The 4-Hour Work Week

I found myself in Words Worth Books last week, and spent some time browsing through Timothy Ferriss’s The Four-Hour Work Week, the book that’s been on bestseller lists all year. I have to admit I’m still pretty skeptical about the 4-hours-a-week idea – but he definitely outlines a number of ideas and strategies worth considering. Here’s a small sample…

1. Start by teaching people how to treat you. If your time is being sucked up by non-productive interactions with clients, suppliers, boss, or shareholders – consider what you might be saying or doing that encourages them to treat you poorly. What do you need to do different that will get a better result?

Sometimes we have trouble setting boundaries with people because it involves new behaviour we don’t feel comfortable with. Some people get pretty anxious about saying NO. Ferriss offers an intriguing exercise to get over the hump: For two days, say a reflexive NO to every situation you come across. Okay, non-fatal situations only! Get comfortable with the NO word – and note the difference in your day.

2. Limit your availability. The anxious among us also have trouble with this one because we feel like if we say no, people won’t like us anymore. We’ll drop off their radar and they’ll never call us again. They’ll say bad things about us when we’re not there. Or we’ll miss something important.

Personally, I’ve found that the less available I make myself (within reason), the more attractive I seem to become to passionate, high-quality, high-value people who also limit their availability in order to achieve their goals.

Give it a shot and see what happens.

3. Okay, the third point is my own. Notice I said “try it and see what happens”.

Never forget that life is a huge experiment. Growth occurs when we quit worrying so much about getting things perfect…just try something new, and adjust accordingly.

-If it works, keep doing it.

-If it doesn’t work, DON’T keep doing it. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but
expecting different results. So try something (anything!) new and go from there.

-And if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!

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