Book Review – The 4 hour Workweek – Sounds Good! But It’s Not for Me!

I just finished the audio book 4 Hour workweek by Tim Ferriss.

As you might know from previous book reviews, I enjoy self-improvement and business books and I try to apply the principles and concepts from these books in my daily life.

From Never Eat Alone, I began using a CRM tool to maintain and strengthen personal connections.  From the 10X rule, I increased my social media activity by a factor of 14.  From Made to Stick I started using story telling as a way of communicating.

In a similar way, I expect to adopt principles from the 4 Hour Workweek as well.  The book is ripe with principles to adopt.  It’s pretty much a blueprint for changing your life.

As much as a 4 hour workweek sounds great, the blueprint that Ferriss lays out (as a whole) is not quite one I am inclined to follow.

Now let me clarify that at no time did I get the sense that Ferriss expects his readers to adopt his specific choices, but there is one overarching concept that I found Ferriss promoting much more strongly than I think he should.

In the early Chapters, Ferriss walks you through the process of defining the experiences you want to have.  In these chapters, he is simply trying to get you to think about what might be important to you and help you reimagine your life.

I must say that I found this quite difficult.  It made me realize just how wrote and routine my life has become.  It made me think about activities and things I once enjoyed but no longer devote time to.

In middle chapters, Ferriss discusses the concept of elimination.  In this section of the book, he promotes simplifying your life.  These chapters spoke to me the most and gave me several exciting new concepts to adopt.

For the most part, the book moves along well and the concepts are presented succinctly and clearly, but I found myself losing interest towards the end.

The spot where Ferriss lost me was during the one hour and twenty minute chapter (the longest chapter in the book by far) where he goes on about all of the concerns and consideration needed before taking one of the remote mini-retirement relocations he heavily promotes.

Throughout the book, Ferriss makes the case that rather than waiting until retirement age to enjoy your life, a better plan is to take long extended vacations of 6 months or more as mini-retirements.

Makes sense right!?

As I was listening to all of the concerns and considerations that one of these extended remote excursions would require, I realized just how exhausting that sounds.

In Tim’s defense, I’m already predisposed to dislike travel.  This is one of those distinct differences between my wife and I.  She loves travel and is always dreaming of travelling, while I long for slow quiet days at home.

Coincidentally, I travel quite frequently for work and she does not.  This makes conversations about vacation quite an interesting negotiation.

Not to digress too far, I found Ferriss emphasis on taking long extended foreign travel to be a detraction from the initial concept of the book.

Certainly for those who long for that lifestyle, I’m sure this won’t be of concern.

For me, the time management concepts and the discussions about what makes life meaningful were of greatest value.

I found myself thinking about what I do and how I spend my time.

While I certainly expect to re-evaluate how I spend my time, I found comfort in the thought that I derive great satisfaction from what I am already doing.

I consider this blog and the work I do to be worthy and fulfilling works.

Overall, I think the 4 Hour Workweek is a great book.

The concepts and discussions that Ferriss walks you through are a great way to invest your time and I highly recommend it.

However, I do wish that Ferriss was not so heavy-handed with the notion of taking extended nomadic international jaunts.

What do you think?  Does a mini-retirement in some distant foreign land sound great to you?  Or would you rather spend your time some other way?  Tell me your stories.

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