The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek teaches us how to live extraordinary life without having 1 million dollar in your pocket. The main idea from the book is that you can live the life you want and you deserve. You have power to escape your 9 to 5 job, build sustainable wealth and truly becom a free person.

Step 1: D is for Definition

Lifestyle design recipe and fundamentals.

The W’s you can control

Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life:

  • What you do
  • When you do it
  • Where you do it
  • With whom you do it.

Fundamental rules for sucsess

  • Retirement is the worst-case-scenario insurance.
  • Interest and energy are cyclical. Alternating between periods of rest and activity is essential.
  • Focus on being productive instead of busy.
  • The timing is never right. Waiting for ‘someday’ means that you will take your dreams to the grave.
  • Ask for forgiveness, not permission. Try it and then justify it
  • Emphasize strengths. Don’t fix weaknesses.
  • When things are done to excess, they often take on the characteristics of their opposites.
  • Money alone is not the solution. We often use not having enough money as a scapegoat for not self-reflecting and working out what we want out of life.
  • Relative income is more important than absolute income. Relative income looks at both money and time.
  • Distress is bad, eustress is good (the type of stress that helps you grow).

Define your fears and put it on a paper. Define your parameters for happiness.

Questions for overcoming fear

  • What is your absolute worst-case scenario?
  • What could you do to repair the damage if this came to pass?
  • What are the temporary and permanent outcomes and benefits of more probable scenarios?
  • If you were fired today, how could you take care of your finances?
  • What are you putting off due to fear?
  • What is the cost (emotionally, financially, and physically) of postponing action?
  • What are you waiting for?

Mediocrity and Happiness

99% of the people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things so they aim for the mediocre. Competition is strong for realistic goals.

Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it’s the thing what you should pursue. Boredom is the enemy, not failure.


It means applying timelines to what most would consider dreams:

  • The goals shift from ambiguous wants to defined steps.
  • The goals have to be unrealistic to be effective.
  • It focuses on activities that will fill the vacuum created when work is removedLiving like a millionaire requires doing interesting things and not just owning enviable things.

Step 2: E is for Elimination

Don’t try to do much more each day. Being busy means you are avoiding critically important actions.

What you do is far more important than how you do it. Efficiency is important, but it’s redundant unless it’s being applied to the right things.

To be productive:

  • Pareto’s Law (80/20 Rule): 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs.
  • Parkinson’s Law: tasks will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.

How to have do more in less time:

  • Define to-do list
  • Define not-to-do list

The Low-Information Diet

Most information is time-consuming and unnecessary. You should be critical with what you look at, read, or watch daily.

  • Go on a one-week media fast immediately: no newspapers, magazines, news websites, television, and unnecessary web surfing.
  • Only consume information for something immediate and important.
  • Practice the art of nonfinishing. If you’re reading a poorly written book/article, don’t continue to read it.

The Three Main Offenders

  1. Time wasters. Things that can be ignored with little or no consequence
  2. Time consumers. Repetitive tasks or requests that need to be completed but often interrupt high-level work
  3. Empowerment failures. When someone needs approval to make something small happen.

An interruption is anything that prevents the start-to-finish completion of a critical task.

How To Fix Interruptions

  • Create systems that limit your availability and deflect inappropriate interruptions. For example, replacing a meeting with a brief email.
  • Batch activities to limit costs and to create more time.
  • Set autonomous rules with regular reviews of results. This prevents creating a decision bottleneck.

Step 3: A is for Automation

Outsourcing Life

  • Get a remote personal assistant to learn how to give orders.
  • Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined.
  • Refine rules and processes before adding people.
  • Only delegate time-consuming and well-defined tasks.

Finding the Muse

Create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time:

  • Pick an affordable niche market. Find a market and identify your customers, then develop a product for them.
  • Brainstorm products. The product should cost between $50 and $200, andshouldn’t take more than three to four weeks to produce.
  • Choose whether you want to either resell a product, license a product, or create a product.
  • Micro-test your products. Do this by assessing the competition and creating a more engaging offer than them.
  • Once you have a product that sells, it’s time to automate it. The architecture of your business needs to ensure that you’re out of the information flow, instead of at the top of it.
  • Assess the value of each customer. Identify those customers who spend the least and yet ask for the most (i.e., adhering to the 80/20 rule) and cut them out.

Step 4: L is for Liberation

Replace Presence-based work with Performance-based freedom

  • Practice environment-free productivity. Attempt to work for two hours in a cafe before proposing a remote trial.
  • Quantify current productivity. Document your work efforts.
  • Demonstrate remote work productivity. Rack up some proof that you can kick ass without constant supervision.
  • Practice the art of getting past “no”. “What would I need to do to …. (desired goal)?”
  • Put your employer on remote training wheels. Propose Monday or Friday at home.
  • Ask for more. Extend each successful trial period until you reach full-time or your desired level of mobility.

Debunking the fear of quitting

  • Quitting is not permanent: It’s always possible to pick up your chosen career path with a different company at a later date.
  • You will be able to pay the bills: You can get a new stream of income before you quit your job or eliminate most of your expenses temporarily and live off your savings for a short while.
  • Health insurance and retirement funds won’t cease if you quit: Do some research and transfer your 401(k) or similar to another company.
  • Quitting won’t ruin your resume: If you quit to do something interesting, this will often make you more attractive to employers in the long run.


It requires relocating to one place for one to six months before going home or moving to another locale.

  • Your level of luxury is limited only by your level of creativity.
  • Living abroad could save you money.
  • Before going away, you have an excellent opportunity to declutter your life from all its unnecessary belongings.

The two fundamental components to enjoy life

  • Continual Learning. Transport skills that you practice domestically to other countries, like sports. Instant social life and camaraderie. Or pick skills that you can practice there, like learning a language
  • Service. Doing something that improves life besides your own.


From the book:-
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

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