5 Key Tips From “The 4 Hour Work Week”: Get More Free Time without Quitting Your Job


The following are 5 great tips he provides in the book, some of which I have implemented and others I plan to test!

5 Key Tips From “The 4 Hour Work Week” : How to Get More Free Time Without Quitting Your Job

1) Create a to-do list at the end of each day

Create a to-do list before leaving work each day which maps out the most important tasks to complete the following day. Seems simple enough, right? But you’d be surprised at how many people don’t do it! Do you? I’ll admit, sometimes I am still hit or miss, but I have gotten a lot better! And creating the list definitely improves my productivity the next day.

2) Do NOT check email first thing in the morning

This may be the exact opposite of what most of us do. Here’s why it’s important not to check email first thing when you get to the office. It is SO easy to get lost in a sea of emails. Before you know it, you’ve spent your first hour or two of the day (often times people’s most productive hours) executing other’s agendas, instead of your own.

Similar to the concept of Brian Tracy’s “Eat That Frog,” Ferris suggest to accomplish your most important task of the day (the one you identify on your to-do list the evening prior) before you even check your email.

3) Check your email at specified intervals

Not only should you avoid checking email the first thing in the morning, Ferris suggests checking it at specified intervals,  maybe 2 or 3 times per day. This prevents the habit that most of us have of leaving Outlook open all day & constantly being distracted from what we’re working on. He even goes so far as to suggest setting up an auto-response informing people that you’ll be reviewing & responding to emails at 10am and 3pm, daily (for example). That way the expectation is set. And you can focus on your tasks!

4) Get really good & really efficient at what you do

“The Four Hour Work Week” is not about being lazy (well it kinda is, but in a good way!) Ferris, doesn’t suggest you do nothing, or try to get over by producing as little as possible. In fact, he suggests you get really good at what you do. So good that you become indispensable to your company. Leading to tip #5 – negotiating a remote work environment.

5) Negotiate a remote work environment

 Work from anywhere! (Work while backpacking in Europe? Traveling through South America? Don’t mind if I do!) And thanks to Tim’s prior advice, you’ll be so efficient that a 40 hour work week will hardly be necessary to still meet & exceed the responsibilities of your job.

I understand working remotely is not plausible for everyone. But for many of us, it is an option if we just raise our hands & ask. And the key is, the more knowledgeable you are in your position, the more value you provide to your company, and the more productive you are – the more likely you’ll be able to negotiate the terms of your employment – including working remotely!

(Important Note: Being more productive does not equal putting in more hours. That’s the misconception that so many of us have – that in order to be more productive you have to spend more time on something. But that simply isn’t the case. That is what the rest of “The Four Hour Work Week” dives into. How you can be more productive in less time. In my personal case, a remote work environment IS an option. So many of the tips provided in the book were right up my ally.

I expect that soon I’ll be putting the 4 hour work week to the test! (Particularly step 5, hopefully, in the coming months). I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

Have you read “The 4 Hour Work Week?” What was your favorite part of the book?

Are any of the strategies above, something you can implement in your current work environment? Speak on it!

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