Imagine reaping massive returns with just four hours of work per week – The 4-Hour Workweek can show you how.
Released in 2007, this book offers a blueprint for small business owners seeking to maximize productivity while eliminating distractions, location independence, and perpetual world travel (via geo-arbitrage) and rejecting traditional retirement models at age 65 by encouraging readers to launch their businesses.
1. Set Your Goals
The 4-Hour Work Week has caused much debate since its publication. Some of its advice may seem absurd or counter-intuitive, but reading it will prompt one to consider their life and values deeply.
Tim Ferriss is a multiple best-selling author in the entrepreneurship, business, and lifestyle niches. Additionally, he serves as an angel investor/advisor to companies such as Facebook, Duolingo, Evernote, and Uber.
He proposes the DEAL (Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation) plan as a solution to escape the 9-to-5 grind and live among the “New Rich.” His message is that true wealth does not come in the form of money but rather a freedom of choice; to achieve that, you must first identify and remove all activities which take away from it.
2. Prioritize Your Work
First, set goals that outline what you hope to accomplish each day and then prioritize tasks using any number of different techniques – Eisenhower four-quadrant power matrix or Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People are good options here – such the Eisenhower four-quadrant power matrix or effort analysis to eliminate tasks which offer little value or do not demand as much of your efforts as other higher priority tasks.
Delegating or automating tasks with technology allows you to focus on high-value work while freeing up time for other projects. Eliminating tasks that don’t contribute to overall success is essential in reaching a four-hour work week; The Pareto Principle, a popular strategy that encourages individuals to concentrate their efforts in areas that produce 80% of results, is another powerful strategy.
3. Delegate Your Tasks
Delegating tasks to team members is an excellent way to reduce your workload. But only give out tasks you know can be completed efficiently by other team members – this way, you’re freeing yourself to focus on what matters and creating a productive team environment.
When handing off work to others, ensure expectations and success criteria are clearly communicated and check in periodically with team members to ensure they remain on track.
As another preventative measure, avoid delegating high-level tasks that require your expertise, such as business directions or strategy, so as not to let important work slip through the cracks. Furthermore, don’t forget to provide feedback as required!
4. Eliminate Interruptions
Ferriss’ book covers an important subject: how to manage interruptions. He contends that they waste your time by decreasing productivity; by adopting specific practices, you can enhance your work life and improve performance.
Keep interrupters log to help identify patterns and set limits on when you will respond to colleagues, outsource or automate tasks where possible to reduce interruptions and utilize technologies like virtual office solutions to mitigate interruptions.
Even without one of these tools, limit how often interruptions interrupt your workday. Doing this will allow more extended periods of concentration, ultimately leading to more productivity.
5. Manage Your Time
Forming a to-do list is an effective way of improving time management. A tool like Lucidchart makes this task easier by helping you map out daily activities and prioritize them according to urgency and importance – this way; you’ll focus your energy on more important activities rather than waste time on activities like checking social media or reading news articles that don’t matter.
Though improving time management skills may seem difficult initially, the key lies in practice. Start by trying some of the tips above and seeing which works for you. Be realistic in your expectations – success doesn’t happen overnight! When you’re ready, try Lucidchart for free; sign up in just 1 minute.