Posts Tagged ‘Four Hour Workweek’

How To Accidentally Waste 12 Months of Potential + a must read


So I’m going through my Dreamline…

A Dreamline is your list of goals, all the things you’d love to have, be and do (see the Four Hour Workweek page 54). Think of it as a 12 month bucket list (see 5 Things You Must Have on Your Bucket List).

Download your own 4HWW Dreamline here for free!

… and I noticed something rather interesting. Since writing my dreamline 12 months ago:

  1. I had completed over 85% of the items on the list! This is a known phenomenon to success, that by merely writing down your dreams and goals you are a major step closer to achieving them! Which brought me to realization number…
  2. My goals were too small! Some goals were as small as “purchase 2TB hard drive” “join a gym”. Now although I went way past these 2 incredibly simple tasks…
  3. I forgot to follow through on my goals. You see, in every aspect of life, from golf to martial arts to design to friendship, it’s all about staying with your intensity as far as it will carry. This is why…
  4. I had never heard of Action Method. Action Method is a productivity app based on the book Making Ideas Happen. You can find the iPhone/iPad app in the iTunes store ($3) or at the website (basic is free; premium version $13 a month). Action Method had has a profound impact on my productivity. Where once there was a To-Do list, there is now a series of projects (prioritized by energy levels), tasks (specified by urgency), and focus items (up to 5 per day).

All in all, I can only imagine how much I could have accomplished if I would have caught my mistakes 12 months ago.

Using a Priority Inbox system. Every single email that arrives in your inbox should be either:

  • Actionable – placed into Action Method as an actionable/delegated task).
  • Backburner – things to catch up on at a later time. (I create new folders like “To Read” “To Do” for emails I’d like to come back to) and
  • Reference – information which requires neither action or follow-up. Evernote (another amazing app you can download for free here) works great for this storing 10,000’s of notes stored on cloud that you can access anywhere at anytime.
Get used to sending yourself emails containing action tasks or information to direct into either Actionable, Backburner or Reference. Both Action Method and Evernote offer you email addresses so you can process things directly.

The Importance of Organization

Everyone can juggle things in their heads. Some go even further and think of new and creative ways to keep an unbelievable amount of conscious information in their minds at once.

However, when you are focusing on actionable tasks there must be both fluidity and renewal. Items must be completed, delegated, altered or discarded. Then, if the project is expected to move forward, a new action task must fill its place.

Getting Motivated Inspired!

People don’t need motivation, they need inspiration. And its often the case that we are fully capable of inspiring ourselves. A dream, a goal, a passion, a need — anything that engages and penetrates our emotional essence is a great source of inspiration. Some people make collages of all the things they can buy with a million dollars (you’d be surprised!). Some drive after every hard day’s work and pay a visit to the house they intend to buy some day. Some people photoshop their bodies to what they expect to look like after they hit the gym every day for the next 12 months.

The 3 Keys to Getting Things Done

Here are 3 activities that have enabled me to be my most productive and get the most productive work done in incredibly brief spurts of time:

  1. Focus! It’s not enough to just create powerful goals. There must also be an unwavering commitment to achieving them. If your goals get boring, there’s a good chance that they aren’t powerful or meaningful enough. If you must accomplish one menial task in order to reach a more meaningful one, focus on the passion of the end-result. This will often make the prerequisite task much easier.
  2. Ritualize! What do you do first thing when you wake up? How about after that? How about after work? Before you go to sleep? Everything in your life has a place and for that you need a ritual. Anyone who follows a ritual will immediately begin to see more purpose and productivity to their day.
  3. JFDI! This stands for “Just Do It” with an added acronym. This is the only poster on my wall, and its done wonders. There is no more powerful trait than the ability to make swift and intelligent decisions. If you are going to do it anyway, why not do it right now? Moreover, there’s usually some sort of pain or discomfort with doing it later. So… Just Freakin’ Do It!

Some Tips for Productivity:

  • Get up early! And finish something important before the world awakens! I trained myself to wake up at 7 am every morning and working on getting that closer to 5 am! It also helps to familiarize yourself with the concept of sleep cycles.
  • Set daily ass-kicking! Ask yourself “If I could only accomplish one thing today, what would it be”.
  • Check email only twice a day. And see if the world will still rotate as before. Although this is not possible in all professions, you don’t need to be like a dog on a leash either.
  • Wire-in! You know what this is if you write code or watched “The Social Network”. It’s when you zero in completely at the task at hand, and nothing else matters. In sports this is imperative. Kobe fans will remember this.
  • Batch. The mind takes time from move from one type task to another. Batching similar tasks — such as making phone calls, answering emails, doing interviews, and running errands — can suddenly open up huge windows of time you never knew you had.
  • Automate similar tasks as much as possible. Can it be delegated (to someone competent enough)? Can it be taken care of later (like an old video rental)? Does it have to be done at all?
  • Let small bad things happen. This one fascinates me. We all have just a short window of opportunity each day consisting of approximately 16 hours. Yet some of us do great things, while others waste it all on petty tasks. The key then is to allow small bad things to go wrong, while we focus on larger, more important and meaningful tasks.
  • Eat elephants one bite at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but one day at a time. Divide larger tasks into short smaller actionable ones and you’ll be astounded at your gradual yet forward progress.
  • keep everything stupidly simple
  • Create a NOT to do list. Think of your bottlenecks, things that slow you down or circular jobs you keep doing that end in a downward spiral of unproductive time-wasting. Add them to your NOT TO DO list.
  • Remember the 3 C’s: conceive, comprehend, connect.
  • Clear inbox + clear desk = clear conscience. 
  • Take a day off once a week. No work, no phone, no TV. Just be.
  • Now get back to work! 🙂

Check out Action Method today! (trust me)


A MUST Read:

I want to just add a sub-note regarding something I came across while I was backpacking through Vietnam a month ago. It’s a book called The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. Some have labeled it sexist (although all the women I have suggested it to have approved of its almost utopian ideal), and the author himself states the thoughts therein may seem controversial (often with those content with mediocrity and the status quo). Yet, there is little doubt in my mind that many of the problems we face today with regard to personal fulfillment, sense of purpose, a better life – physically emotionally and spiritually – stem from a lack of understanding of the gems hidden in “The Way of the Superior Man”.

The book will teach you about the true dynamics between man and women, libido, creativity, purposeful living and it might just change your life!

9 Ways to Be More Productive

Based on the 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

1. Only answer calls you know. You can surprise, just don’t be surprised. Use “Google Voice” for call monitoring.

2. No email before 10 am (or before you complete critical tasks of the day). This is so that you don’t get caught up with unnecessary internet time before moving on. Check if you need to, respond to everything after you do what you need to do right now.

3. Arrange all meetings with agenda and time frame. Send out a memo of all the issues to resolve before the meeting. Meetings should solve problems, not create more. No meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes. (This includes brainstorming sessions).

4. Get to the point. Sound busy so you don’t have to be. There is nothing obtuse about saying “I’m in the middle of getting something out, but I have a minute. Whats up?”).

5. Batch. This is something that has proven very valuable. Combine similar task into the same set time frames. It takes 45 minutes for the brain to switch focus from one thing to another.

6. Don’t over communicate. Use to the 80/20 rule (that 80% of your results/profits come from 20% of your customers) to automate low-profit high-maintenance customers. (Cite new policies and procedures).

7. Prioritize. Define the most critically important aspects of your business and life. Let everything else play second fiddle.

8. Let go of your cell or “Crackberry” once in a while. (I have a friend that wakes up with his Blackberry in his hand. Not good). Choose one day a week to leave your precious little life-line friend at home.

9. Get critical, get done, get out, have fun! The point of all work is to get done with it and enjoy that which it buys (otherwise why work?). Think of it in terms of mini-retirements: You work a month, pay all your necessary expenses, put away some for your old age (no, Social Security won’t help you), get out there and fulfill your dreams!

5 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

Here are the 5 books Every Entrepreneur Must Read before launching any business or organization. Furthermore, while audio books are quite useful and easier to listen to, I suggest you go out and buy the actual books since so much information, graphs and visualizations are contained in them.

The Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki

Kawasaki essentially outlines the progressive stages of launching your business with a practical and simple rather than deep and complex approach. Learn what VCs want to hear and how to setup a sound business from the ground up!

The E-Myth Mastery – Michael Gerber

While Gerber’s previous book the E-Myth Revisited details why you must build a systematized business, this version explains how. This is the entrepreneur’s bible; an invaluable asset to any business, start-up or Fortune 500. Learn why systems, not people, run your business best!

The Four Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss

I have many people tell me its unrealistic. I disagree. This is your “Get Out of Jail Free/Rat Race” card before you even get in. Ferriss, though far from conventional lays out how you have to improve everything from your life to your business and back again. Learn how to Delegate, Eliminate, Automate and Liberate!

Good to Great – Jim Collins

What makes great companies great? Collins moves away the clutter to identify the most essential qualities every revolutionary enterprise possesses. Learn why your Values and Vision are worth so many times your balance sheets.

Choose To be Rich – Robert Kiyosaki

So what makes people wealthy? Kiyosaki walks through the fundamentals of wealth creation and good business sense to provide the aspiring entrepreneur the keys to untold riches. Learn why the words “Cash Flow” are the most important words you’ll ever hear.


These books aren’t just worth a few great lines, they will change your entire perspective on your business and the way you approach your life while achieving your goals.

The only additional keys you need are passion, creativity, common sense and perseverance!