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The 4 Hour Work Rule: 

Work Smarter And Make More Money

The 4-Hour Work Rule

How many of you would like to make more money and work less hours?  A show of hands?  Yup, my hand is right up there with yours.  The 4-Hour Work Rule is all about making more money and working less hours.

The human brain can handle only so much input of information at once and for only a limited amount of time.  Beyond a few hours and your brain starts to shut off because it’s reached saturation point.

The 4-Hour Work Rule says that four hours it just about the maximum length of time your brain can optimally soak up information.  Beyond that, you’re basically beating a dead horse and wasting valuable time trying to put letters into an already full post box.

Here are a few ways to use the 4-Hour Work Rule to benefit your work and have more time to declutter your daily working life.

Quality Not Quantity

We’ve all heard that it’s quality, not quantity that wins the day.  With the 4-hour work rule, you can apply this to your work life as well as, for example, how many people show up at your birthday party.  It’s not about how many people show up, it’s the right people showing up that matters.

Centuries Of Burn Out

Japan, American, and China are just a few countries that for centuries have advocated that the more hours you work, the more money you’ll make.  Pictures of employees pulling ‘all-nighters’, face down on their desk having fallen asleep where they sit, are commended for their diligence.

We know now that exhausted employees only lead to having to replace them or giving them time off because they get sick or burned out.  The past few decades have seen businesses very slowly begin to introduce flexible hours for their employees.  And the powers that be are finding that it works, especially in the time of Covid.

Build Pit Stops Into Your Day

Your brain works better when it has time to take a break and process.  Then, engage again and process again.  The body needs time to recover so take your work in bite sized chunks instead of one very long, relentless stream.

You’ll learn better and be more productive.  And isn’t that what all businesses want?  More productive employees that make you more money?

Work Smarter, Not Longer

The 4-Hour Work Rule says that when you cut down on the amount of hours you work and concentrate on intensity, you reap more benefits of that intense time.  In the book The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss talks about D.E.A.L., the steps that will lead you to a higher quality of work life.

The 4-Hour Rule and D.E.A.L.

‘D’ is for Definition, defining your goal in life and estimating its cost.  Is your goal to work only 2 hours per day?  Do you want to have more time with your children?  More time to travel?  Get clear on your goal and then estimate how much you’d need to get there.

‘E’ is for Elimination, getting rid of old mindsets that are holding you back.  Are there people in your immediate work life that cause unnecessary drama or stress?  Be ruthless here.  Prune the dead branches and streamline.  This can be tricky but be ruthless.

‘A’ is for Automation.  Now, for self-employed people this can be tricky but it can be as simple as an app that helps you schedule your social media.  You can hire someone to do that for you. 

Perhaps it’s a course people can download when they sign up and pay.  Find out if there is an automation that might take the place of delegation and streamline your process.

‘L’ is for Liberation and freeing yourself to spend time doing things you want to do.  The era of being chained to the office and your desk are well and truly over for many of us.  What does freedom look like for you? 

The Pareto Principle

Here’s my last kicker.  You’ve probably heard of the 80-20 rule, which comes from The Pareto Principle.  This aphorism states that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of all causes.  To put this in a business context, 80% of your income will be generated by 20% of your clients.

So, again, we run into quality, not quantity.  Figure out what’s really important to you and what really works for you and concentrate on those things.  Find that 20% of your clients that are responsible for most of your income and pour love on them.

The 4-Hour Rule Is Waiting For You

At the end of the day, we’d all love to work less and make more.  And the good news is that it’s within your reach right now.  In the words of Tim Ferriss himself: 

Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash.”

Give it a go.  What have you got to lose? That tropical island may be waiting just for you…

Maria Tecce Voice and Speech Coach Author

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