Work four hours a week and live like a millionaire: that is the recipe offered by U.S. entrepreneur Tim Ferriss.
For many people, getting the workweek down to a “normal” 40 hours would be a big accomplishment in itself. Tim Ferriss goes further. In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, he shows how it is possible to radically reduce your workweek without affecting your income. Here are some of the ideas found in this surprising book.
Time is the greatest wealth
According to Tim Ferriss, our biggest problem is that we have forgotten that time is more precious than money. Ferriss, who has himself lived through 80-hour weeks, also believes that the concept of retirement contributes to this phenomenon by promising us a future where neither time nor money will be a problem. In this perspective, retirement savings vehicles aren’t tax-deferred plans, they’re life-deferred plans!
The young author draws a distinction between absolute income (the amount you earn) and relative income (the freedom of action you gain from it). Someone who earns $50,000 is richer than someone who earns $500,000, if the former works four times less and if this income allows them to decide what kind of work they do, and when, where and with whom they do it. This is the freedom enjoyed by the “New Rich”.
To become one of the New Rich, Tim Ferriss suggests a four-part method: D, E, A and L.
Ferriss starts off with a question: “What would you do if your doctor said you could only work two days a week?”. Then, “And what if they restricted you to two hours a day?” This type of exercise forces people to define their true priorities.
Unlike time management systems (Objective: get more work done in the same amount of time), Ferriss proposes his own version of Pareto’s Law, 80% of the effects, at work or in business, come from 20% of the causes. Therefore, let’s eliminate the 20% of causes that cause 80% of the problems. This will result in significant time gains without doing irreparable harm to income.
Many repetitive tasks take up an enormous amount of time. Technology (even thinking only of filing or automatic forwarding of e-mail) can allow us to reduce or delegate this burden. We have to cluster these tasks. For example, never answer the phone. Instead, you should reserve two time periods (11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) to respond to messages and e-mail. This way, you’ll stay productive when it counts: in the early hours of the morning and afternoon.
According to Ferriss, you have to teach your business (or your boss) to get along without your physical presence. He maintains that, again, thanks to technology, most people could do their job just as well on a tropical island as in an office tower.
(Source: Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network)