Time Hacks - The 4-Hour Work Week Review

Everyone wants to make more money. While there are a lot of ways to earn money, one thing is for sure: You have to invest time. Time is a fleeting resource and most people feel that their time is the biggest thing they are losing in their quest for money. Well, you have to sacrifice something to gain something, right? American entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss, in his book "The 4-Hour Work Week", claims to have an alternative.

The overall theme of the book is that, it's not money you're after. Rather you want to fulfill your needs and desires and the money is just a medium. And there is a method to designing your work and lifestyle in such a way that you can have what you desire while putting minimal effort.

The foundation of the book is the idea of relative income and absolute income. Someone who earns BDT 10,000 a week working for 10 hours each week is considered to have a higher relative income than someone who earns BDT 20,000 a week but has to work for 40 hours. Relative income is essentially the amount earned for per unit of time spent working. The purpose of the book is to teach you ways to increase your relative income rather than absolute income, thus freeing up your time.

The book provides a lot of methods for maximising your relative income. Sadly, most of them cannot be easily implemented and have notable limitations, especially in Bangladesh. But the core principles taught in the book are very effective and can be applied to most situations. The most important of these principles are "Elimination" and "Outsourcing".

Elimination is a process that is based on the 80/20 rule of statistics. Essentially it states that in a given system, approximately 80 percent of the output is a result of 20 percent of the input, and vice versa.

For example, if you run a business, you'll likely see that a big chunk of your revenue is coming from just a fraction of your customers. All your other customers contribute to a small portion of that revenue. Thus, if you eliminate the other customers and direct your resources to the highly profitable group, you'll have much higher profit with much less resources and time spent.

Outsourcing is just what it sounds like, hiring someone else to do the less important and time consuming tasks. Let's say I earn BDT 2000 for every hour of work. Usually, I spend 2 hours working and 2 hours doing household chores each day. So my per-day earning is BDT 4000. But then one day I hire someone to do my chores for BDT 500. Thus, 2 hours of my day was freed. So I decide to dedicate one extra hour of my day to my work. As a result, not only has my daily income increased to 4500 but I also have one additional hour of valuable free time.

"The 4-Hour Work Week" was a great read and will definitely be worthwhile for anyone looking to improve their life situation. Despite the limitations and additional risks that the book's suggestions have, there are more than enough valuable concepts which if learned and implemented properly will have a positive effect on your life.


Mushfiqur Rahman Shanto is a lost and confused soul going through his early twenties' crisis. Send him life advice at [email protected]



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শিক্ষামন্ত্রী দীপু মনি বলেছেন, 'আমাদের যে মেগা প্রকল্পগুলো চলছে, সেগুলোর কাজ শেষ হলে আমি বিশ্বাস করি শিক্ষাখাতে মেগা প্রকল্পের কাজ শুরু করা যাবে। শিক্ষাই হবে আমাদের মেগাপ্রজেক্ট।'