The 4 Hour Workweek or 14 Hour WorkDAY?

by Shaun R Smith on October 4, 2011

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I was speaking with a client yesterday about the dream of the 4 hour work week.  She wants to go re-read Tim Ferris’s best seller because instead of working 4 hours per week, she’s working 14 hours per day!


The Secret Ingredient: Leverage!

If you are struggling with working too hard in your business, you need to master leverage.


A. Task management

The first step is task management. Look at your priorities. For the tasks and projects coming at you, decide what must be done with them. Use the following categories:

1. Delete or eliminate. Sometimes items creep onto our to do list and plate that don’t actually move us or our businesses forward. Often that’s because we aren’t clear enough in our mission. Once you are clear about your purpose, you know when to say yes and when to say no.

2. Automate. Although it will take an investment of time to set up the process, you will save huge amounts of time in the future by automating repetitive tasks.

3. Delegate. Can someone else do this work for you? If you’ve built a team of superstars, there will be someone on your team even better than you at completing the task if it’s not in your zone of genius. Even if you delegate it to someone who will do it at 80% the level you would, isn’t your time worth the difference?

4. Do. If it’s a quick task, just do it rather than having to keep seeing it in your inbox or task list.

5. Defer and schedule. If you must do it, but it requires more time than you have now, schedule a time to complete it. Most great work takes focused time. Make sure you’re spending time doing the work that really matters, not just the low level processing work.


B. People

The second means of leverage is through people. I mentioned people in the delegation option above. Much like automating a process in your business, attracting and enrolling great people takes time. I discussed that previously in my article “The Top 4 Reasons You’ve Got the Wrong People.”

However, in any business, you can’t grow without people to help you. You need others to highlight your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. And once you’ve got your superstars in place, you just need to trust them.


C. Products

If you are in a product based business, the scalability of product manufacturing, distribution, and sales gives you a great amount of leverage. If you are in a service business, how can you productize your offering to gain more leverage?

There aren’t any billionaires on the Forbes list of richest people who got there through professional services (that I could find). None of them got there through people leverage (selling time for less than you paid for it). They all got there through leveraging products, technology, finance, or real estate (with the first two outweighing the last two).


D. Technology

Technology can help you with the automation step I mentioned above. It can also provide a means to productize your service – as I suggest in point C.

Additionally, technology alone can increase your efficiency if set up and used properly.


If you’re struggling with long days and no time for your family, your friends, or your self, look at the four tools listed above. It might take an investment in the beginning to shift how you’re doing things, but it will pay major dividends as you get your life back.


Photo by: stcynine



{ 1 comment }

Tisha October 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Thank you Shaun! I love this post!

VERY helpful and I’m already putting it a lot of it into practice!

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