Thursday, October 11, 2007

The 4-Hour Workweek: Tips on managing your time in the era of email, IM, etc

Intro video on the Tim Ferriss book The 4-Hour Workweek.

Tim manages a medium-sized company with domestic and international customers. Like many of us in the digital age he has struggled to manage his time in an era with constant round-the-clock email/IM/cell phone/etc interruptions. Some of his tips:

  • Batch email. Tim looks at his email only twice a day, 11am and 4pm. So that staff and customers won't get angry at not getting an immediate response Tim has an auto-responder that replied back telling people when he looks at his email, and if anything requires an urgent response then they should call him on his cell phone.
  • 80/20 rule. If a customer takes up a lot of time but does not contribute much revenue then be minimally responsive to them. (I think it might also help to let the customer why they are not getting much of a response.)
  • Outsource your life. Always have a plan for your day before getting out of bed. If something takes lots of time but can easily and cheaply be performed by others (e.g. research) then outsource it to them. Tim says that people in India and Canada are available for such work at $5 per hour. Check out websites like and

No comments: