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I’ve been putting off reading Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek for a while now.  At first, I had the impression that it was geared more towards nine-to-fivers, giving them the extra push they needed to quit their jobs and go freelance.

Since I’ve already been freelancing for almost two years, I felt this book didn’t apply to me.

Boy was I wrong!

It’s a fantastic read.  For anyone, in any industry and any lifestyle.  Yes, Ferriss encourages breaking out on your own and engaging in “lifestyle design”, but this is far from a “how to quit your job” book.

It’s about increasing your level of enjoyment in whatever you do – whether that’s freelancing, running your own business, or working for the man.  This book is packed to the brim with tips and immediate actions you can take to implement the necessary changes to improve your lifestyle.

Here are a few takeway actions I have put to the test:

Limit checking email.

OK, I admit, I haven’t gone as far as Tim suggests (check it once a week).  But considering I used to keep my two email accounts open on my desktop roughly 9 hours a day plus my iPhone access, I can definitely say I cut down my gmail frenzy significantly.

I no longer leave my email accounts open.  I check email roughly twice a day (OK, occasionally a third time).  I turned off the Google notifier and I put the iPhone out of sight when I’m relaxing at home.

The biggest tip here is to avoid checking email first thing in the morning.  Set today’s list of tasks, and knock out the most important task first.  Then do your first email check in the late morning.  I shoot for 11:00am.  Otherwise, you’ll get caught up in the “urgent” requests for your attention, leaving your priorities unattended to.

Value your time.  All of it.

Being chronically “busy” is still something I’m dealing with, but since reading The 4-Hour Workweek, I have come to value my time more than ever.

Ferriss defines “the new rich” as those who are rich in terms of financial comfort but also rich in terms of time.  You could make six figures a year, but if you devote all your time to working a job you hate, then you’re not rich.  You have to find a balance of financial and personal freedom.  I couldn’t agree more.

So the action I’ve taken on this front is I have hired an assistant to help out with some of my web design work.  This has helped significantly as I’m now able to focus more on my larger projects and work more on the big picture stuff.

That’s really just a taste

There’s so much more to take away from this book.  Travel tips, credit card mastery, online business tools, remote working, and more.  I highly recommend it to literally anyone who’s interested in making changes in their life (who isn’t?) – both large and small.

Have you read it?

Share the actions you have implemented since reading The 4-Hour Workweek.  It’s interesting to hear how many different directions people can take after reading this book.

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