Cover of four hour work week book

The 4-Hour Workweek: MarketCopywriter book review

“Being busy is a form of laziness,” declares Timothy Ferriss in his best-selling business book, The 4-Hour Workweek. Tim is anything but. The 29-year old kickboxing champion-Guinness Book record holder-entrepreneur not only finds time to run his business, write, blog and work out, but he also takes frequent “mini-retirements” that let him race motorcycles in Europe, tango in Argentina and ski the Andes.

While working just four hours a week.

How does he do it?

Retirement is a worst-case scenario.
Tim evangelizes about a “New Rich” (NR) lifestyle in which time and mobility are as prized as money. Unlike overworked, high-salaried professionals who exchange time and freedom for the promise of early retirement—a “last resort” option, according to Tim—the NR enjoy true wealth.

“Options—the ability to choose” what you do and when, where and with whom you do it—“is real power,” writes Tim.

Lifestyles of the New Rich: Automate income, outsource tasks and wean yourself from high-tech opiates.
Tim’s formula for an NR life includes homing in on a business that puts you on “income autopilot.” The NR path also involves ongoing negotiation—of currency, travel fees, accommodation costs and remote employment. And Tim encourages readers to prioritize and outsource time-consuming busy-work to free up time for “mission critical” tasks.

Along with suggestions for a “Low-Information Diet” and reduction of 24/7 connectivity, the book provides pointers to help readers winnow email, telephone calls and “CrackBerry” use.

Stop multitasking and get more done.
The book’s Zen-like assertion that “doing less is the path of the productive” is backed by Pareto’s Law and Parkinson’s Principle—the latter stating that “a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in proportion to the time allotted it.”

“How else,” muses Tim, who clearly planted a camcorder in my home office, “could dropping off a package at UPS, setting a few appointments, and checking email consume an entire 9-5 day?”

The 4-Hour Workweek take-aways
Freelance copywriters are hard-pressed to incorporate auto-piloted income and other key 4-Hour Workweek precepts. Sole-proprietor service-based businesses are notoriously labor-intensive. The book, however, is packed with plenty of practical suggestions I can use.

Thanks to The 4-Hour Workweek, I now start mornings by setting “mission critical” tasks for the day. Okay. I admit I can’t always resist the temptation to check email, peruse non-prioritized to-do lists or surf my RSS feeds.

But I am able to get back on task in a hurry after reading my favorite Ferrissism—typed onto my online organizer’s opening page: “Are you inventing things to do to avoid the important?”

What’s your alternative to salary serfdom? Add your edits to a new The 4-Hour Workweek.
I can’t wait to read the new expanded second edition of The 4-Hour Workweek, slated for release in late 2009. In true Web 2.0 wisdom-of-the-crowd fashion, Tim invites readers to edit his second edition via a public wiki.

To add your 2 cents, visit Tim’s blog.

Check out more recommended reading from MarketCopywriter. See my picks.

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