6 Optimisation Tips For A 4-Hour Workweek

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6 Optimisation Tips For A 4-Hour Workweek

Could you put four hours of work in per week and still manage to do everything you need to? Your instinctive response might be no, but Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Work Week says it is definitely possible. Here we take a look at his productivity and optimisation tips and how you can implement them into your every day life.


Start Your Day In The Right Mood

Our feelings and moods have a tremendous impact on our levels of productivity. When you catapult yourself into chaos (a ringing phone, early morning emails etc) first thing in the morning you can expect to spend the rest of your day reacting to what is happening around you, instead of managing it proactively.

According to the research you are more likely to procrastinate when you’re in a bad mood, and your productivity levels dwindle. By contrast, happiness has a direct link to success and increases your levels of productivity. Maybe you need to put less effort into your work and more effort into your mood.


Don’t Start Your Day With Email

With smart phones managing our email and serving as alarm clocks, it’s not surprising that many of us begin our days going through our inboxes. Why is this a bad idea? Well, for starters, you are just putting yourself into a reactive space again. Whoever sends you requests via email is usurping your plans for the day. And yes, the contents could also affect your mood.

It is also worth knowing that emails can cause you unnecessary stress, become addictive and literally drop your IQ- by as much as 10 points.

According to Ferriss:

“…whenever possible, do not check email for the first hour or two of the day. It’s difficult for some people to imagine. “How can I do that? I need to check email to get the information I need to work on my most important one or two to-dos?

You would be surprised how often that is not the case. You might need to get into your email to finish 100% of your most important to-dos. But can you get 80 or 90% done before you go into Gmail and have your rat brain explode with freak-out, dopamine excitement and cortisol panic? Yes.”


Ask If You Should Even Be Doing It In The First Place?

Many of us are trying to do things more efficiently but Ferriss says that, before you even get to that point you should be asking yourself whether it is worth doing at all. One of Ferriss’ most valuable optimisation tips for achieving greater productivity is refining your tasks and making a shorter list.

Ferriss says that just because you happen to do something well does not make it significant. And, in his experience, many of the tasks that are being done quickly should not be done at all. Focus on what’s important. It’s not working longer hours that will help you become more productive; it’s planning your time wisely and just doing the most important tasks.


The Art Of Managing Distractions

Ferriss’ definition of focus is “limiting the number of options you give yourself for procrastinating”. He simplifies this notion as literally removing yourself from any potential distractions until you have completed what must be done. Why is this? Well, according to the research, the most effective way to influence your behaviour is to change environments. And, he says, the extent to which you are able to systematise this behaviour will determine how productive you can be.


Create Your Own System

It is worth taking note that none of the highly productive people interviewed by Ferriss tackled their tasks and challenges without a plan of action. The most productive people follow routines. And, following a routine will ensure that decision-making is most relevant to your creative avenues. You won’t waste your will power (which is limited) on things that can be done automatically; you can invest it where you can reap the greatest return.

Is it easier said than done? How do you define your own personal system or routine? Ferriss says you should take the 80/20 approach:

– Consider which activities can bring you a disproportionate number of successes?

– Which activities support your success?

– Adjust your schedule so you can do more of point 1 and less of point 2.


Get A Head Start The Night Before

It’s not a good idea to wake up and launch yourself into your day blindly. Ferriss recommends that you define your most important tasks for the next day, the night before, and preferably before dinnertime.

In the same way that you begin your day productively, you should have a time for closure at the end of it. And yes, it should also be routine-based. Tidy your workspace, clean up your computer files, and document what you would like to complete the following day.

Use Cosapien to give yourself the head start you need for the next day. Get your to-do list out of your head and into a system that can help you to eliminate anxiety and present your tasks in a manageable format.


In summary, Tim Ferriss’ top optimisation tips to boost productivity are:

– Start your day off in the right mood and frame of mind

– Don’t start your day with email

– Ask if you really be doing it at all

– Manage distractions strategically

– Work within your own system

– Give yourself a head start by planning the next day the night before.


Do you need help optimising your task management? Sign up for Cosapien and become more productive today.

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