Theme Editor


Sign in / up

Littler Books cover of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich Summary

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich Book Summary, Notes, and Quotes

Tim Ferriss

3.9 minutes to read
Get full book

Download summary as PDF, eBook/ePub, DOCX

What it's about in a one sentence summary:

A bestselling guide on how to escape the 9-5 rat race and achieve your ideal lifestyle.

Bullet Point Summary, Notes, and Quotes

  1. The New Rich (NR) is a subculture that values mobility and financial freedom. Unlike the Old Rich, they are not limited by property or location and have achieved their wealth through automating their income and developing successful products. They are not born into money, but have gained financial independence and control over their time.
  2. The NR prioritize living luxuriously in the present, rather than deferring life for retirement. They understand the freedom associated with being a millionaire can be achieved without a large bank account. Flexibility and mobility are important for living a life of luxury, which cannot be achieved through a traditional workweek.
  3. The NR works according to the DEAL formula (Definition, Elimination, Automation, Liberation).
  4. Definition refers to redefining your goals. Don't ask β€œWhat do I want?” or β€œWhat are my goals?”, instead ask β€œWhat would excite me?”
  5. Many people see retirement as their goal, they are called deferrers and they are letting their lives pass by. The NR have mini-retirements where they take frequent two-week to two-month vacations in which they completely remove themselves from work and stress.
  6. One mistake people make when setting goals is starting small instead of aiming for big, "unrealistic" goals. There are fewer competitors at the top, making it surprisingly easy to achieve seemingly impossible goals.
    1. The author gives an example of challenging students to contact a famous person and ask three questions. Everyone failed -- they didn't even try because they were intimidated by the task. The seemingly impossible goal was actually trivial -- if a student had simply asked the author three questions, they would've won the challenge.
  7. Do not wait for the perfect moment to quit your job to become a part of the NR, as that moment will never come. Waiting is a sign of fear of the unknown, one must trust themselves and take the leap.
  8. Focus on your effectiveness (completing important tasks) over your efficiency (completing work in the most economical way possible).
    1. Optimizing your door-to-door salesmen route is being efficient, replacing the salesmen with a digital campaign is being effective.
  9. The 80/20 rule states that roughly 80% of your work output results from 20% of your effort. Find your 20% and focus on it.
  10. The 80/20 rule applies to the normal workweek, where little time is spent on being productive and the majority of the time is spent being active (doing unimportant tasks to seem busy).
  11. Manage your time wisely. Remember Parkinson's Law: work expands to fill the time available for its completion. In other words, the more time we have to complete a task, the more time we will spend on it, regardless of its actual complexity.
  12. Try to compress your productive time by ending the day at 4pm or ending the week on Thursdays.
  13. Elimination in the DEAL formula refers to reducing time-wasters, or things (e.g., social media, web browsing) that don't have negative consequences if ignored.
  14. Create daily to-do lists. Determine what's important by asking, β€œWould I be happy if this task ends up being the only one I complete today?”
  15. Stop multitasking. Close all distractions such as email, instant messenger, and irrelevant websites while working on a task. By focusing on one task at a time, the task can be completed faster and with more quality.
  16. Meetings should only be held when there is an important decision to be made, and conversations should quickly turn to the subject at hand.
  17. Practice selective ignorance by going on a strict information diet. This includes not consuming any information that doesn't pertain to work or well-being. Use sites like NewsAsFacts.com to keep informed more efficiently.
  18. To be productive, it is important to prioritize important tasks that bring you closer to your personal goals. You should do these important tasks in the morning and leave less important tasks like answering non-urgent emails for later in the day.
  19. Reading and answering emails twice a day (once in the afternoon, once in the evening) and setting up an auto-response to inform others of your new habit can help you limit time spent on emails. By letting small tasks accumulate in your inbox, you can deal with them all at once and save time.
  20. Automation, which is key to creating an income while you are not working. To establish an automated revenue stream, you need to create a business that can run itself without much effort on your part. This involves partnering with other companies to handle tasks and hiring virtual assistants to take care of administrative work. Virtual assistants can be contracted from anywhere in the world and their cost can be justified by the time saved.
    1. Virtual assistants from India are affordable and can be better than native English speaking VAs.
  21. Liberation means the ability to work remotely. It's possible to achieve even for office workers. The steps to do so are:
    1. Increase your value to the company
    2. Prove increased output when working remotely
    3. Quantify the business benefit
    4. Propose a trial period
    5. Expand the time you work remotely
  22. To create an automated income stream, you need a product (your muse) to sell. Instead of reselling an existing product, it is better to design your own product with higher profit margins.
  23. Your muse is a product that can generate income with minimal effort from you. Look for a niche that you're familiar with that does not require a large upfront investment.
  24. It is important to outperform the competition and establish your expertise and strengths in your field. This can be done by attaining indicators of credibility, such as a PhD, or by attending seminars and conducting research.
  25. Test the market before investing too much time and money into a product. You can offer a hypothetical product to actual customers and see how they react.
    1. Johanna tested demand for her yoga course for climbers through Google AdWords for her website before producing a DVD. By analyzing click and conversion rates, she was able to measure demand and the search terms' effectiveness.
  26. To make a product successful, you should be able to summarize its purpose in one sentence.
    1. Apple's description for the iPod was β€œ1,000 songs in your pocket.”
  27. Do not offer too many options for your product. It will likely decrease the chances of someone buying because of decision paralysis.
  28. Set a high price point and make bold claims for your product to confer prestige and confidence.
    1. Domino's pizza promised to deliver your pizza within 30 minutes, or your pizza is free.
    2. Author's BodyQUICK supplement guaranteed its effectiveness within 60 minutes, or the product plus 10% of the price would be refunded.
  29. Don't be afraid to abandon failed projects and be aware of the sunk cost fallacy, which is a cognitive bias that causes people to continue investing in something because they have already invested resources (such as time, money, or effort) into it, even if continued investment would not be the best decision.
  30. Always remember to have a positive self-perception and take pleasure in life.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Resources