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. Hes 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 Workweekand he did all this before the age of thirty.
Tims 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 Ill check e-mail for just one second is like saying Ill just have one potato chip. I wouldnt 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 Id never considered before: I hired a virtual assistant through an outsourcing company in India. Businesses do it all the time so why not individuals? Tims 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 Tims book, heres what I would have done differently over the past ten years:
I wouldve tried to please fewer people.
I wouldve dreamt bigger.
Outside of the physical, like riding a motorcycle into a brick wall, no mistakes are fatal. As a general rule, thats a good dictum to keep in mind. Be unreasonable with your expectationsbecause the default mode of the world is mediocrity.
Tims 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. Dont 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 youll realize you dont have to do that at all. Its just one option, and if its a popular one, in most cases it wont lead you to the extraordinary life you were born to live.
Hardcover, 320 pages, $19.95; Crown, 2007