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The 4-Hour Workweek:

Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

On the road to $1M rating:

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For a long time, I was a devotee of time-management books. It all started with Getting Things Done, by David Allen, which quickly became my favorite. The book explains in detail how to build a system to organize every single part of your life: work-, personal- and family-related.

I tried many of the ideas in this and other similar books with encouraging results at first, but these tended to diminish with time and would eventually disappear within a couple of weeks. I started to wonder what it was I was doing wrong. I blamed myself for not keeping up with my newly-learnt methods and going back to procrastination.

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  • Have you put to use any tricks from time-management books? Did they work?

  • Did the initial increase in performance fade over time?

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Then along came The 4-Hour Workweek and its novel philosophy: the whole idea behind time-management is wrong. We don’t need systems to help us crowd more things into the working day. Instead, we need to cut up to 90% of our daily tasks while maintaining -or even increasing- our results and income.

To say this was an eye-opener is an understatement. It took time for it to sink in, but when it did I started looking at my life under a completely different light. For a long time I had been suffering from job-related stress and anxiety. I was working 10-hour days, including weekends. I had internalized my parents’, teachers’, and most of society’s definition of success: you must work long hours and make a lot of money.

From my new perspective, I could see there was an obvious problem with this statement. It did not define clearly when exactly you could be satisfied that you had reached success. No matter how long you worked or how much you earned, there would always be people working harder or earning more than you. You could always do better -and therein lay the entrance to the rat-race.

Soon I came to realize that I didn’t want to be “successful”. I had a supposedly great job that I didn’t enjoy. And the whole reason I had been struggling with stress was because I feared acknowledging this, both to others and to myself. For a long time I had been searching for a plan B, and Tim Ferriss had laid it out in front of me in his book.

In regards to its contents, I found The 4-Hour Workweek somewhat uneven. Some chapters grip you with motivating examples and lots of useful resources to help you attain financial freedom. Others I found less interestig -I skipped through the sections on what to do with the regained free time, or how to travel cheaply around the world.

It doesn’t matter, however, whether you’re interested in every single topic covered in the book. What counts is the idea that transpires from every page: an inspiration to take control of your life, stop behaving according to other people’s standards and start doing what you really want to do.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I encourage you to get a copy as soon as possible, in particular is you’re struggling with an unfulfilling job. Just be warned: you may end up revisiting your life and making changes you can’t even envision today. But as somebody who has been there, I can tell you you won’t regret any single one of them.

TALKBACK

  • Have you read this book? If so, what did you make of it?

  • Have you read any similar books that you’d like to recommend?

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