What's Your Lifestyle Quotient (LQ)?


If you thought washing your hands 32 times a day was fun, just try this! (Chicago O’Hare Airport)

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.

-Robert Frost, American Poet

I’ve long sought a measurement for lifestyle, something better than bank accounts or Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). I was able to take the leap and redesign my own life only once I started asking myself difficult and uncommon questions such as:

How many hours do I work for each day of vacation?

What percentage of my life do I really spend working vs. doing something I want to be doing?

Enter the new world of the Lifestyle Quotient (LQ). If you want to see the real facts of your current work-life (im)balance, check out the world’s first LQ calculator here. The results will probably shock you.

What is your LQ?

What do you guesstimate your boss’s LQ to be?

What about your father or mother’s LQ compared to your own?

If you know someone who is a workaholic in denial, or who thinks an 80-hour workweek is a good way to spend their limited time on this planet, go for a lifestyle intervention and send them the LQ calculator. It might just wake them up faster than a triple-espresso frapuccino.


Other news and goodies:

Think you can’t outsource your love life? Well, I did it — I had groups around the world compete to set me dates. This just made it into the news, and you’ll be hearing much more about it soon!

If you’re interested in travel and languages, I was just interviewed on Gadling about both.

I know some of you have had trouble finding the ebook — I did too! Here is Powell’s page, the easiest I’ve found to use.

Want to learn what I think of using blogs to promote books, or just want a refresher on concepts in the book? Darren Rowse of Problogger.net put up a 3-part interview with me that was a blast to do.

Rohit Bhargava, the head of Interactive Marketing for Ogilvy PR worldwide, put a brief review of the book on his site, which is a must-read for anyone interested in social media.

SXSW presentation attendees! I found out what happened! The mailing house for the publisher (not the publisher themselves) screwed up and held onto your addresses for 10 DAYS before mailing them this past Monday. Your copies of the book should arrive any day, if they haven’t already, and I cannot apologize enough for the confusion. I had no idea this had happened and — had I known — would have put in my mouthpiece and gone to town breaking heads. Sorry about that!

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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26 Replies to “What's Your Lifestyle Quotient (LQ)?”

  1. Thanks for the link to the ebook. Amazon is back-ordered for some reason and I really wanted to read the book this weekend.

  2. Tim, I just read the Gadling interview and something you said that I’ve thought of before hit me: adults learn languages faster than children. There’s so many teachers and language programs espousing the same stuff about children having a natural advantage in learning a language, and I just don’t buy it–when a child is learning a language as he/she is growing up, they don’t have the advantage of a carefully chosen and designed program that, as you’ve proven, can make an adult fluent in 1-3 months; I’d say that children learn languages in SPITE of the method instead of BECAUSE of it!

    Hey, I’m about 50 pages into your book so far, I love it, it agrees with a lot of things I’ve come to learn over the years (and thank god I’m only 24 and I’m figuring these things out now, instead of learning them when I’m 50). Check your Myspace messages–I shot you a note about the book, and some stuff I’m doing that correlates with what you’ve done, i.e. Tango, Spanish, Latin America and just generally being crazy and NOT doing what everyone else is. I dropped out of college and started a couple websites 4 months ago and I’ve never been happier! I’m broke (but not for long!), but I’ll take broke and happy over rich and miserable any day of the week!



  3. Tim, in regards to language acquisition and maintaining fluency, what would you say about people who seem like “natural” polyglots such as Sir Richard Francis Burton, who could speak 29 languages fluently as well as various dialects? Is this a matter of natural talent and ability or something that normal people, given the appropriate materials and process, be able to replicate?

    Also, I bet outsourcing your love life definitely ran a bit cheaper and easier on the liver than going to bars and clubs to pick up.

  4. Yeah, but bars and clubs are usually not the best (perhaps the worst) places to pick up girls, not if you’re the least bit interested in a serious relationship, and even if you’re looking for a two-week fling I’d still take coffee shops over bars…

  5. Hi All,

    I was long in awe of supposed natural polyglots, but now I’m just skeptical. I’ve met too many people who claim to “speak” Spanish, for example, when they really communicate with a bastard version of Portuguese or Italian. After more than 20 countries, and attempting to find anyone who could really speak distinctly in more than 4 or 5 languages, I have never found a one. They might exist, but I’ve been on a quest to find one and haven’t yet. It might be the case that someone “has” spoken 29 languages — that I can believe — but I woulud bet a million dollars they couldn’t hold conversations with all 29 in the same week.

    Outsourcing dating saved my wallet, my liver (from alcohol or coffee), and my sanity 😉



  6. Tim, thank you so much for the ebook link (& for the incredible book). I didn’t fancy the wait over at Amazon plus shipping (time and expense).

    For others using Powell’s – save yourselves 10% by using the promotional code “visa02”. At $13.73 you cannot say no.

    Well back to the book, I turned 21 this year perhaps with the help of Tim’s wisdom I may never have to work a full time job in my life!

  7. My LQ is a whopping 183 with 4.11% of my life spent on vacation.

    I work an average of 53 hours per week and took 15 days vacation last year (which was abnormal).

    Would love to cut my LQ in half over the next month!

  8. The percentage of your life spent on vacation 6.85

    Seriously, my vaguely considered plans of moving to America one day were dropped as soon as i read

    “Novice Lifestyle Designers can get to an LQ of 25-30 within 2-4 weeks”

    40 hour week, 25 days leave.

  9. I have just begun reading Tim’s book. After 50 odds pages it looks very good. I wish he had been around when I started my career 20 years ago. I ended up writing a manual on creative financing tactics used by the Inc 500 entrepreneurs because my insubordinate nature made it difficult to be employed for long. Employing these financing tactics has enabled me to start various businesses which gave me far more free time than most of my peers, but I never took it as far as Tim does with his extensive travel and mini-retirements.

    Oh well, better later than never.


  10. Hi Tim,

    I’m loving the blog, I found it yesterday through Yaro Starak’s blog (http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/) and spent about 4 hours reading it and all the links (still working through some of them now!). I’m sold on your ideas, and I can’t wait to read the book. I thought it was interesting to read that you went to Japan for a year and became fluent, as I’ve been in Japan for nearly two years now without becoming fluent and the Kanji is still so difficult. What’s the secret? Actually I think several of my friends out here might know the secret, as some did achieve remarkable results on the Japanese language proficiency test after only 4 months in Japan, and no previous Japanese experience. It seemed to be the people who already spoke English and at least 1 other language fluently who have done well at learning Japanese.

    I think there are two main factors affecting their success 1) The knowledge and belief to know that it is possible to speak and learn a second language fluently – People who don’t (like me) often have the opinion that it’s impossible, which becomes self fulfilling “what’s the point in studying anyway” attitude, and 2) The knowledge of what it takes to learn a second language i.e. They’ve studied language and they have a method, they know it’s not just language by osmosis, you don’t pick it up without trying and it takes dedication. But 3-4 months dedication is much better than 1 or 2 years of half arsed learning, don’t you think! What has your approach been Tim? I’m guessing total immersion but with lots of studying? I’d be interested to learn what motivates you when the text books get boring!

    So I think you’re right, adults really can learn faster than children and I agree with No. 3 Andrew Tracys comment that “children learn languages in SPITE of the method instead of BECAUSE of it!” I know this being a language teacher my self!

    You know if you wanted you could write and sell a book on language acquistion as well. Oh and one on body building – I thought that was and interesting post! And tango, martial arts, acting…. You seem like a nice interesting guy with good things to say and I’d like to meet you one day, let me know next time you’re popping over to Tokyo (or Toyama prefecture..) and I’ll buy you some lunch!

  11. Regarding languages: go to Belgium or Switzerland and you easily find may people who start out with four languages easily – and I do mean reading and writing and the whole lot. PLUS many add another one or two like Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, you name it. So six or even seven is not uncommon. My kids are four years of age and speak three languages, I myself master five plus two half well.

    Btw, the human brain develops rapidly until the age of six. The way we physically acquire and store language and the ways we communicate, changes throughout life. The two hemispheres of the brain work more equally till we are about six years old, then all the bridges are made and the halves specialise much more.

    Kids also have to learn basic concepts as well as learning the language: to master tenses you need to understand the concept of time first. You need to understand the concept of categories, like apple and pears are fruits to know what the word “fruit” means. Not an easy feat! Adults usually know all that already but we lack the sheer fun, innocence and not being scared to make mistakes, plus the love to imitate which children have.

    Btw, a recent study found that being bilingual defers the onset of Alzheimer for approximately 15 years. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11534481

    SO all you language lovers out there: go for it and live healthier for longer 😉


  12. This is a great article. I work way to much and I have no time to travel or have a love life. This help me to understand my current work-life (im)balance, and I was shocked.

  13. It is unique to look at what my LQ Calculator is and what my number is. I would love to raise that average and lower my days. Now I just need to figure out how to do this without reducing my income. Now the challenge begins.