Embracing the Four-Hour Work Week


Sharp-eyed readers might have noticed that a Vagablogging contributor recently landed a book on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. And here’s a hint: It wasn’t me. Rather, Vagablogging’s newest author is Tim Ferriss, who writes language-learning advice for this blog.

Tim’s book is called The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. And if you think this concept has a lot in common with Vagabonding, you’re right — Vagabonding is why Tim first contacted me, and my book is included among the “Fundamental Four” lifestyle-design books he recommends at the end of his own book.

At heart, The 4-Hour Workweek is slanted toward a business audience — entrepreneurs and employees who are looking to spend less time senselessly working and more time mindfully living. I think this is great, since high-earning office-dwellers tend to be the most “time-poor” members of American society, in spite of their big paychecks.

Ferriss’s advice? Learn how to take control of your time, since time-ownership is more important than piles of money when it comes to living a rewarding lifestyle. “Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life,” Ferriss writes, “what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it.” Lifestyle improvement, he says, begins by reinventing your approach to the office — thus, you should limit your tasks and tighten your deadlines. Eliminate unnecessary time-wasters (like checking email 30 times a day), stop accumulating needless possessions, and make your work-life so efficient that you can work from a “remote office” (which might well be located in someplace like Rio or Bangkok or Barcelona). Says Ferriss:

One cannot be free from the stresses of a speed- and size-obsessed culture until you are free from the materialistic addictions, time-famine mindset, and comparative impulses that created it in the first place.

The 4-Hour Workweek, which includes specific strategies for entrepreneurs and employees looking to take control of their time, is for sale at Amazon here. Tim also maintains a tie-in website.

For additional information, check out my Yahoo! News interview with Ferriss from earlier this year.

Posted by | Comments (12)  | May 30, 2007
Category: Travel Writing

12 Responses to “Embracing the Four-Hour Work Week”

  1. brian Says:

    The book is great. Much like Vagabonding, it is dense but well organized that is never boring. Even those who consider themselves wage slaves will find the book useful. It will also scare the bejeezus out of these same corporate refugees when they find how easily they can be replaced by a virutal assistant in India for $4 an hour (part time) with no benefits. The key to the book then, is not how to fight this new paradyme but use it to your advantage. You also get much more reader-only content through the website, with excellent resources for finding the data you’ll need to use the theories put forth in the book. I cannot recommend it more highly.

  2. Aaron Bennett Says:

    This is a fantastic book. Anyone who likes Vagabonding will resonate and appreciate this amazing work. This book will help you get the time, money, and lifestyle you deserve so you can vagabond more often.

  3. Aaron Bennett Says:

    This is a fantastic book. Anyone who likes Vagabonding will resonate and appreciate this amazing work. This book will help you get the time, money, and lifestyle you deserve so you can vagabond more often.

  4. Amy Says:

    As a “corporate refugee” myself, I find this idea validating, of course–but also completely beautiful. Learning to step out into the world and become observers (as opposed to robots or powermongers) may be the key to transforming our society.

  5. David Leigh Says:

    A great read, really inspiring and although I didn’t know it I’m already a member of the NR! I’ve cetainly been able to apply the principles of geo-arbitrage he talks about and so although it may seem far fetched to some people it really can be done. Not sure I’d aim for 4 hrs/week though.

  6. Rex Reed Says:

    Interesting review! Well, I too finished this book and found it inspiring enough to want to change my life to manage my time better and become a PARALLEL entrepreneur (who needs Serial?).

    As such, I’m documenting and journaling my journey from 40 hour a weeker to 4 hour a weeker on my blog at http://www.fourhourworkweekdiary.com. I’d love to get your feedback, encouragement, or discouragement as I attempt to radically change the way I spend my time.

  7. Jamison Says:

    4HWW was a great read. Very inspirational.

    After reading the book I tried testing 2 different ‘muses’ (business ideas) but neither worked. I then found one which I’ve taken off with. It already more than pays for my travels. I owe a lot to Timothy Ferris. Thanks Tim!

  8. Brick Andrews Says:

    The book is well written, and because of that it is entertaining to read. Whether Ferriss’ methods are actually workable or not, he challenges some pretty big work/lifestyle assumptions. Getting one to question their current status quo makes it well worth reading the book. Being a little skeptical but willing to try anything, I decided to track my own experiences on my blog as I use Ferriss’ book as inspiration on my own quest towards a 4-Hour Workweek.

  9. greg hanson Says:

    It’s an amazing book. I have called my kids and asked my wife to read it so they can understand how I think and what I am up to. Half of what he writes was me already but the rest was a much needed and sought after handbook for getting it done. Thanks Tim!

  10. Elisiance Says:

    This book is fabulous! I use it as a manual to set up my day to day operations- now I have more free time than I could ever dream of.

  11. » “Work the System” with this new book :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Says:

    […] the same genre as Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek (which Vagablogging has written about on more than one occasion), Work the System offers advice and anecdotes on how to manage […]

  12. Ryan Says:

    Literally changed my perspective, especially in regards to mini vacations. A year after reading this book I moved from Wisconsin to Hawaii to pursue my passion and have entered the world of internet marketing. This book had a ton of great content and advice.