Four Hour Work Week

  • Define
  • Eliminate
  • Automate
  • Liberate


Ask for forgiveness, not permission

Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses

Things in excess become the opposite

What’s the worst that could happen?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Excitement, not happiness

Defined steps

Unrealistic goals to be effective?

Activities to fill vacuum – doing things, not owning things

Dream lining


What 20% of sources are causing 80% of problems?

What 20% of sources are causing 80% of desired outcomes and happiness?

No work for works sake

Determine characteristics of top customers, pursue similar

Lack of time is lack of priorities

Limit tasks to important to shorten work time

Shorten work time to limit to important

Most inputs are useless

Time is used in proportion to time available

3 times a day at scheduled times ask:

  • Am I being productive or just active?
  • Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?

If you were sick and could only work 2 hours a day / 2 hours a week – what would you do?

If this is the only thing I accomplish today will I be satisfied?

Do not multitask

Low information diet

Will I use this info for something immediate and important?

Don’t finish if it has no value

Time wasters:

  • Meetings
  • Phone Calls
  • Email

Time Consumers:

  • Repetitive tasks

Empowerment Failures:

  • Approval to make small things happen

Check email twice a day, 12am then 4pm, then daily

Create sense of time pressure on phone calls

Your job to train others to be effective and efficient

Preference: email, phone, meeting

Respond to voicemail with email, streamline, use if then, avoid back and forth

Meet only to make decisions about problem – use agenda beforehand

Define meeting end time

Don’t permit casual visitors to interrupt

Batch as much as possible to limit interruptions


Outsourcing to prevent negative cashflow

Automation increases efficiency in an efficient organization, magnifies inefficiency otherwise

Eliminate before you delegate

Delegated tasks must be time consuming and well defined

Rules to outsourcing

  • Don’t accept 1st person assigned
  • Give precise instructions
  • Don’t give license to waste time
  • Use time constraints for pressure
  • Don’t give too many tasks at once

Ask “could a virtual assistant do this?” Ex. submit articles to drive traffic


If you must play, decide on three things at the start:

  • The rules of the game
  • The stakes
  • The quitting time

The simple willingness to improvise is more vital, in the long run, than research

There is more to life than increasing it’s speed

Have I decided on a single meaning for each term in this question?

Can an answer to this question be acted on to improve things?