The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss Book Summary

The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss | Free Book Summary

The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss

The New Rich are defined by a more elusive power than simple cash—unrestricted mobility.

The W’s you control

Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life:

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  • What you do
  • When you do it
  • Where you do it
  • With whom you do it.

Fundamental rules for success

  • Retirement is the worst-case-scenario insurance.
  • Alternating between periods of rest and activity is essential.
  • Focus on being productive instead of busy.
  • The timing is never right. Waiting for ‘someday’ means that you will take your dreams to the grave.
  • Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
  • Emphasize strengths. Don’t fix weaknesses.
  • When things are done to excess, they often take on the characteristics of their opposites.
  • Money alone is not the solution. We use not having enough money as a scapegoat for not working out what we want out of life.
  • Relative income is more important than absolute income.
  • Distress is bad, eustress is good (the type of stress that helps you grow).

The low-information diet

Most information is time-consuming and unnecessary. You should be critical of what you look at, read, or watch daily.

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The low-information diet:

Go on a one-week media fast immediately: no newspapers, magazines, news websites, television, or unnecessary web surfing.

Only consume information for something immediate and important.

Practice the art of not finishing. If you’re reading a poorly written book or article, don’t continue to read it.

Interruptions: The three main 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.

An interruption is anything that prevents the start-to-finish completion of a critical task.

How to fix interruptions

  • Create systems that limit your availability and deflect inappropriate interruptions. For example, replacing a meeting with a brief email
  • Batch activities to limit costs and create more time.
  • Set autonomous rules with regular reviews of the results. This prevents the creation of a decision bottleneck.

Outsourcing life

  • Get a remote personal assistant to learn how to give orders.
  • Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined.
  • Define rules and processes before adding people.
  • Only delegate time-consuming and well-defined tasks.

Finding the Muse

Create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time:

  • Pick an affordable niche market. Identify your customers, then develop a product for them.
  • Brainstorm products. The product should cost between $50 and $200, and shouldn’t take more than three to four weeks to produce.
  • Choose whether you want to either resell a product, license a product, or create a product.
  • Micro-test your products by assessing the competition and creating a more engaging offer than them.
  • Once you have a product that sells, it’s time to automate it.
  • Assess the value of each customer. Identify those customers who spend the least and yet ask for the most (i.e., adhering to the 80/20 rule) and cut them out.

Replace presence-based work with performance-based freedom

  • Practice environment-free productivity. Attempt to work for two hours in a cafe before 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 goal)?”
  • 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.

Debunking the fear of quitting

Quitting is not permanent: It’s always possible to pick up your chosen career path with a different company at a later date.

You will be able to pay the bills: You can get a new stream of income before you quit your job or eliminate most of your expenses temporarily and live off your savings for a short while.

Health insurance and retirement funds won’t cease if you quit: Do some research and transfer your 401(k) or similar to another company.

Quitting won’t ruin your resume: If you quit doing something interesting, this will often make you more attractive to employers in the long run.


It requires relocating to one place for one to six months before going home or moving to another locale.

Your level of luxury is limited only by your level of creativity.

Living abroad could save you money.

Before going away, you have an excellent opportunity to declutter your life of all its unnecessary belongings.

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.

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