THE 4 HOUR WORK WEEK BY TIMOTHY FERISS BOOK SUMMARY

 

STEP I: D is for Definition


Chapter 1-cautions and comparisons: How to Burn $1,000,000 a Night
Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life:


-What you do
-When you do it
-Where you do it
-With whom you do it


Chapter 2- Rules That Change the Rules:

-Everything Popular is Wrong
-Retirement is worst-case-scenario Insurance
-Interest and energy are cyclical
-Less is not laziness
-The timing is never right
-Ask for forgiveness, not permission
-Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weakness
-Things in excess become their opposite
-Money alone is not the solution
-Relative income is more important than absolute income
-Distress is bad, eustress is good


Chapter 3- Dodging Bullets: Fear-setting and escaping Paralysis


-Define your fears by writing down your answer to each step:

-Define Your Fear. What’s the worst that could happen? What would be the permanent impact on a scale of 1–10? How likely do you think it is that they would actually happen?


-Damage Control. What steps could you take to repair the damage? How could you get things back under control?


-Consider the Upside. What are the outcomes or benefits, both temporary and permanent, of more probable scenarios?


-Repair the Missteps. If you were fired today, what would you do to get things under financial control? If you quit your job to test other options, how could you later get back on the same career track?


-Define Action. What are you putting off out of fear? What we most fear doing is what we most need to do. Define the worst case, accept it, and do it. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.


-Know the Costs. What is it costing you—financially, emotionally, and physically—to postpone action? Don’t only evaluate the potential downside of action. It is equally important to measure the cost of inaction. If you don’t pursue what excites you, where will you be in one year, five years, and ten years?


-Understand Your Fear. What are you waiting for? If you can only answer “timing” then you’re afraid, just like the rest of the world. Measure the cost of inaction and realize the unlikelihood and repair ability of most missteps. Finally, develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action.


Chapter 4- System Reset: Being Unreasonable and Unambiguous


-What would you do if there were no way you could fail?

-Create two timelines—6 months and 12 months—and list up to five things you dream of having, being, and doing, in that order.


-What does “being” entail doing? Convert each “being” into a “doing” to make it actionable. For example: Great cook = make Christmas dinner without help.


What are the four dreams that would change it all?

-Highlight the four most exciting and/or important dreams.


-Determine the cost of these dreams and calculate your Target Monthly Income (TMI) for both timelines.

-Think of income and expense as a monthly cash flow instead of grand totals.

-Calculate your Target Monthly Income for your dreamlines.


-Determine three steps for each of the four dreams in just the 6-month timeline and take the first step now.

-Set simple well-defined actions for now, tomorrow, and the day after. Once you have three steps for each of the four goals, complete the three actions in the “now” column. Each should be simple enough to do in five minutes or less. The best first step is finding someone who’s done it and asking for advice on how to do the same.

STEP II: E is for Elimination

 

Chapter 5- The End of Time management: Illusions and Italians


-What are the top 3 activities that I use to fill time to feel as though I’ve been productive?


-Who are the people who produce the most of your enjoyment and propel you forward, and which cause most of your depression, anger, and second-guessing?


-If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?


-There should never be more than two mission-critical items to complete each day. Do them separately from start to finish without distraction.

Chapter 6- The Low-Information Diet: Cultivating Selective Ignorance


-Only consume information for something immediate and important. Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.

-Focus on “just-in-time” information instead of “just-in-case” information.

Chapter 7- Interrupting Interruption and the Art of Refusal


The 3 principal offenders:

-Time Wasters. Things that can be ignored with little or no consequence.


-Time Consumers. Repetitive tasks or requests that need to be completed but often interrupt high-level work


-Empowerment Failures. When someone needs approval to make something small happen


How to Fix Interruptions

-Limit email consumption and production


-Never check email first thing in the morning


-Check email twice per day.

-Create an email autoresponder so people respect your new rule.


-Screen incoming and limit outgoing phone calls.


-Use two numbers: one office line (non-urgent) and one cellular (urgent).

-Answer the cell and let the office go to voicemail.


-Don’t let people chitchat. Get them to the point immediately.


-Avoid all meetings that do not have clear objectives.


-If someone proposes a meeting, request an email instead and then use the phone as your fallback offer.


-Respond to voicemail via email whenever possible. This trains people to be concise.


-Meetings should only be held to make decisions about a predefined situation, not to define the problem.

-Ask people to send you an email with an agenda to define the purpose.


-Have an end time for your meeting (aim for 30 minutes).


-Don’t permit casual visitors. Use headphones, even if you aren’t listening to anything.


-Work smarter by batching tasks like email.


-Empower others to act without interrupting you.


-Force people to define their requests before spending time with them.


-Use Evernote to capture information and make it findable

STEP III: A is for Automation
Chapter 8- Outsourcing Life: Offloading the Rest and a Taste of Geoarbitrage

-Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined.

-Refine rules and processes before adding people. Using people to leverage a refined process multiplies production; using people as a solution to a poor process multiplies problems.

-Only delegate time-consuming and well-defined tasks.

Chapter 9- Income Autopilot I: Finding the Muse
The 3 recommended options:

-Resell. The easiest route but also the least profitable. It is the fastest to set up but the fastest to die off due to price competition with other resellers.


-License. Two options: invent and let someone else do the rest or manufacture and sell someone else’s idea.


-Create. Information products are low-cost, fast to manufacture, and time-consuming for competitors to duplicate

Chapter 10-Income Autopilot II: Testing the Muse


The 3 parts of the basic test process:

-Best. Look at the competition and create a more-compelling offer on a basic 1-3 page website


-Test. Test your offer using PPC advertising campaigns
Divest or Invest. Cut losses with losers and manufacture the winner(s) for sales rollout

Chapter 11- Income Autopilot III: MBA-Management By Absence
How to build a scalable business:

-Phase I: 0–50 Total Units of Product Shipped. Do it all yourself. Take customer calls to determine common questions that you will answer later in an online FAQ.


-Phase II: >10 Units Shipped Per Week. Find local fulfillment companies.


-Phase III: >20 Units Shipped Per Week. Find end-to-end fulfillment houses that handle it all—from order status to returns and refunds

STEP IV: L is for Liberation
Chapter 12- Disappearing Act: How to Escape the Office


How to replace presence-based work with performance-based freedom:

-Practice environment-free productivity. Attempt to work for two hours in a café prior to proposing a remote trial.


-Quantify current productivity. Document your work efforts.


-Demonstrate remote work productivity. Rack up some proof that you can kick ass without constant supervision.


-Practice the art of getting past “no”. “What would I need to do to [desired outcome]?”


-Put your employer on remote training wheels. Propose Monday or Friday at home.


-Ask for more. Extend each successful trial period until you reach full-time or your desired level of mobility.

Chapter 13- Beyond Repair: Killing Your Job


-Take a sick day and post your resume on the major job sites. The person who has more options has more power. Don’t wait until you need options to search for them.

-Take a sneak peek at the future now and it will make both action and being assertive easier.
If you run or own a company, imagine that you have just been sued and must declare bankruptcy. How would you survive?

Chapter 14- Mini-Retirements: Embracing the Mobile Lifestyle


How to save money when traveling:

-Use credit cards with reward points for large muse-related advertising and manufacturing expenses


-Purchase tickets far in advance (three months or more) or last minute, and aim for both departure and return between Tuesday and Thursday.


-Consider buying one ticket to an international hub and then an ongoing ticket with a cheap local airline

Chapter 15- Filling the Void: Adding Life after Subtracting Work.


The two fundamental components to enjoy life:

-Continual Learning.

-Transport skills that you practice domestically to other countries, like sports. Instant social life and camaraderie. Or pick skills that you can practice there, like learning a language
Service. Doing something that improves life besides your own.

Chapter 16- The Top 13 New Rich Mistakes.


-Losing sight of dreams and falling into work for work’s sake.


-Micromanaging and emailing to fill time.


-Handling problems your outsourcers or co-workers can handle.


-Helping outsourcers or co-workers with the same problem more than once, or with non-crisis problems.


-Chasing customers, particularly unqualified or international prospects, when you have sufficient cash flow to finance your nonfinancial pursuits.


-Answering email that will not result in a sale or that can be answered by a FAQ or auto-responder

-Working where you live, sleep, or should relax.