4 Ways to Actually Implement a Four Hour Work Week Into Your Life


was probably about thirteen years old when I first found and utterly devoured Tim Ferris’ first book, The 4-Hour Workweek. Although I didn’t have any sort of business at the time, I wanted to, and I was chomping at the bit to start something and begin making money.

Fast forward several years, I’ve read the book again, and I’ve had a few questions about it. The 4–Hour Workweek, while an engaging title and a clever idea from the legend Ferriss himself, still appears to be a vague concept at the end of your read.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”― Tim Ferriss

In the world of open-concept offices and always being available by means of our cellphones and portable working devices, it’s hard to stop working, that’s for sure. Many of us can never seem to get away — but we need to.

While it can be fun for some, it’s practical and nearly essential for others. Students, parents, and people with part-time or full-time jobs distinguished from their side hustle need as much time as they can get. The question is, how does one, whatever their situation, practically implement the wisdom in The 4–Hour Workweek to their life?

Step 1: Pick Your Business

Tony Robbins picked coaching, Mel Robbins picked speaking, Tim Ferris picked health supplements, Buffet picked investing, Zuckerberg picked FaceBook, and Jobs picked computers and portable cellular devices we now call iPhones. They picked what path they were on and traveled down it on purpose, with great intention.

“You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Before you even attempt to cut down your workload as significantly as a true 4-Hour workweek would require, you have to pick a single thing to focus on. It could be writing, coaching, photography, film-making, or basically any other type of business, online or in-person, that you can think of — it just has to be something that can generate income and can be scaled in some way.

Pick your business, then you’re ready to get to work.

Step 2: Lay the Framework

After you’ve decided what business you are going to work on and generate your newfound income in, you’re going to have a little more work to do than what can be done in just four hours out of the week.

Building a business can take a little while. Before you actually start making money, you’re going to need to build the framework, the foundation that you’re going to need in order to actually begin making money.

“Timing, perseverance, and 10 years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” — Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter

This might involve making money to use as startup costs, buy equipment, buy a building, etc. You can’t jump straight into just four hours a week if you’re interested in making money quickly. Before you start cutting your workweek, you’ll probably need a website, clients, a designated email address for your new business, contacts, business cards, and, most importantly, a product of some kind, whether that be a physical or intellectual/educational item.

Lay the framework well and you’ll build your business with ease as you move forward.

Step 3: Practice Essentialism and Deep Work

There’s just one problem with doing a significant amount of meaningful work in four hours — you only have four hours. With such a significant time constraint for your business and income-making venture, you have to be really careful about what you spend your time on.

“If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive — no matter how skilled or talented you are.”— Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

In those four hours every week, you need to be making things, creating, and producing products. You need to create in order to be able to make money. You need to create in order to grow a business and see significant returns based on those four hours.

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”
― Greg Mckeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

But you also must know what needs to be done. During Step 2, laying the framework and foundation for your business, go ahead, and start planning what work you’ll need to be doing. The truth of the matter is, there have been many famous writers who make $500 per article that they write. Let’s say that writing and editing and submitting that article takes four hours. With just four hours a week, that individual can make $24,000 a year with a part-time side hustle — with just that.

But that’s just a simple example.

Tony Robbins has worked to the point where he can easily charge $1,000,000 for a coaching client that he just works with one hour per month. If he did four hours a week, that’s quite a few million from that one tiny part of his business.

“To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”
― Timothy Ferriss

Here’s an example that doesn’t require as much prep as Tony Robbins has put in: If someone could become a group coach, they could use one hour every week to plan their sessions and reach out to new clients or speaking opportunities, and use the remaining three hours a week for a coaching session, whether in person or on the phone, with numerous clients.

Say that they have three groups, each with ten people apiece. After finding those clients, they could charge $20 a session, or $80 a month for each individual. With just that side coaching business, an individual could make almost $30,000, charging a very low price for coaching that would only improve and be worth more over time.

The question is, how would they start a coaching business?

Write the “curriculum” before you start. Before you even start coaching, spend a month working four hours (or more) a week reading books on coaching and maybe even attending a course of some sort, then, design your curriculum and your plan for coaching. Then, you have a game plan while you search for and petition for clients.

“Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.” — Tony Robbins

Practice deep work, go all in. Be the best coach, and spend a few concrete working hours to plan what you’ll coach. Keep it simple, keep it to what is essential and you’ll have a solid business ready to launch and rake in income from.

By going deep on what you’re working on, you’ll significantly cut back on how much you need to work. With Essentialism, you’ll know exactly what you need to work on. Know what you need to do, and do it — nothing more.

Step 4: Quit Working After Four Hours

We’re down to the hardest part of implementing The 4-Hour Workweek.

Stop working after that 4-hour timer goes off. Whether you do your four hours in a row or break it up over the course of the week, once your time is up, stop working until the next week. You can plan your work over the course of the week, you can think about it, but don’t work until the next week starts.

Plan your time, designate when you will serve your four hours to your side business (or your full-time business), and then quit once you’ve finished your work.

Once you’re done, you’re done.

Anyone who sets out to implement The 4-Hour Workweek is not looking to just make millions, but to make millions and to be financially secure while also working less, being able to travel, and maybe even potentially removing yourself from the situation.

Think about it, Tony Robbins has gotten to the point where he could do just his one-on-one coaching and be well over financially secure until the very last day of his life. Mel Robbins could make money based off of her speaking engagements alone.

Many successful people like them, including Elon Musk and Bill Gates, whom I wrote about in my latest article “Hour-by-Hour Morning Breakdowns of the World’s Greatest”, make millions every year, are advancing the world, and still spend significant amounts of time with their family, reading, and traveling — alongside doing what they want to do, when they want to do it.

They quit working when they want to. And before you get to that point, you just need to stop when the timer goes off.

If you will summon up the courage to be different from those around you, the courage to eventually quit your full-time job that just might be sucking the life out of you, while spending as little time as possible making the money that you need to live the life of your dreams, your life will change dramatically and your happiness will probably rise.

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”―Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

All it requires are those four steps of The 4-Hour Workweek; picking your business, laying the framework, practicing the strategies of Essentialism and Deep Work, and finally deciding to quit working after four hours.

The 4-Hour Workweek has captivated the lives of many, making Tim Ferris the man and business-owner that he is today. But it doesn’t do us any good to be the thirteen-year-olds, like me, sitting in our living rooms reading a book we’re not ready to implement in our own life. Don’t be afraid to use this book, this concept, and use it to transform your life — not to mention your business.