Summary of ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferriss

I just knew it is the road-map, the direction to hard work, the path to “The New Rich”.

In ‘The Four Hour Work Week’, the author takes you through a ride on his journey right from the starting. With the ongoing culture of so many people leaving jobs today, and opting for business and entrepreneurship, to the life they aspire to live, our author wasn’t much different.

For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.

Timothy Ferriss

I first heard of Tim Ferris when I happen to read this blog. It was all about Tim’s success. I even listened to his podcast that was shared on his blog. I started digging more into some of his works and content and I found his success intriguing. Then I got to know about this book and I just knew I had to read it. And that’s how I finally bought the paperback version and got to read it. And believe me, it’s still on my read list, because I need to read it again to dive deeper into his insightful journey.

Let’s dive right into the insights of the book!

Manage Time Well

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.

―Charles Richards

This book won’t just help you redefine your perspective on success, value and money. It will also provide you with the intricate details on how to get better at it and how to put this roadmap into action. It will help you dive deeper in the 80/20 rule, according to which only 20% of where you invest the time in the whole day is going to give you the real results. The other 80% is going to be a time waster and you need to avoid it at all costs, and yes, even if it means outsourcing it.

Tim even goes on to tell that it’s important to bet on your strengths rather than weakness. It will not just encourage you to work more, but also make sure you’re wasting less time on meaningless activities.

Time is the most valuable asset and it’s the only thing that we all seem to be careless towards. If only the value of money can be interchanged with time, only then will we be able to comprehend the value of this priceless asset. Today our lives have got so monotonous that we end up neglecting the fact that we need space, a vacation, better health and the time to carry out a hobby that we might really have loved during our school or college days. Tim stresses on time throughout the book.

Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.

―Sara Paddison

After all, do you know anyone who is filthy rich and doesn’t know how and where to allocate his valuable time? I presume no. Because they understand the concept of time well, and so should you!

Take Mini Retirements

I know it’s contradictory to what we just talked about, but don’t you think both of these terms are related? Let me explain. When you’re “busy” and involved in a lot of tasks like surfing through your Facebook feed while checking the emails, with another tab opened with a YouTube video running in the background, you are wasting time, and simply procrastinating on the important tasks of the day that needs to be done.

We have become so used to our life that we only get to notice what’s really happening when something new occurs. It could be scary, surprising and disastrous in nature. But the point is we have stopped noticing that we are procrastinating and go along with wherever and however time takes us to be. We just cease the power of control of time from our hands and sit back, letting our habits take over.

“Let’s loosen up some time and take a break to re-calibrate our life. We need no endless over-thinking, though. Let’s just connect the dots, set the scene, and steam ahead. ”

Erik Pevernagie

Tim now goes on to tell that instead of taking lifelong retirement after living an unsatisfied and unhappy life, we should take mini retirements. What are mini retirements now? Mini retirements are the ones in which you should go to places which are ultra cheap. These trips will be life changing as they will rejuvenate your soul. A new power, a new energy will start flowing through your mind as well as body. You will be at ease to think upon how you want to take your life further. When our mind gets stuck we tend to revolve around the same idea, same beliefs and it kills our imaginative and cognitive ability.

And this is by far, one of the best ways to get out of your daily monotonous routine and experience nature and nurture yourself.

A great way to get rid of stress is, every once in a while, do something totally different and unexpected without any prior planning.

Franklin Gillette, The Secrets of Concentration and Mental Rejuvenation

Stop Choosing Unhappiness Over Uncertainty

Yes! We need to stop killing our dreams and dealing with our own self with negative, distractions or even destructive means. I am sure we all are familiar with this one.And this is the second most important theme of the book! Stop choosing everyone else, including your family, spouse, relatives, and even colleagues over yourself!

To survive and flourish in such a world, you will need a lot of mental flexibility and great reserves of emotional balance. You will have to repeatedly let go of some of what you know best, and feel at home with the unknown.

Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

We need to understand that the power to kill our unhappiness is only in our hands. No one else can impact us more than our thoughts, beliefs and actions. Hence, it becomes really important to work on our own selves within the key areas of life. If you’re unhappy and are willing to achieve it again, then you need to work on it, not sleep on it! Satisfaction is always more important than the numbers you earn.

“People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”

Tim Ferriss

What Next?

Life is just too short to waste. We need to get this engraved in our minds, and get to the place where we are actually content with ourselves. Whatever you might be focusing on right now, is just another push that is needed to get to the further projects. Even if you’re in your teenage years, 20s, 30s and so on, but the truth is you have time and you have the power, intelligence and strength to utilise it. So why waste it all away in fearing the reality, letting the uncertainty scare us.

Let me share this poem from the book itself :

Slow Dance:

Have you ever watched kids, On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain, Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don’t dance too fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. Do you run through each day, On the fly? When you ask: How are you? Do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, With the next hundred chores, Running through your head? You’d better slow down, Don’t dance too fast. Time is short, The music won’t last. Ever told your child we’ll do it tomorrow? And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die, Cause you never had time, To call and say Hi? You’d better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. When you run so fast to get somewhere, You miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower. Hear the music, Before the song is over.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek

Let’s bounce back and deal with our shit, deal with the problems and think more of the solutions instead of dwelling. Once it becomes a habit, you will be liberated from your own fears and look forward towards the betterment. Not just for our own sake, but also for the betterment of the society.


Tim actually gets into so many intricate details of how and what we are supposed to learn and how we can truly apply the principles mentioned in the book. You just need to grab this book, read, read and reread it until you get to the point of understanding where you could relate and get onto action. And don’t forget to have fun along the way. Happy Reading!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store