Is it possible to work just 4 hours a week?
The 4-hour work week by Timothy Ferriss provides tips on how to achieve a four-hour work week as an entrepreneur. His first piece of advice is to make your own decisions about yourself. He claims that enough income is the goal of working, however he also recommends to think about what you would do if you did not have to work for money. His advice is to face your fears and think about the absolute worst thing that could happen if you were to follow your dreams instead of working full time.
Secondly, Ferriss says that in order to minimise your work hours you need to remove all distractions, so you can work more efficiently. He claims that strictly working on one thing at a time is helpful and he also says that you should only finish things if they are worth it and not just for the sake of finishing them.
Furthermore, Ferriss’ advises entrepreneurs to automise as many things as possible. He relies on developing business models that ‘run themselves’ and do not need a lot of intervention. He goes on to say that outsourcing is a good option and it even makes sense to hire help if needed.
Lastly, he claims that it is best to have work that can be done from anywhere and attendance in for example an office is not necessary. His final piece of advice is to use your time wisely.
In my opinion, work-life balance is a very important topic and I am glad that Ferriss writes about this. The concept of living for work is sadly something that many people experience and even when I was working full time myself, it felt like there was never time for anything after work due to long hours. Some of Ferriss’ tips are very useful and can help restore the balance a bit more. One of the things I found the most logical is his advice to have work that you can do from anywhere. Most people would probably work from in such a case and in my opinion, this would be great. Offices are full of distractions and this has a negative effect on most people’s work. At home, for example, they can be more flexible and have fewer distractions. Furthermore, the fact that commuting to and from work would be a non-issue in such a scenario is great since many people spend a lot of time on it. I imagine this would also increase productivity since people have more time to get enough sleep and they can work exactly as they work best without any time constraints.
On the other hand, Ferriss’ book seems to assume the worst for everyone and his ideas can be much over the top. Many people do not just work for the pay check, but they actually enjoy it and find meaning through their jobs. Some of them might be living their dream already through their work.
Furthermore, new entrepreneurs might find it difficult to generate a lot of revenue and it would simply not be possible for them to hire people or automise processes. It is always hard to start a company and people should not have the expectation that they will only work for four hours every week since this is simply not realistic in most cases.
While his story is very inspiring, it is also just a single case and most people will not be able to reproduce Ferriss’ strategies. His book contains a lot of good tips, but they should not be taken too literally since it is more important to survive and earn money than have nearly endless freetime. However, I do agree that overall there is the issue of too many working hours affecting society. Hopefully, with more and more work being computer-based, it will be possible for people to work flexible hours from wherever they feel comfortable working. This would not only benefit the workers but also increase overall happiness and productivity.