15 Nuggets from the Book That Increased My Productivity in 2021

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss was a book a new friend recommended towards the end of 2020. This friend saw the need for me to read this book and sincerely, I got many interesting ideas from it. It was the first book I read in 2021 and I was glad I did.

If you read to the end, I have attached a link where you can download a copy for yourself. (You could also get the podcast version of the book summary).

Now, let’s dive into the nuggets. I really hope they change your life and increase your productivity..

You don’t have to be a millionaire

You don’t have to be a millionaire to live the life you have always wanted. What most people desire is to live the life of a millionaire and you don’t need a million dollars to live like one.

Time. Income. Mobility.

The New Rich (NR) try to be more mobile, have more time on their hands, and have enough money to push the lifestyle they really want.

On Lifestyle Design

DEAL: Define the life you desire, Eliminate or rather outsource your life: eliminate the things that don’t need your attention and focus on the most important things, Automation — what are the things you can automate? L is related to having more time to increase your mobility.

Absolute income vs Relative income

To determine who is the richer of two people, the one who earns more in per hour rates is richer. If two people earn $2,000 per week, and one spends 10 hours to work while the other spends 15 hours to get same amount, the one who earns $200 per hour is richer than the one who earns about $133 per hour. Time therefore plays a major factor.

Face your fears

I used this particular nugget to reach out to total strangers on the internet in 2021. In the words of Nike, “Just Do It.”


A combination of two words: dream and streamlining. Dreamlining is about streamlining your dreams. What are the things you would like to achieve in 6–12 months assuming you had all the money in the world to do them?

Categorize your list into Having, Being, and Doing (that is, the things you want to have, be, and do). You should also have actions attached to your being.

Attach a price to each of these things as well. Calculate the total amount and divide for the number of months you have prepared for. This will give you an idea of how much you should be making in a month to foot the lifestyle you want.

Don’t forget to include your personal expenses as well. Multiply your monthly figure by 1.3 — this is to accommodate emergencies, savings or anything you didn’t plan for or are out of control.

Eliminating unimportant things

To eliminate unimportant things, when you wake up, ask yourself, “What are the two most important things I need to do today?” Get down to doing those two things and nothing. Do not multitask. Sometimes, doing less is more.

Use the Pareto Principle

80% of causes leads to 20% of effect. Research has also shown that you get the same result when you put pressure on yourself to finish a task and when you have a long time to finish same task.

Give yourself strict deadlines that will force you to do every task, be productive and eliminate procrastination.

How do you handle information?

Tim prefers to search out a personality who has much information about a topic than do the research on that issue himself. With this method, he is able to get tons of information from the one who knows so much about the topic.

You also don’t need to read a material if you don’t need the piece of information it contains at that point in time. This will help you save your time for something else.

Don’t delegate what you can eliminate or automate.

Virtual assistants can help you outsource your life and they can be working for you while you are asleep. It is also very cheap.

Tim recommends that you hire virtual assistants from a virtual assistant firm than hiring one person who can come up with excuses or be ill as a result of accumulated stress.

With a virtual assistant firm, they have backup virtual assistants for you. Tim also says that you should consider using the services of a virtual assistant because it will really help you with your communication skills such that you communicate better, shorter and simply.

On Outsourcing

Let the tasks you outsource really be worth it, consider the pros and cons. You can start with outsourcing personal tasks before doing same for business or more critical tasks.

You also need to be patient with them because at first, they might not get some things right. Use the Sandwich rule for correction: Start with a praise, stylishly address the issue or the thing they didn’t do right, then end with praise again.

The Muse

The Muse is that thing you only need little time to work on for it to generate so much income for you. The Muse will help you focus on your dreamlines.

Selling products are easier than doing services when finding the muse. In looking for a product to sell, you can get things at wholesale price that people will be willing to buy, or get a license from a company to sell their products, or create a product yourself to sell. This can be an information product.

If you will be creating a product, get a ready market first before proceeding to create the product. It will save you lots of headaches.

Companies fail because of two things

It is either they are making the wrong decision or making too many decisions. Don’t give your customers too many options or give them the ability to make many decisions. This helps them reduce information overload and it is easier for them to buy. As a company, you also have lesser issues to deal with.

Why do you need to wait till retirement?

Why do you need to wait till retirement when you can have mini retirements of 2–3 months, where you are not thinking of work, can travel anywhere and have your income on autopilot?

You would need to get systems in place to make this work. Mix mental and physical activities as part of your plans for your mini retirement.

The Goal

The goal is not to have all the money in the world. The goal is for you to be happy doing the things you want to do. It is really possible to live the life you’ve always wanted.

I hope that these nuggets are things you can take hold of and apply to your own life.

Thanks for sharing in the book lessons with me.

If you would like to take a full plunge and read this book for yourself, download it here.

I would love to know the nuggets that resonated with you. Please share with me in the comments because I will be expecting them. We can have some deeper conversations about these nuggets there.

I also have the podcast version of the book, broken down as a summary of the entire book. It contains some examples and scenarios Tim shared in the book. But I need a lot of buy in from my readers before I compile it and put it out there.

If you are interested in listening, subscribe to my mailing list and I will notify you when I am done compiling.

Till next time!



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Techie. Writer. Mentor. Developer. Teacher. Editor. Entrepreneur. Technical Writer. Consultant at marykeenconsult.com