Tim Ferriss has been featured in the New York Times, Maxim, National Geographic, Traveler and other media. He speaks six languages, runs a multinational firm from the wildest locations worldwide and has been the world record holder in the tango. He’s been a national champion in Chinese kick-boxing and an actor in a hit television series in Hong Kong. He is the New York Times and Wall Street best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek—and he did all this before the age of thirty.

Tim’s newest book is filled with great timesaving nuggets to help reduce the complex to the simple. Here are a just a few I implemented right away.

First, I switched to checking e-mail once a day. Saying I’ll check e-mail for just one second is like saying I’ll just have one potato chip. I wouldn’t do a load of laundry every time I had two dirty socks because of the task-switching cost involved. Tim helped me batch tasks and I saved a ton of time!

Next, I did something I’d never considered before: I hired a virtual assistant through an outsourcing company in India. Businesses do it all the time… so why not individuals? Tim’s right! The hourly rate is $4 to $10, and once you find the right person to work with, watch your effectiveness multiply! Tim provides several useful suggestions on how to find and train a virtual assistant. This was a big help for me!

After knowing what I know today from Tim’s book, here’s what I would have done differently over the past ten years:

• I would’ve tried to please fewer people.

• I would’ve dreamt bigger.

Outside of the physical, like riding a motorcycle into a brick wall, no mistakes are fatal. As a general rule, that’s a good dictum to keep in mind. Be unreasonable with your expectations—because the default mode of the world is mediocrity.

Tim’s philosophy originated with Ricardo Semler, CEO of Semco in Brazil, one of the most incredible success stories in the history of corporate reinvention and author of Maverick and The Seven Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works.

The most important trait Tim wishes to instill in people through his book is the habit of asking “Why?”—not once, but multiple times. Don’t be satisfied with assumptions that people try to pass on to you and test your own assumptions. When you hear, “You have to do this,” ask, “Why?” When the person gives you an answer, ask “Why?” again.

Whenever you feel you have to do something or should do something, or someone tells you one of those two things, ask “Why?” at least three times and you’ll realize you don’t have to do that at all. It’s just one option, and if it’s a popular one, in most cases it won’t lead you to the extraordinary life you were born to live.

Hardcover, 320 pages, $19.95; Crown, 2007