Saturday, 9 May 2009

The 4-Hour Workweek

Tim Ferriss in his popular book "The 4-Hour Workweek" uses the acronym DEAL It stands for: Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation.

Definition define what you want, get over your fears, look past others "expectations" and figure out what it will really cost to get you want to go.

Elimination concerns effective use of time by using the old 80/20 rule to focus only on those tasks that contribute the majority of benefit. Again Ferriss use the efficiency versus effectiveness idea.
Automation to do this you need to build a sustainable, automatic source of income. This includes techniques such as where as a retailer you set up a system whereby the wholesaler ships direct to you customer so you don't have to (transport, hold and deliver stock), marketing he suggests can be by Google adwords/asdsense of course many other functions can be outsourced.

Liberation is dedicated to the successful automation of one's lifestyle and the liberation from a geographical location and job.

Rather than seeing technology based communication such as email, instant messaging and Internet-enabled PDA's as helpful he promotes the idea that they complicate life rather than simplify it. As I heard him say in an interview you need to control or avoid these devices to "cut out the static" from your life. This point I particularly agree  with he uses on his blog the expression " cultivate selective ignorance - and create time - with a low-information diet". Good advice for all of us perhaps.

Probably much to the chagrin  of the rapidly growing number of American (and other) unemployed at the moment he is also a strong advocate of hiring "virtual assistants" from developing countries such as India to free up personal time.

From the radio interview I mentioned before some of his main points were:
Stop spending your time doing emails, let them wait, answer them at set time each day "say 11.00 and 4.00 so you can focus on doing one task at a time and doing it well. He also says we need (If we want to work less hours and remain productive) to "control our impulses".

Having sat down to a meal with many friends who spend much of their time reading messages on and instantly responding on their "Blackberries" or mobile phones I can particularly relate to this point. Many today seem to suffer from what I like to call the "Pavlov's Dogs Syndrome".

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