Is the 4 Hour Work Week possible?

In the 1960’s we were all told that we would soon be entering the ‘leisure generation’ and as someone who seems to sit between Generation X & Y I often wonder what happened to this promise.  Our parents were baby boomers, the children of joyful post-war reunions who are responsible for some of the greatest social advances of the 20th century – campaigning tirelessly for peace, freedom of sexuality, gender equality, and against racism, military bombast and bigotry.  But is the flipside of this Liberal generation a self-indulgent culture of individualism and consumerism?

A distinctive part of the make-up of Generation X & Y’s is the demand for our jobs to fit our lives as opposed to adapting our lives to the workplace.  So I read with interest Tim Ferrriss’ new book ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ which tells us to forget the old concept of retirement in exchange for a series of mini-retirements or sebaticals spread out over the course of our lives.

Tim’s book is a mix between rootsy stoic philosophy about ‘the good life’ and modern day concepts such as GTD, personal outsourcing.  This is a vision where retirement is a worst-case scenario, where quality of life is more important that the big pay cheque and accepting that both our interest and energy are cyclical and we need to take regular breaks to recharge the mental and physical batteries.  It is a world that focuses on spending 80% of the time on the 20% of things that are important and realising that being busy is a form of laziness.  A fascinating read and highly recommended.


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