Sunday, July 16, 2017

5 Tips from the 4-Hour Workweek

I recently stumbled upon a series of YouTube book summaries by Clark Kegley. Clark does a great job of distilling (self-help) books down to a few useful tips that you can apply to your everyday life. Although not a substitute for actually reading,  these book summary videos can be a useful tool to help recall important tips from the book. Here are my top 5 tips from Tim Ferriss's 'The 4-Hour Workweek':

1) The 3 currencies of life: time, energy and money
When you're young you have a lot of time and energy, but usually you lack money. When you're an adult usually you have energy and money, but you don't have time because you're working. Finally, when you reach old age, you have time and money, but you no longer have energy.

The important point here is not to value life by a single currency (money), but instead see that life is made up of multiple currencies. With this concept you can try to manage, leverage, and exchange these currencies throughout different stages of your life.

2) Four W's of Freedom: who, what, where, when
Money is no longer the yard stick that defines being rich, instead it's freedom. What does freedom mean? Freedom can be defined as having control over the four W's:

Who - choosing to work with people you like and respect
What - choosing to do the work that interests you
Where - choosing to work from your desired location
When - working at the time you choose

The more W's you control the more free you are. In most cases having more money could give you control of more W's. However, depending on your work, more money may not help. Regardless, it's important to recognize that these factors influence your freedom and that you may be able to come up with creative ways to control more W's in your life (e.g. be a freelance copywriter).

3) DEAL: define, eliminate, automate, liberate
This is an acronym used to help you remember four important tools that could help you reach your freedom goals:

Define - be absolutely clear about what you want
Eliminate - stop wasting time on unimportant things (e.g. block Facebook)
Automate - remove yourself from the workflow (e.g. outsource tasks)
Liberate - free your working location (e.g. telecommute)

4) Having all the time is not the goal
All this discussion about freedom could be miscontrued as a message to stop working. Life without work can become boring, meaningless, and empty. Therefore, it is important to have meaningful work because it provides a venue for both giving to society, as well as personal growth.

The goal is to have an adequate balance of work, rest, and play. Work can be an enjoyable part of life if you're doing the right kinds.

5) 80/20 Principle and Parkinson's Law
Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 principle states that roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. This principle is commonly cited in business where it is commonly observed that 80% of sales come from 20% of the customers. The priority would be to keep those customers happy.

A 'vital few' of our actions leads to the majority of our results. We must first identify what those few things are, then focus our efforts there.

Parkinson's law states that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion". To harness this law you could shorten deadlines.

Here is Clark's video book summary: