The 4-Hour Workweek

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The 4-Hour Workweek
AuthorTimothy Ferriss
Cover artistBarbara Sturman
CountryUnited States
SubjectSelf-actualization, self-employment, self-improvement
Published2007 (Crown Publishing Group)
Pages308 pp
650.1 22
LC ClassHD6955 .F435 2007
Followed byThe 4-Hour Body 

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (2007) is a self-help book by Timothy Ferriss, an American writer, educational activist, and entrepreneur.[1] It deals with what Ferriss refers to as "lifestyle design", and repudiates the traditional "deferred" life plan in which people work grueling hours and take few vacations for decades and save money in order to relax after retirement. The book spent four years on The New York Times Best Seller List, was translated into 40 languages, and sold around 2.1 million copies.[2]


Ferriss developed the ideas present in The 4-Hour Workweek (4HWW) while working 14-hour days at his sports nutrition supplement company, BrainQUICKEN.[3] Frustrated by the overwork and lack of free time, Ferriss took a 3-week sabbatical to Europe. During that time and continued travels throughout Europe, Asia, and South America, Ferriss developed a streamlined system of checking email once per day and outsourcing small daily tasks to virtual assistants.[4] His personal escape from a workaholic lifestyle was the genesis of the book.[5]

The format of The 4-Hour Workweek took shape during a series of lectures Ferriss delivered on high-tech entrepreneurship at Princeton University, his alma mater.[6] The lectures (and book) described Ferriss's own experiences in company automation and lifestyle development.[6]


The New York Times noted that Ferriss spends far more than 4 hours per week in blogging and self-promotion, which Ferriss describes as "evangelizing."[7] USA Today commented: "If it all sounds too good to be true, maybe it is. Or maybe not. Clearly, selective ignorance, farming out chores and applying the 80/20 principle have paid off for Ferriss."[8] Wired praised the book's ideas for remote work and its pre-retirement advice, but faulted it for "formulaic writing" and that "nearly every idea [is] taken to an extreme. No sense of work being anything more than a paycheck".[9] Some reviewers noted that the book was quite lengthy and hard to read.[10] Leslie Garner of The Telegraph noted that the book had a "punchy writing style" and that Ferriss had "struck a chord with his critique of workers' slavish devotion to corporations."[11] Meagan Day of Jacobin criticized the book for advising readers to "become a fake expert."[12] Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia, said that he secretly moved to Argentina for a month after reading the book.[13]

The book received coverage also through Fast Company,[14] ABC News,[3] The Today Show, Newsweek,[15] and MSNBC.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

The book was mentioned in a 2011 episode of The Office, where Darryl Philbin was using Ferriss’s ideas to do less work after not receiving a promotion.[17]


  1. ^ Ferriss, Timothy (2007). The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-35313-9.
  2. ^ "Hardcover Business Best Sellers". The New York Times. May 1, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Maney, Kevin; Chalupa, Andrea (October 20, 2007). "Tim Ferriss Wants You to Get A Life". ABC News. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  4. ^ Rosenbloom, Stephanie (March 25, 2011). "The World According to Tim Ferriss". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  5. ^ Ohannessian, Kevin (January 20, 2011). "Leadership Hall of Fame: Tim Ferriss, Author of "The 4-Hour Workweek"". Fast Company. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Hall, Cornelia (May 9, 2007). "Ferriss '00 takes the day off". The Daily Princetonian. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  7. ^ Williams, Alex (November 11, 2007). "Too Much Information? Ignore It". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  8. ^ Archer, Michelle (June 10, 2007). "Review: You, too, can enjoy 4-hour workweek, author says". USA Today. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  9. ^ Tweney, Dylan (June 15, 2007). "Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek? You Should Be So Lucky". Wired. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  10. ^ Monaco, Alex (March 4, 2021). "An Honest Review of A Book "The 4-Hour Workweek"". Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  11. ^ Garner, Leslie (May 7, 2008). "Tim Ferriss: the clock watcher". The Telegraph. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  12. ^ Day, Meagan (March 27, 2018). "'The Fraud and the Four-Hour Workweek'". Jacobin. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  13. ^ Jones, Stephen (September 6, 2021). "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he secretly lived in Argentina for a month after reading 'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Tim Ferriss". Business Insider. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  14. ^ Scoble, Robert. Timothy Ferriss and 4-Hour Workweek. Fast Company. March 3, 2010.
  15. ^ Jerry Guo, The World’s Best Guinea Pig Jan 4, 2011
  16. ^ 4-Hour workweek: How to escape your 9-5 job. June 25, 2007.
  17. ^ Newport, Cal (October 25, 2021). "Revisiting 'The 4-Hour Workweek'". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 4, 2022.

External links[edit]