The 4-Hour workweek was one of the most glorified books on how to live a better work-life. It was released in 2007 and became a best seller. After many years, let’s look back at the book and determine if its lessons have been followed or still make sense.
Retirement is just an insurance policy
In the book, the author Tim Ferriss maintains we should not look at retirement as the end goal. Having a large retirement fund is an insurance policy if you are unable to work or really hate your job. Instead, you should look to find a job you like and not seek to retire so early. It is true that a nest egg can be a poisoned chalice. While most people suggest that you need $1,000,000 for a proper nest egg, the truth is this will not leave you a lot of money to enjoy life. While people often plan for being immobile and boring and not needing much money the truth is likely very different. People are increasingly healthy in old age and still want to work and travel.
Email as a productivity killer
Ferriss points out that you should only check email twice a day to be productive. He is right but the world has changed since 2007. We are now fully attached to our phones and almost addicted to being kept up to date. It is incredibly hard to say you won’t check your phone or email for the whole day. Instead, you should use your phone but limit it when you have a task that needs your undivided attention.
The cubicle is your special space
Ferriss argues that the cubicle is your place of work and you should not let people enter it at will. It is where you get work done. The world has moved away from this thought process and from cubicles in general. We now look at shared working spaces to promote collaboration in teams. While we sometimes still need privacy offices have set up hot desking to allow for this. If one day you need privacy you choose a more private space, otherwise play nicely with your team.
These are just three lessons from Tim Ferriss’ book on how to approach your work life. He had some fantastic points in the book and most are still valid. They now need to be looked at through a different lens though as we live in a very different world to 2007.