I’d bet my morning coffee that most of you have heard of (or even read) Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4-hour Workweek.
And even if you haven’t you can probably guess how it unfolds: Tim shares his own story, gives a few tips for getting more done in less time, and offers tricks for interspersing work and play for a more fulfilling life.
Sounds AMAZING, right? I know I drooled a little when I first heard the premise!
And some of what this book and philosophy promise to its readers is definitely possible … but only with big, hairy caveats. No profitable business can operate on only 4 hours per week.
It’s certainly possible for YOU, as the business owner, to work just 4 hours, but you’ll need other people to handle the work you’re not doing yourself.
And you’ll need the right mindsets, strategies, and habits in place to make it all run smoothly.
You get a 4-hour workweek, but hire more team members
This is the most important factor in working less: You may be able to streamline some of the actual work, but most of it can’t be eliminated or simplified.
In order to work just 4 hours per week yourself, you’ll be forced to bring on additional team members, which means scaling your profits to cover the additional cost. Might be 100% worth it to you, especially if you’ve got more cash flow than free time! But it’s definitely a trade-off.
You get a 4-hour workweek, but must become hyper-organized
When you, as the boss, only work for 4 hours each week, both you and your team will need to become organizational masterminds. The business will need to be able to both operate and grow in your absence, and you’ll need to know exactly how to troubleshoot when necessary.
One of the best ways to make this possible is through a project manager or executive VA who manages other team members in your place.
You get a 4-hour workweek, but must become over-the-top productive
4 hours per week leaves no time for distraction. You’ll need to diligently defend your work time to ensure you get everything done, and be heroically productive during every minute you’re on the clock.
That means no social media, only planned phone calls, super efficient meetings, and total focus every single moment. (Hint: If you’re a world-class procrastinator or easily distracted, making the 4-hour workweek a reality will be HARD!)
You get a 4-hour workweek, but must train yourself to worry less
Cutting down your hours to just 4 each week requires a serious mindset shift.
If you’re even the least bit controlling, you’ll struggle with handing off so much of your work. If you can’t stop worrying about your business, being “out of the office” won’t actually be relaxing or rewarding.
It definitely helps to have a team that you trust, but you also need to train yourself to let go. Otherwise, the abbreviated workweek plan falls flat.
Bottom line: yes, it’s possible … but a 4-hour workweek is not easy or fast to implement.
If working far less is your goal, start putting systems in place to make that possible and onboarding new team members now, with a goal to retire yourself in the near future.
If working slightly less is a more reasonable goal, here are some posts that may help!
- How to Kick Your Inner Procrastinator to the Curb
- How to Make Big Projects Manageable
- How to Make the Most of Your Time-management Personality
- How to Design a Workflow That Will Simplify Your Life