I want to first point out that I got this book off audible, so I didn’t “read it” I listened to. Which did cause some problems at times since many of the chapters ended with a lot of links to different websites. Also there are a good amount of numbers mentioned in the book which makes it hard to follow at times. So if you’re going to pick up “The 4-Hour Workweek" get the book and not the audio version.
The book isn’t targeted at those who don’t want to change or those that want to change but cannot, but rather it’s targeted for those who actually want to and can change their life. I don’t think I could live the way Tim describes in his book. I really enjoy what I do and doing less of it seems like it wouldn’t make me better off. But the idea of doing less work isn’t what I dug about about the book. One of the ideas was that Tim challenges the notion that people have to work 30-40 years before they can retire and enjoy life. There is no reason why you can’t and shouldn’t take those trips around the world now. You will likely enjoy and appretricate it more now instead of when you are 60. He also recommends eliminating things which cause stress and waste time. An example of time wasters are events such as meetings, constantly checking e-mail, and even social media. Reducing these actively can help you be more productive. Perhaps something I need to learn how to do. Especially since I am someone who finds myself on twitter and checking email all the time. Although I enjoy those work interruptions perhaps they are not the best use of my time. Tim also recommends firing stress causing clients whose projects produce very little revenue for yourself and just add more stress into your life. I’m making the book sound like a self help book and it’s really not; It’s also not a get rich quick book. Instead think of “The 4-Hour Workweek" as a guide book. Along with the ideas of the elimination of excessive clutter from work and home Tim provides steps for you to start automating your life. Showing you how to create income streams that don’t require you to be involved in the equation. I’m not sure that everyone can optimize the way that Tim and others have. A majority of people who read it WON’T follow any of the advice in the book. People like stability, routine, and security. If nothing else it’s inspirational and will likely get you motivated. It will make you wonder why you work so much and travel so little. Rediscover your time.
Researchers from the Netherlands set out to measure the effect that vacations have on overall happiness and how long it lasts. They studied happiness levels among 1,530 Dutch adults, 974 of whom took a vacation during the 32-week study period.
The study, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life,showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.
After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people. How much stress or relaxation a traveler experienced on the trip appeared to influence post-vacation happiness. There was no post-trip happiness benefit for travelers who said the vacation was “neutral” or stressful.”
Surprisingly, even those travelers who described the trip as “relaxing” showed no additional jump in happiness after the trip. “They were no happier than people who had not been on holiday,” said the lead author, Jeroen Nawijn, tourism research lecturer at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.
The only vacationers who experienced an increase in happiness after the trip were those who reported feeling “very relaxed” on their vacation. Among those people, the vacation happiness effect lasted for just two weeks after the trip before returning to baseline levels.
“Vacations do make people happy,” Mr. Nawijn said. “But we found people who are anticipating holiday trips show signs of increased happiness, and afterward there is hardly an effect.”
One reason vacations don’t boost happiness after the trip may have to do with the stress of returning to work. And for some travelers, the holiday itself was stressful.
Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?” Pollan says.
Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.
It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Always leave the table a little hungry,” Pollan says. “Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.’”
Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. “Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?” Pollan asks.
Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.
Interruptions at work are going to happen and no matter how many ways you may attempt to reduce them they all can’t be stopped. They come in the form of a phone call, e-mail, instant message, twitter, facebook, a game of ping pong or someone hovering over your desk and asking ‘If you can take quick look at something.’ As a result of all these interruptions it seems like more and more people are working longer and stranger hours. But I don’t think it’s because there is more work to get done rather its having to make up for not getting work done at work. You may reduce some of these interruptions by coming into work an hour early or taking lunch at 1 pm instead of at noon with everyone else. But this only reduces the interruptions from other people. This isn’t a post about how to minimize interruptions, there are hundreds of them on the web. Instead I say work with the interruptions. I’m the kind of person that probably should of been diagnosed with ADD, I’m constantly jumping from one idea to the next. I’m just not wired to focus on one task for long stretches of time. I need interruptions to be able to get what I need to do accomplished. Although the idea of task-switching has shown to have a negative effect on concentration…
In a recent study, a group of Microsoft workers took, on average 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks, like writing reports or computer code, after responding to incoming e-mail or instant messages. They strayed off to reply to other messages or browse news, sports or entertainment Web sites. (NYT)
Right there the New York Times is telling us that focused creative work and interruptions just don’t mix. But what I’ve found is that it makes me work with more focus for those brief points of time. An example of this, is when I was working on this post I was also chatting on Instant Messenger. If I’d get stuck on a sentence or word so I’d just jump over to IM and talk with whomever for a moment, just taking that break from writing allowed me to think about what I wanted to say. It’s these sort of micro breaks that allow me to actually stay creative and focused as strange as that may sound. It’s very easy to get sucked into a compulsive state of mind while working at the computer, which can lead to mental tension. That’s why I think I welcome interruptions; without them I may have a mental breakdown. Bring on the phone calls, the emails and twitter updates. They go wonderful with my cluttered desk.