A few days later, when I read a post on another blog, pointing me to the recording of the talk that Tim Ferriss gave at SxSW Interactive. The talk was interesting and Ferriss mentioned about how he outsourced a lot of his work to Bangalore. He also talks about the 80-20 rule and about how to cut down on “email time” among other things. It’s an interesting talk and worth a listen.
I met Ferriss, an affable if slightly overenthusiastic fellow, at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. His book hadn’t come out yet, but he was already trying to convert the masses to his “lifestyle design” solution. Unlike a typical GTD plan, his book is also about glamor: he preaches the art of taking “mini-retirements,” trips to different countries where you can have fun while still working occasionally (this is after you’ve somehow convinced your bosses to let you work remotely).
At various points while reading Ferriss’ book I was reminded of Steve Martin’s old routine “How to Make a Million Dollars and Not Pay Taxes.” His solution? First make a million dollars. And then when the tax people come around, just tell them you forgot to pay. It sounds good, but the problem is implementation. In a chapter called “Outsourcing Your Life,” Ferriss tips you off to his best time-saving solution: hire cheap labor in the developing world to save yourself time and money. In fact, this is eerily like all of his solutions, such as living in Thailand while working for a U.S. company to give yourself a mini-retirement and grow richer.
I am not sure if the book can be classified as a GTD book, because I have not read it, but the post is worth a read because it points out some flaws in Ferriss’ method.
I think the method that Ferriss proposes could work for certain people, but it’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone. What Ferriss has done in his life is admirable and you can apply some of his principles, but I doubt if most people can achieve a 4-hour week while remaining productive and being financially comfortable.
I don’t think I can–not unless I stumble upon some buried treasure.