The 3 Most Important Lesson to Learn From ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’

That’s right, I’m expanding to book reviews considering I read so many of them…

The book I’ve just finished reading is — The 4-hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris

I have mixed feelings about it. I get the feeling that Timothy Ferris doesn’t really like to work for things, in that he constantly looks for the easy way out which just isn’t really me. Regardless, with any of these kind of books, you take the parts relevant to you and apply them to your life. This book was no different, it had a couple of amazing ideas that I can’t wit to put into practice.

Here are the main three:

No One Is Inaccessible

This might be obvious to some but how many people have actually seen if it’s true?

I have had an idea in my head that I could email anyone and If i keep doing it, they’d eventually respond but Timothy Ferris teaches you how to actually approach it to increase your chances of a response.

The trick is to not ask for anything but to ask them a simple relatable question for example ‘How did you get casted for the movie….’ and end with a simple ‘Would you mind if I very occasionally emailed you in the future about..’ You can’t actually put them out. It has to be a simple question that can be answered without thought. You have to get a dialogue going.

This is where a lot of start ups fail, for example. The very first thing they email is asking for a meeting with their investor pack attached. I’ve done this a couple of times and I now know why none of them responded. If someone emailed me out of the blue asking for money, I’d ignore them as well. Imagine asking a random person on the street for 100K, you just wouldn’t do it and an email is no different. Develop a relationship.

Research the person and construct the email based around them, not what you want. Congratulate them on achievements and ask them about their life. People love to speak about themselves.

Cut Out The Crap

This is basically what the whole book is based around. Cut out all the pointless crap you’re wasting your time on and focus on the stuff that actually matters.

Most of us, whether we know it or not, spend the day procrastinating. Making up tasks to pull us away from what actually matters.

Things like; checking emails every 10 minutes, distracting other people, being distracted by time wasters, checking footy scores, etc. The book will teach you how to eliminate these distractions and enable ‘flow’ throughout the day.

For those who don’t know what ‘flow’ is: it’s the thing you get when you’re embedded in your work and you lose track of time and all of a sudden the whole days gone. It’s when you have completely eliminated every distraction…. It’s an amazing feeling.

A couple of simple techniques Timothy puts into place are:

  • Turn off email notifications.
  • Only answers emails at 12pm and 4pm each day and puts on an auto response that outlines this.
  • Request an email agenda for every meeting to see if it actually warrants a meeting.

I won’t go through them all other wise it will spoil the book but these are the ones I’m most keen to put into action.

The 80/20 Rule

I’ve always been aware of this rule but I only every put it into practice with social media. 80% generic content and 20% selling your product. Well, it turns out it can and should be applied to almost everything we do.

The 80/20 rule is about figuring out what 20% of activities will return 80% of results and to essentially, forget or developing systems that enable you to forget, about the remaining 80% of activities.

This is one way.

It can also be applied to other aspects of your life. Like people.

Who are the 20% of people who will return 80% of your enjoyment and help you progress, and which 20% cause you the most negativity.

Timothy uses clients throughout the book. He went through a process where he eliminated all of his clients except for the 20% that made him the most revenue, as he found that the smaller clients where taking up the most time with little to no return. So he literally decided to get rid of them. Giving up a proportion of revenue but freeing his time up and removing most of his issues.

He also identifies the importance of self evaluating everyday, in terms of what’s on your to-do list. It’s important to ask ‘If this was the only thing I do today will I have an accomplished day?’. This helps in the elimination of pointless tasks and helps you stay focused and hopefully move into ‘flow’

Although there are so many more things that can be learnt from this book these are the lessons I find useful for my situations. To find them all, I highly recommend buying and reading the book. Especially if you’re in the e-commerce space.

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