The 4 Hour Work Week

I'm aiming for a new zen-like existence after reading Tim Ferris' excellent book The 4 Hour Work Week. In fact, I've been living such an existence for many months now, meaning I didn't get round to writing this up.

The basic concept of the book deals with streamlining your work life to make you more efficient, giving you time to pursue recreational ambitions and further yourself. Luckily, it just about stays on the right side of being a self-growth, believe-in-yourself type load of spiritual mumbo-jumbo and focuses on practical applications, many of which are easily done, most notably checking your emails only once or twice a day, turning down troublesome work and sub-contracting many tasks - even to the point of hiring an assistant in India.

A major focus is the 80/20 principal, where 80% of a lot of things is unnecessary waffle, while 20% is the useful core. I imagine it's applicable on chimpomatic too, with 20% of our readers being loyal followers, while 80% are just here for the early word on Torchwood.

Once you're on top of your game, the fun begins - letting you blow 80% of your time on more fun pursuits, with Ferris having become a kick-boxing champion, a speed swimmer and even built up 34lbs of muscle in 4 weeks. Check out his excellent website for occasional tips on speaking a new language in 1 hour, sleeping better, travelling the world with 10lbs of luggagespeed reading, never forgetting anything, holidaying by twitter, getting a good table at top restaurants and more.

Ferris has become something of an internet personality in the wake of the book's success, making maximum use of the likes of Twitter and Facebook to rustle up followers and crowd-source content for his next book - and even knock out a possible TV show, where he learns a new skill per episode. All that stuff can actually get a bit annoying, and he sometimes seems so obsessed with efficiency that the writing can be a bit dry ("Post reading time: 15 minutes" etc.), and his collaborations with Digg founder Kevin Rose tend to make one of the two seem strangely closed-minded...