The 4-Hour Workweek

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] The book has spent more than four years on The New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 40 languages and has sold more than 2.1 million copies worldwide.[2][3][4] 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 4-Hour Workweek
The 4-Hour Workweek (front cover).jpg
AuthorTim Ferriss
Cover artistBarbara Sturman
CountryUnited States
SubjectSelf-actualization, self-employment, self-improvement
Published2007 (Crown Publishing Group)
Media typeTV/literature
Pages308 pp
650.1 22
LC ClassHD6955 .F435 2007
Followed byThe 4-Hour Body 


Ferriss developed the ideas present in The 4-Hour Workweek (4HWW) while working 14-hour days at his sports nutrition supplement company, BrainQUICKEN.[5] 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.[6] His personal escape from a workaholic lifestyle was the genesis of the book.[7]

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.[8] The lectures (and book) described Ferriss' own experiences in company automation and lifestyle development.[8]


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."[9] 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."[10] Wired praised the book's ideas for telecommuting 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".[11] 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."[12] Meagan Day of Jacobin criticized the book for advising readers to "become a fake expert."[13]

The book received coverage also through Fast Company,[14] ABC News,[5] The Today Show, Newsweek,[15] and MSNBC.[16]


  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. ^ Best-Known Projects. Publishers Marketplace.
  3. ^ Hardcover Business Best Sellers. The New York Times. May 1, 2011.
  4. ^ Bio.
  5. ^ a b Maney, Kevin; Chapula, Andrea. Tim Ferriss Wants You to Get A Life. ABC News. October 11, 2007.
  6. ^ Rosenbloom, Stephanie. The World According to Tim Ferriss. The New York Times. March 25, 2011.
  7. ^ Ohannessian, Kevin. Leadership Hall of Fame: Tim Ferriss, Author of "The 4-Hour Workweek". Fast Company. January 20, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Hall, Cornelia. Ferriss '00 takes the day off. The Daily Princetonian. May 9, 2007.
  9. ^ Williams, Alex. Too Much Information? Ignore It. The New York Times. November 11, 2007.
  10. ^ Archer, Michelle. Review: You, too, can enjoy 4-hour workweek, the author says. USA Today. June 10, 2007.
  11. ^ Tweney, Dylan. Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek? You Should Be So Lucky. Wired. June 15, 2007.
  12. ^ Garner, Leslie. Tim Ferriss: the clock watcher. The Telegraph. May 7, 2008.
  13. ^ Day, Meagan. "'The Fraud and the Four-Hour Workweek'". Jacobin Magazine.
  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.

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