If you haven’t read The 4-Hour Workweek by entrepreneur and digital nomad Tim Ferriss, don’t sweat it: I’m about to reveal everything you need to infuse your business travel lifestyle with the most helpful principles from this NY Times business best seller.
The other day, a client of mine scoffed “I’m not interested in any of this ‘4-hour workweek’ crap. I’m not afraid of hard work.”
“You haven’t read the book, have you?” I asked her. She admitted she hadn’t.
See, 4-Hour Workweek isn’t about shaving 36+ hours off of your work schedule. It’s not about gaming the system so you can spend more time lounging on a tropical island doing nothing.
Instead, it’s about making the most of the time you do have in order to achieve your goals with less effort. When you do that, you inevitably end up with not just more time on your hands, but more energy to pursue the things you’re most passionate about.
Here are 4 simple ways to start living the 4-Hour Workweek lifestyle as a business traveller:
1. Try before you buy
Whether it’s a business deal, a new product launch, or opening a new location overseas, the principles behind 4HWW teach us to try before we buy. That is, it’s crucial to test before you invest – in anything.
If your company wants to expand into a new market or partner with a foreign firm, never make the leap until you’ve tested the financial viability of the idea. Instead of spending thousands to launch a new eCommerce website, for instance, you’d spend a few hundred dollars testing the potential of your idea using PPC advertising, focus groups, and informal market research.
By trying out a business idea before investing big bucks, you’ll only spend money on ideas that have been proven to work and vetted with hard data.
2. Avoid info-overload
The only thing more overwhelming than info-overload at home is info-overload on the road. It’s easy to get bogged down by the sights, sounds, and goings-on of your destination, not to mention news, digital media, and the never-ending stream of videos you should be watching and articles you should be reading.
Since eating out is practically inevitable during business traveller, Tim Ferriss recommends asking your waiter or waitress about what’s going on in the world. This way, you’ll only hear about the most important events that warrant your attention, and avoid “shiny object syndrome” whenever you’re online.
3. Make the world your office
More and more of us can work from anywhere as long as we have an Internet connection. This is perhaps most true for the frequent business traveller than for anyone else. Instead of holding onto a traditional business travel lifestyle, where you maintain one dedicated home base, consider making the world your office.
This means setting up ‘shop’ wherever fancy strikes, and commuting from your dream location to your business destinations. This will allow you to save money by living in a low-cost country, but will also free you to experience the dream of living abroad without sacrificing important career milestones.
With this method, you don’t have to push off your dreams until “someday,” and can start living the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of right now.
4. Cancel all your meetings
Let’s be honest - most meetings are time-sucks that accomplish little. We often schedule and attend meetings simply to feel like we’re getting something done, instead of actually getting something done.
4HWW recommends avoiding meetings like the plague unless absolutely necessary, including phone calls and web meetings. If you absolutely need to schedule a meeting, limit your meeting to 30 minutes maximum, and make the meeting agenda and goals crystal clear to all involved.
The 4-Hour Workweek lifestyle isn’t about working less so you can be lazy, but about working smarter so you can enjoy the perks of business travel: seeing the world, and getting paid to do it!
Rebecca Anne Nguyen is a freelance writer and the Founder of TheHappyPassport.com, an inspiration site for solo female travellers.