Every Tuesday morning, I review a book that I read recently. If you missed any, you can read past reviews here. This week’s book is The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (kindle version) by Timothy Ferriss.
One of the things I decided to do this summer was work my way through some of Ferriss’s stuff. I kept hearing about how interesting of a read his books were, so I started with the first one.
Two quick thoughts about this book:
One, it was incredibly helpful in making me think through how to be efficient and accomplish more in my day and in my life. Most of what I took away from this book had to do with not wasting time, automating my life and other great ideas on how to accomplish more. From this book, I’ve automated email, check email and social media less and have found myself being more productive.
Two, most of what is in this book is not applicable to you if you have kids or are a pastor. The idea of living somewhere else for 6 months a year sounds great. He has a few ideas on homeschooling, which I thought was great from a guy without kids. The idea of leaving your job for 6 months is not possible for a pastor. Ferriss told the story of an engineer at HP who disappeared for several months and no one noticed. I told Katie, “If I disappeared from work for 6 months, I think people would notice.”
One of the more interesting insights in this book had to do with “mini-retirements.” I love the idea of why would you wait until you are old to retire, start mini-retirements now. Extended time away from work doing what you love and enjoy.
Here are a few things that jumped out:
- Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
- If the potential payoff is mediocre or average, so is your effort.
- You shouldn’t be trying to do more in each day, trying to fill every second with a work fidget of some type.
- It is not only possible to accomplish more by doing less, it is mandatory.
- Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe.
- Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.
- Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.
- Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
Overall, this was a good and interesting read.