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The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Timothy Ferriss · 12 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich" by Timothy Ferriss.
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Amazon Summary
The New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body shows readers how to live more and work less, now with more than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches: • How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week • How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want • How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs • How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist • How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements” The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek includes: • More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point • Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal • How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times • The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either
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I would recommend reading the 4-hour workweek book from tim ferris.

Great advice for time management, works well for IT positions.

Here's what works for me:


  - Intense workouts early in the day
  - A lot of water
  - Sunlight

  - Airplane mode
  - Batching email, IM, SMS, ..
  - Automate payments
  - It's ok to be late with administration sometimes
Books that really helped me:

  - The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss [1]
  - Getting Things Done by David Allen [2]
  - Rework by Jason Fried [3]
[1] [2] [3]

edit: added Rework

I have a lot of flexibility over my time, unlike the OP, but I've found shifting my workouts to 3pm has been much better than 6am, which is when I used to do them. I tend to now start work at 6am, run out of steam around 1pm, have some downtime, gym from 3pm to 5pm, and then I'm either in good form to see some friends or do some side projects... I had always assumed early morning worked best for me, until I tried something else.

+1 for GTD, too

> Intense workouts early in the day

Solid advice. Your body learns from your habits and exercise is a great way to teach it when it needs to be awake.

Another trick is regularized sleeping patterns. I had sleeping issues when I was a teenager and had some "soft" sleeping therapy. The most important thing I learned is: don't aim for a certain amount of hours, aim for specific times. E.g. Go to bed at midnight sharp and wake up at 7AM, come hell or high water. If you do stay up late, wake up at your usual time so as to not throw your clock off any more than it already has been.

Finally, if you are sleep deprived you are stupid. You're doing everyone a disservice by being that "hero" that pulls an all-nighter. Get your regular sleep and carry on with the task tomorrow: you'll finish it faster and do a better job of it.

I've struggled for years with getting up at a respectable time. I can't overemphasize this. There are classes (yes, multiple) in college I failed because I just simply could not get myself up and to class at 8am three days a week. That was when I was 18-20.

I'm 28 now, almost 29. I go to the gym 5 days a week at 5:30am. I'm up at 4:45 whether I set an alarm or not. I'm sure part of it is circadian rhythms and the fact that I'm going to bed at 9pm instead of 1am now. And as a result, my most productive coding hours have shifted from 7-11pm to 9am-12pm (give or take). So I keep my morning schedule open for the real work, and pack my afternoons with meetings and administrative work.

In my case, I was very focussed on long term revenue that would pay me whether or not I was working. Within my niche, that took the form of print book sales, e-book sales on my own site and through partners, and affiliate relationships. I'm up to about $4,000 a month from passive sources.

You're in a good spot to have a full time job you enjoy and (presumably) pays well. For me, the hardest part was building capital. I'd recommend saving every penny you can.

As for how to start, try lots of small things. Most of my ideas that worked took, at most, two weeks to test. Many started from writing an email or making a phone call.

There are countless niches now, full of people prepared to pay money. I chose LSAT prep. I'm sure already there's thing you know how to do that people will pay for. Some ways you can monetize that:

  * An e-book guide to something, with free html articles as marketing for organic SEO and links
  * Some useful tool people will link to. Serves as marketing for either ads, a product, or a paid version
  * Videos on a topic. Can be marketing for any of the above, or lead to a paid video product.
"Authority" by Nathan Barry is an excellent book for establishing yourself in a niche. Reading that convinced me to make, which has free html versions of my books and draws many visitors which I've been able to monetize.

"Start small, stay small" by Rob Walling is an excellent guide to bootstrapping a business. Possibly the best. It's aimed at software developers, but I was able to use it as a non-developer for guiding principles and marketing.

The Moz guide to SEO is a very useful intro to how SEO works. Essential reading if you're planning on going the free marketing route.

Lastly, the Four Hour Workweek is what got me started, and it's a great overview of the hacker mindset applied to business. For me, the idea was not "hehehe, how can I be lazy and work only 4 hours". It was "how can I make a business that can keep running even if I choose not to work on it". I do work quite a bit, but I don't HAVE to now.

(Note: This last book rubs many people the wrong way. If a specific situation irks you, ask what principle he was applying, and if it could be applied to a situation that doesn't annoy you)


Start Small:



Thanks for the response, very in depth and comprehensive. And yeah I know of Tim Ferris's work, I've heard him on the Joe Rogan Experience, although I haven't read any of his books. Will check the 4 hour work week (and the other links) out.
Cool. If you want to ask more once you go through some of it, feel free to send me an email.
The 4 Hour Workweek

That book only applies to you if you have a very flexible schedule.
It's not that you should read and implement it verbatim. It's a great read in terms of getting you into different mindset.
> You can create a site, use AdSense to drive traffic to it to see if your idea has merit

I started a number of sites like that years ago in college, with nothing but a static site built with a cheap template in a day, and some AdWords credits. If people actually signed up to learn more, or ordered a product, or whatever, then I'd spend the time building a real business around it.

The first time I saw that written down was in Four Hour Workweek several years ago. Now millions of people have been told to do the same.

Not a blog post but a great book.

The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris -

Quite litterally changed my whole perspective on just about everything!

Did you implement some of these techniques into your life? If so, what and how? :)
First of all, I can certainly empathize with you, and very I'm sorry to hear you're going through this difficult time. Most of the advice offered in this thread is quite practical, and it's great to see such a close-knit support group here at Hacker News.

My advice is simple; as cliche as it may seem, take the time to read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. This book addresses most of the psychology behind your discontent and offers a slew of energizing solutions that should help get you out of the proverbial rut.

If I may, here's a great poem a wise man once shared with me:

Take time to think...It is the source of all power Take time to read...It is the foundation of all wisdom Take time to play...It is the source of perpetual youth Take time to be aware...It is the opportunity to help others Take time to love and be loved...It is life's greatest gift Take time to laugh...It is the music of the soul Take time to be friendly...It is the road to happiness Take time to dream...It is what the future is made of Take time to give...It is too short a day to be selfish Take time to work...It is the price of success*

*in healthy doses

Great suggestion in regards to 4HWW, it definitely adds perspective and the concept of the mini-retirements is great.
"The 4-Hour Workweek" could help:

The author has some really good points and ideas.

I highly recommend that you read "The 4-Hour Workweek" book by Tim Ferriss:

I was in your same situation. Once I managed to find a way to work remotely now I'm able to organize my time more efficiently and find time for my side projects/ideas.

Not sure that's going to happen here. Look at the reviews from the updated version of The 4HWW:

The original edition didn't do quite as well, but it still has a huge quantity of great reviews:

It's a bit of a cult. But there are a more reasonable number of 1, 2, 3-star reviews.
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