you hostage at a single location.


Ferris states a major difference between the New Rich and the deferres, he says that the difference lies in their philosophies and their goals, he then stated some examples:

  • New Rich- Would want to work for themselves

Deferrer - Would want others to work for them

  • New Rich- would work whenever they want

Deferrer- would prevent work and do the minimum for the maximum

  • New Rich- would wanna retire young

Deferrer- their goal isn't to retire young but to continue doing what they like

  • New Rich- would wanna be the boss and not the employee

Deferrer- would wanna be neither the boss nor the employ but the owner.

Next, Ferris argues that if you're able to free most of your time and location, then your money is automatically worth 3-10 times as much. I would say that's a sound logic. He also states that, money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W's you control, what you do, when do you do it, where do you do it and why do you do it.

This means that an investment banker making $500,000 a year for 80 hours a week, is less “powerful” than a member of the New Rich working 20 hours a week for $40,000, but who has complete freedom over the when, whom, where, and what of their lives. It’s the ability to choose that is our true power. The 4-Hour Work Week is all about identifying and creating these options so that you can make more money while working less.

Rules that change the rules:

When you see the world solving a problem in one way, then you should try asking yourself what if you did it in another way?

Here are 10 rules that Tim present, to fundamental your success

  • Retirement is the Worst-Case scenario insurance because it lies on the assumption that you dislike whatever you're doing for the ablest years of life rather than enjoying your life at the present.

  • Interest and energy are cyclical, it's essential to alternate between rest and work. The NR aims to distribute the 'mini-retirements' instead of saving it all for the future.

  • Less isn't laziness, focus on being productive rather than busy. Spending less hours doing quality work is better than doing quantitative yet less qualitative work.

  • The timing is never right. Waiting for ‘someday’ means that you will take your dreams to the grave.

  • Ask for forgiveness and not permission- if anything you do isn't going to devastate those around you then do it and justify it, get good with experimenting and trying if you really screw up say sorry.

  • Emphasize strengths, don't fix weaknesses- It's far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor

  • Things in excess become their opposite, too much and too often of what you want will soon become what you don’t want.

  • Money alone isn't the solution it's often then implemented as an excuse to postponse the intense self-examination and decision-making necessary to create a life

  • Relative income is more important than absolute income. Relative income looks at both money and time, whereas absolute income only looks at money. The former is how the New Rich assesses their current worth.

  • Distress is bad, eustress is good. Distress refers to harmful stress that makes you weaker. Eustress refers to the type of stress that helps you grow. The New Rich seek out eustress and reject distress.

Some questions and actions to ask-

  1. How has being ''realistic'' or ''responsible'' kept you away from the life you want?

  2. How has doing what you should resulted in subpar experiences or regret for not having done something else?

  3. Look at what you're currently doing and ask yourself, ''What will happen if I did the opposite of the people around me? What will I sacrifice if I continue on this track for 5,10,20 years?'']

Dodging the bullet:

Vulnerability and the possibility of disappointment keep individuals from attempting new things. Most will pick unhapiness over vulnerability. Ferriss proposes that in case fear is keeping you from settling on a decision, envision the most dire outcome imaginabl.Then, at that point, work out how you could save your life if the most noticeably awful happened.

This is a procedure he utilized when he was miserably working 15-hour days to run his organization and was discussing if he could take an occasion. Eventually, he understood that if the most exceedingly problem occurred, it wouldn't be deadly, he would endure, and he would have the option to refocus.

Ferriss offers seven inquiries to pose to yourself to assist you with defeating your apprehensions:

  1. What is your absolute worst-case scenario?

  2. What could you do to repair the damage if this came to pass?

  3. What are the temporary and permanent outcomes and benefits of more probable scenarios?

  4. If you were fired today, how could you take care of your finances?

  5. What are you putting off due to fear?

  6. What is the cost (emotionally, financially, and physically) of postponing action?

  7. What are you waiting for?

System Reset-

Ferris argues that doing the unrealistic is often easier than doing what is realistic, the fear of not being able to do drives people to opt for a mediocre live, now everybody chooses this and the competition is huge, to the contrary there are very few people who are gonna opt for the 'unrealistic' then there is less competition for bigger goals.


Ferriss claims that we ought to disregard using time effectively. You shouldn't be attempting to fill each second with work. Since you've pondered how you need to manage your time, you must figure out how to make all the time you have more available while expanding your pay. The key is to recall that what you do is endlessly more significant than how you do it. While effectiveness is fundamental, it's excess except if it's being applied to the right things.

Ferriss offers seven inquiries to pose to yourself to assist you with defeating your fears:

Ferriss utilizes Pareto’s 80/20 Principle. The idea is that 80 percent of output will result from 20 percent of input, you should shorten your work time and limit your projects only to those that are important. How does this work in combination with the 80/20 Principle? By first identifying the few critical tasks that create the most income (80/20), and then scheduling them in with very short, clear deadlines (Parkinson’s Law)

The low-information diet

In order to move forward as a part of the 'New rich' Ferris states it's extremely crucial to be selectively ignorant about things and information that are irrelevant, unimportant, or unactionable. Majority of the info eats up alot of time and that is why it's important to analyze and eliminate. Ferriss offers a 3-step procedure to help you eradicate useless information from your life:

  1. Go on a one-week media fast immediately. This means, no newspapers, magazines, news websites, television, non-fiction books, and unnecessary web surfing.

  2. Develop the habit of asking yourself if you will use this information for something that is both immediate and important.

  3. Learn when to stop absorbing. If you’re reading a poorly written article, don’t continue to read it.

Interruption and the art of refusal

Ferriss defines an interruption as anything that prevents the completion of a critical task, in which there are three principal offenders:

  1. Time wasters

  2. Time consumers

  3. Empowerment failures

To prevent interruption from these sources, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Create systems that limit your availability and deflect inappropriate interruptions. This could mean replacing a meeting with a concise email.

  2. Batch activities to limit costs and to create more time.

  3. Set autonomous rules with regular reviews of results. This prevents creating a decision bottleneck.

Step 3- Automation

Some essentials required to be a part of the NR requires learning and communication plus knowing how to manage remotely, to get a little used to this idea, Ferris suggests hiring a digital assitant to practise giving orders, which is an essential facet of being a member of the NR and also it allows you to replace yourself from within the system.

Ferris also highlighted the dark side of delegation, thinks to keep in mind before you delegate your work are the following-

  1. Never assign work until and unless it is well-defined.

  2. Eliminate before you delegate.

  3. Never automate something which could otherwise be eliminated

  4. Never delegate something that could be automated.

To better understand ways of automating your life, ferris suggests the following:

  1. Hire an assitant- even if you don't need one, it's incredibly helpful to save your time from doing repetitive work and more,

  2. Start Small but don't lower what you aim for- analyze the things which bring you trouble and more

  3. Identify the top things that eat up your time and see if you could assign your tasks do clear up time.

Step 4- Liberation

If you're currently working as an employee there are a few things that you could do.

  1. Increase your employers investment in you, you should ask your company to fund you through a training you. Tim states that the psychology behind the company investing in you would have a greater loss if you quit.

  2. Prove increased output when out of office. You could call in sick for two days but then work from home, doubling your work output and creating tangible proof of your efforts to show your employers how well you work when not in the office.

  3. Prepare the quantifiable business benefit. This means creating a bullet point list that showcases how much more you achieve when not in the office.

  4. Propose a remote working trial period. This could start at one-day-per-week.

  5. From here, gradually increase your remote working time. Do so by ensuring that your remote working days are your most productive then set a meeting with your employer to discuss the results.

Mini retirements- embracing the mobile lifestyle

Ferris suggests that people instead of engaging into binge travel and fun, you should go on several mini-retirements which means relocating to another place for couple of months, by doing this Tim states that you won't escape your life but rather find ways to re-examine it.

To get used to the idea of a mini-retirement, you first need to unshackle yourself from the materialism and comparative mindset that is integral to a speed- and size-obsessed culture. In his experience, Ferriss says that it takes around three months to unplug from these obsolete ways of thinking before becoming aware of just how much time is spent distracting yourself by being in constant motion.

When it comes to financing your mini-retirements, your level of luxury is limited only by your level of creativity. When you compare living expenses in a different country to the amount you are currently paying, like Ferriss, you may realize that living abroad could save you money. What’s more, before going away, it’s an excellent excuse to declutter your life from all its unnecessary belongings. This is the perfect time to use the 80/20 rule to ask yourself: What are the 20 percent of your belongings that you use 80 percent of the time, and vice versa? Then get rid of the excess.

Filling the void:

In the absence of an external focus, the mind turns inwards and can create more problems to solve than necessary. However, if you find a focus or a goal, these problems can dissipate. If you find yourself mulling over existential questions without being able to get yourself out of a rut, Ferriss suggests asking yourself two things:

  1. Have you given each term in this question a specific definition and meaning?

  2. Will the answer to this question be acted upon to improve your life?

Consequently, if you can neither define it or act upon it, you should forget about it.

Overall, the most important things in life are to enjoy yourself and to feel good about yourself. While he cannot offer a single answer to the question of how to enjoy life and feel good about yourself, Ferriss does state that two components are fundamental to the New Rich: service and continual learning.

Ferriss suggests that one of the best things you can do when on a mini-retirement is to learn a language. According to him, it hones your clear thinking while allowing you to get to grips with the culture you are immersed in. Further, Ferriss defines service as doing something that improves life beyond your own. It’s an attitude, and it’s up to you to find the area that most appeals to you and to do your part.

To help you to prepare for your mini-retirement, Ferriss suggests the following:

  1. Revisit ground zero: Do nothing. You cannot escape your inner demons before you face them. Consider attending a short (three – seven day) silence retreat in which all media and speaking are prohibited.

  2. Anonymously donate to a service organization of your choice. This can help give you ideas of what type of service you’d like to contribute to in the world.

  3. Combine a learning mini-retirement with local volunteering. While on the trip, note any self-critical or negative self-talk in a journal, and if you get upset or anxious, ask yourself why.

  4. Revisit and reset your dream lines. Your mini-retirement may have given you a greater perspective on what you want to get out of life.

  5. Based on the results of steps one to four, consider trying out a new part- or full-time vocation. A vocation is different from work. A vocation is a true calling or a dream occupation.