Lessons from The 4-Hour Workweek: Where does the time go?

Where does the time go?Years ago, I ran into an acquaintance who was reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. Being a voracious reader and someone who is slightly obsessed with finding the best ways to get things done, I normally would have picked up a copy out of sheer curiosity. However, as this individual had a less-than-stellar work ethic, I wrongly assumed the book was written for slackers who hoped to eke out a living by working only four hours a week.

Since then, however, I’ve come across several successful people who have also read the book. Fortunately, this led me to suspect that there may actually be more between its covers than I originally anticipated. After finishing the book a few months ago, I discovered how much I had truly misjudged it.

Although I recommend you read the book given the number of great ideas and concepts in it, I’ll share one of the most useful themes, which I think we can all relate to.

Ferriss points out the obvious: there aren’t enough hours in the day, week, month, etc. However, he also wisely points out that we all spend way too much time and energy on four types of tasks:

  1. Things we don’t like.
  2. Things we aren’t good at.
  3. Things that aren’t that important.
  4. Things that someone else can do better, and more efficiently, than we can.

There you have it! The book in a nutshell.

So, how does this apply to your finances?

To start with, most doctors and business owners would rather spend their time practising their chosen profession than figuring out the mechanics of things like paying less tax and growing their portfolios. Let’s face it, the return on their investment of time is likely to be exponentially higher if they stick with what they enjoy and do for a living. However, the idea of putting so much effort into trying to make money and almost no effort into figuring out how to save it is just plain silly! This is a perfect example of when someone should hire a professional, so they can “outsource” that aspect of their life to someone they can trust to do a better, and more efficient, job than they would themselves.

My wealth management practice specializes in organizing our clients’ financial lives around what’s most important to them and their families. This ranges from optimizing their investments, tax (personal and corporate) planning and retirement strategies, to just making sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Our clients have the comfort of knowing that everything is taken care of.

Of course, it’s not just about outsourcing your financial life to a professional you can trust to do a better job than you can and who will keep you abreast of what’s important. This type of time-saving strategy can work in many areas of your life. But quite frankly, I believe taking care of your financial future is one of the most important areas to put this into practice!