Four Hour Work Week

Now why, you might ask, would a retired person be talking about a four hour work week?  I’m reading a book by Timothy Ferris, which was written 8 years ago, about supporting yourself on 4 hours of work a week.

When you’re retired, if you have any kind of life and volunteer for any organization at all, you quickly find that you ARE working 40+ hours a week, it’s just that you aren’t getting a paycheck.   But WAIT… there is a paycheck which is not paid in money, it’s paid in enjoyment and satisfaction.

So anything I am doing which DOESN’T bring enjoyment or satisfaction, is my WORK.

Example:  I hate to weed gardens.  Yet every year I put in a small vegetable garden, not to mention the flowerbeds which dot our whole yard.  “WHY???”, I ask myself.  I know that both flower gardens and vegetable gardens will produce weeds, which make me spend precious time pulling out.

There are two solutions: Eliminate the gardens or pay someone else to weed for me.  How to decide?  It’s a balance of financial considerations and enjoyment considerations (I DO enjoy looking at the flowers and eating the vegetables!)

Oh, there are so many other examples I could give you of my “work”!  Paying bills, sorting through junk mail, cleaning out useless emails, doing laundry, getting things fixed around the house… just plain WORK to me, and with no monetary compensation!

But AH HA! you say: This is life, NOBODY gets to ignore these types of tasks.  Just accept it.

NO! I say.  There must be a better way.  I think we all just get used to thinking that life HAS to be full of these chores, and we spend our one lifetime wasting time taking care of them.

Every single thing ANYONE does (whether retired or not) falls into either WORK (you don’t enjoy it but you do it for some kind of paycheck – money or some sense of guilt or responsibility) and ENJOYMENT (you DO enjoy it and are happy to spend the time doing it.)

So I am experimenting with some of the techniques that Mr. Ferris suggests in “The 4-Hour Work Week” to rid myself of the “work” part of my life so I have more time for the “enjoyment” part of my life.

I’ll let you know how it’s going over the next few weeks.  Or maybe months, since there is so much work to do on this topic.

One thought on “Four Hour Work Week

  1. I never heard of this book – I’ll have to add it to my list of books to read, when I can find the time! Look forward to your thoughts on it…


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