The 4-Hour Workweek: Book Review & Give-Away (ends Sat Nov 20)


4 Hour Workweek book review and give-awayI’m reviewing my favourite personal growth and productivity books, and giving them away to make room for new ones.

This week’s give-away is the The 4-Hour Workweek, a #1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 Wall Street Journal Bests from legendary life hacker Tim Ferriss.

Want a Free Copy?

  1. Follow our Facebook page by clicking “Like” on the sidebar (+1 entry)
  2. Leave a comment in this post (+1 entry) (Just say hi or tell me what you’d do if you had a year off from work.)

>> Contest ends Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and will be contacted for a mailing address, or arrange pick up from downtown Toronto.

Next week’s book give-away will be for “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen Covey. Will be posted Monday Nov 22.

[ Get email updates of future book give-aways and happiness articles. ]

Book Overview

The 4-Hour Workweek was one of the first lifestyle redesign books I read when I started questioning my 9-5 lifestyle two years ago.

It opened my eyes to possibilities outside the traditional ideas of working an office job, waiting for retirement to enjoy extended travel/free time, that working harder is better, and that new life experienced has to cost a lot.

Trends that Tim Ferriss takes advantage of, such as increased mobility, globalization/outsourcing, and purchasing power discrepancies, were already familiar to me; but this was the first time I saw direct ways these trends could improve my lifestyle quality.

The book was funny, easy to follow, had tangible techniques for increasing productivity and introduces the “DEAL” framework for redesigning your life.

The “DEAL” on Lifestyle Redesign

  1. D: Define your objectives.
    Decide what’s important and ask yourself, “What do I really want?”
  2. E: Eliminate distractions to free up time.
    Be effective, not efficient. Focus on achieving 80% of the outcomes with 20% of effort. Say no to any information or interruptions that don’t contribute to objectives. How to read faster, reduce clutter and clear your mind.
  3. A: Automate your cash flow to increase income.
    Focus on value-added activities and outsource the rest of your life — get a virtual assistant to handle tasks.
  4. L: Liberate yourself from traditional expectations. Modify your job to take advantage of mobility to work from home or from around the world. How to convince your boss to start letting you work from home. Take “mini-retirements” in geographic regions that will give you great bang for your buck due to purchasing power differences.

The point of the book isn’t to necessarily to literally reduce you workweek to 4 hours, as much as to show you lifestyle possibilities you probably haven’t considered. Like with all books, you have to pick the ideas that best apply to you.

Final Thoughts

I’d highly recommend this book for:

  • Anyone wondering what’s outside the 9-5 cubicle lifestyle
  • Lifestyle redesign or life hack newbies
  • Anyone who needs a breath of fresh air from being overworked or underworked

It’s a book worth reading twice (the copy I’m giving away is the updated and expanded version of the one I first read in 2008).

Win a Free Copy

  1. Follow our Facebook page by clicking “Like” on the sidebar (+1 entry)
  2. Leave a comment in this post (+1 entry) (Just say hi or tell me what you’d do if you had a year off from work.)

>> Contest ends Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and will be contacted for a mailing address, or arrange pick up from downtown Toronto.

Related resources

  • wojownik

    hi I hope it will work:-)

  • anna


  • Great review and write-up, Lily! This was one of the books that really got me thinking about changing my situation, too…great minds, eh? Haha…best wishes and I hope your journey’s still going swimmingly.

    Your friend in blogging,

  • i found your blog through your ‘million dollar journey’ article – which was great by the way! this book sounds like it would be a good read.

  • rojoma

    I’d follow the yellow brick road to southeast asia.

  • dv8

    i would learn mandarin and hindi

  • michael

    Book sounds intriguing!

  • awcool

    Hey, I think it’s awesome what you’re doing. I’ve taken a different route to worldly fulfillment. I decided to work in 3 different countries (and explore their surroundings while there) over the course of 3 years. Don’t regret it for a second!

  • Monica

    I “like” you on facebook!

  • Monica

    My husband and I are getting to the age where we’re tired of the 9-5 grind….this would be a great read and hopefully inspire us to leave the rat race behind and start to ‘live”.

  • Szussino

    I would love a copy of this book.

    I would setup a business where I can sell food.

  • Emily

    I would love a copy of this book and think what you have done in wonderful!

  • Hardeep Gosal

    I would enhance various aspects of my life: Health, Family/Friends & Finances

    1) Develope a regular schedule to exercise, and make home made meals

    2) Spend quality time with the quality people in my life. I am very lucky to be surrounded by amazing friends and family whom I do not get to see enough of! Especially my 95 year old grandmother and my 3 year old niece.

    3) Learn more about how to better manage my finances: ie Pay off my mortgage quicker!

  • I was downsized last year and really concentrated on getting employed in the first three months (I took a month off to enjoy the summer) and did get a job, but we mutual turned it down. I was not passionate about it. Now its one year and four months, and enjoying my volunteer time, yoga, friends, etc. I have done things that I normally would have not had time to do. for example auditioning for a Cooking show.

  • I would volunteer time towards initiatives in my local community. :)

  • I would spend my year off doing all the things on my bucket list!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Lily I would love to win this book. If I had a year off I would travel extensively throughout South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. I would enjoy every moment of it to. Hey what am I saying… I will do this really soon God Willing.

    This is a really good book especially for us that are creating lifestyle re-designs.

  • Hkee

    I would road trip across Canada and the United States (I’m from Eastern Ontario) land in California, head up to Vancouver and watch a Canucks game.

  • would love to win this!

  • your facebook fan
    jessica tang

  • I loved the first edition and have been wanting to read this expanded edition. We are actually planning to take a year off (1 year sabbatical) and live overseas. Going to take some time to develop my photography and just enjoy life in a new environment.

  • Marcel Boudreau

    This would definitely be a great motivational book.

  • Anita F

    sounds very intriguing

  • hi! if i had a year off work i would go backpacking across Europe.

  • Flycast5

    If I had a year off work, I would head right down to Austrailia to sail around the Whitsunday Island and FISH FISH FISH. That would only take up about 6 months and then the other 6 months I would head to the Amazon and South Africa to play around with big scary river monster fish, and swim with sharks.

  • OMG If I had a year off… here’s what I would do:

    Go to the Galapagos Islands, go back to India, go to Vietnam and South East Asia, drink mango juice on the Thailand beaches, frolic in the Maldives, go see the pyramids in Egypt, see Ireland, Scotland, and the Scandanavian countries, volunteer and return back to Nepal. I would also write a year’s worth of blog posts too :)

  • Ebintus

    A year in argintina, Prague, Phuket living a dream

  • Rachel plouffe

    I would love to have more free time with my family

  • Auqakuh

    Hi! I’m really intrigued by the subject matter of your blogs. I’ll definitely be back.


  • FUN


  • This was one of the books I was going to buy with my missing Chapters gift certs!

  • Jeannie19

    Hi Lily! I hope I win!

  • Anonymous

    Great review Lily! I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book, especially since I work 10 hours a days and commute 2.5 hours! 24 hours aren’t enough sometimes.