I've recently read Timothy Ferris' motivational book, 'The 4-Hour Work Week' and as the book as helped change my life around I thought I should write a review.
'The 4-Hour Work Week' really did change the way I live and work and if you've read the book then you might have noticed from my recent blog posts that I've adopted some of the techniques in my new life regime.
While I thought the book was excellent it's not for everyone. The basis of the book is to tell you how you can put workflows in the place to allow you to minimise your workload, reduce your working week down to as little as four hour and enjoy "mini retirements" and travelling while working remotely.
That's great in principle, but that's clearly not going to work for you if you work on the checkouts at ASDA, working remotely isn't an option and never will be. You could work your way up the company, but in retail you'd need to get to head office before you could even consider remote working.
Similarly, for a lot of bosses, they've built up a company, it's an ego thing for them to have their staff around them and working remotely would dent that ego and if you're in a small company, it's hard to get a remote working arrangement when the rest of the office relies on you for office banter and your move away from your desk is harder to go unnoticed and could prompt more staff to ask for the same deal.
But, putting that aside, if you're in a position where you COULD work remotely, then Ferris explains how to go about making that dream happen but, it's not as easy as just doing it. Ferris talks about launching a product with A-B user testing, how to automate supply chains, how to market your product online. That's great, but you have to have a product, a good product. None of this works if you're not an ideas person, if you don't have a product or service to sell.
Where the book is really useful is in the teachings about time saving, batching and becoming more efficient. I've adopted many of these tips such as realising that email isn't all that important and can go unanswered so I now check me email just twice a day. I've started to batch requests from clients and complete the work in one sitting rather than inefficiently dipping in and out as work comes in.
I've found setting tasks very useful, as I now complete most of my freelance/YouTube work between 7-9 in the morning, having a task list of 2 or 3 things which I decided upon the night before keeps me really motivated.
Some of the time saving tips in the book rely on costing the time spent on work. For example Ferris says that the most it's cost him for next checking his emails is $300. That's fine if you have $300 spare and can write that off as a business expense but for me $300 is quite a lot of money. As is the cost of advertising for the A-B split testing model mentioned above. The book does assume some capital or disposable income, which again means the book doesn't work for service staff or employees looking to free up their time and escape their traditional working week.
Despite the negatives, there are some great tips in this book and it's a very inspirational read. If you have the ability to pick out the relevant bits and take the rest with a pinch of salt then you should find the book beneficial too.