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*A Book Review*

The 4-Hour Work Week

By Timothy Ferris

by Michael C. Gray

September 5, 2007

Ah, the four-hour workweek. It elicits the vision of sipping Mai Tais in a hammock on a tropical island. You could devote more time to your family and personal relationships. You could also pursue your personal interests, like painting or studying philosophy.

Timothy Ferriss has certainly connected with our fantasies with his title.

In The 4-Hour Workweek, he explains how he was actually able to dramatically reduce the amount of time he devotes to his business and to be able to travel for extended periods, study foreign languages and study martial arts overseas. He suggests that even employees can reduce the amount of time they spend on the job.

Inexpensive communications via the internet and satellite telephone are key technologies that make this possible. Using these technologies, you can keep in touch with the office and customers by telecommuting, and use outsourcing services like big corporations do to delegate many of your duties for a low investment.

In addition, the cost of living in most other countries can be dramatically lower than in the United States, especially if you are willing to adopt a Spartan lifestyle modeled after Henry David Thoreau (Walden), so you can get by comfortably on a lower income.

Whether you choose to pursue this "dream life" or not, you will find many valuable ideas and resources in this book. Timothy Ferriss maintains an extensive web site with further resources, and he lists other helpful sites in the book.

As you can imagine, prioritizing and managing your time are key skills for this pursuit. Ferriss has some excellent suggestions for accomplishing this.

In order for employees to reduce their hours "on the job" required to earn their salaries, they have to be able to negotiate their required duties and get "off the clock". Ferriss also explains how to do this.

If every employee and business adopted the philosophy of The 4-Hour Workweek, our society would break down. There are services that require time and attention.

For employees who want to progress up the corporate ladder, being visible makes good political sense.

But, over a lifetime we do have choices in what we decide to do with our time and how we earn a living. Even professionals can leverage themselves by delegating to junior associates or through outsourcing.

You can improve your effectiveness or follow Timothy Ferriss’s footsteps for more personal time by studying The 4-Hour Workweek.

Buy it on Amazon: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated).

For our new reviews of business and self-improvement books, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss, could help you devote more time to your family and personal relationships, even if you're an employee.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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