There were many aspects of ‘The 4 hour workweek’ that did not resonate with me. Having said that, Tim Ferris did have few very valid pieces of advice. One piece of advice that stuck was ‘Learn to say NO!’
The idea is simple. We are bombarded by information, requests and interruptions. These can be in the form of colleagues, email, phone calls or meetings. And Ferris’ simple advice is to say ‘No’. 3 ideas he had were –
1. Say ‘no’ to email. Check email at certain fixed times in a day and ensure you give yourself a time limit.
2. Say ‘no’ to meetings. A normal day in the office often involves hours of unproductive meetings. The next time you are invited to a meeting, consider just calling the organizer up and checking if the meeting is entirely necessary. And if you really have to go, ensure you go in with an agenda and a desired outcome!
3. Say ‘no’ to interruptions. If you have colleagues who constantly disturb you, think of creative ways so you can enforce ‘Do not disturb’ hours so you can get productive.
The more we say ‘no’ to things we don’t like, we spend time on things we actually like doing and increase our happiness at the very least. Easier in theory than practice of course.
Do you have any best practices on how you minimize activities that you don’t like spending your time on? Do write in.. I would love to hear from you.
I had (still have) issues with the ethics behind some of Ferris’ proposed solutions. Having said that, I’m learning to accept the ideas I like and ignore those I don’t. There’s lots to learn from the guy after all! And I’ve found the ‘never say yes when you want to say no‘ advice very very helpful!