4HWW Invades London Next Week: Pre-orders and Parties

The 4-Hour Workweek launches in the UK next week on April 3rd, and I’ll be in London to bring it to the Motherland with a bang.

For all you readers and friends in Europe, come have a pint with me!

From the UK publisher: order before April 3rd with “ESCAPE” as a promo code at checkout and you get 30% off and free shipping in the UK (maybe Europe?). This is cheaper than in the US. Learn more here.

Party and Reader Meetup in London on April 2nd at 6pm:

I invite all blog readers, book readers, and friends to come to London on Wednesday, April 2nd from 6pm – 9pm GST to have a drink with me at the reserved room at the Pitcher and Piano in Trafalgar Square.

Please register here if you might come so we have an idea of head count, though walk-ins are welcome:

Pitcher and Piano (reserved room)

40-42 William IV St, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4D

Colette Bacalhau / Andy Seach

T: 020 7240 6180

It’s a good idea to follow me on Twitter for any last-minute changes or other parties and mischief.

The location might change, so please refer back to this post before heading over, but there will be a get together in London with lots of laughs and joie de vivre… and no little amount of alcohol. If you have recommendations for a cooler place that can hold 100+ people, please let me know in the comments. This is a BYOB (buy your own beer) event, but I’ll sponsor the next one when we’re dealing with pesos 🙂

See you all in the land of funny cars, funnier policemen, and ridiculously expensive sandwiches!


Odds and Ends:

-Uberblogger Robert Scoble discusses my blog PR tactics in the newest issue of Fast Company

I dissect the travel bag contents of a Sci-Fi TV show host on DVICE

-The Wall Street Journal looks at why people are helpless to stop grazing on web data

4 Anti-Cold Cocktails That Work: From Ancient China to German Alcoholics and Modern Labs


The 2,000-year old cocktail: it tastes as bad as it looks… but it works.

My back hurts. So does my throat, and I feel like a sumo wrestler is sitting on my head trying to pop my eyes out.

Alas, the common cold has got me. Fortunately, I expect to be rid of it in 48-72 hours.

Like millions this time of year, I have the bug. But, thanks to Chinese and German friends and several helpful doctors, I’ve found a few effective treatments — the closest to cures I’ve experimented with — that can get you back on your feet faster. I suggest you test them in stages, from oldest to newest, as the side-effects tend to increase as we include modern drugs.

Continue reading “4 Anti-Cold Cocktails That Work: From Ancient China to German Alcoholics and Modern Labs”

Interview with Gina Trapani, Founder of Lifehacker – Morning Routine, Little Hacks with Big Results, and More…

Lifehacker was one of the first blogs I ever read. Its tag line echoes the sentiments of most digital workers:

“Computers make us more productive. Yeah, right. Lifehacker recommends the software downloads and web sites that actually save time. Don’t live to geek; geek to live.”

Gina Trapani, the founding editor at Lifehacker and author of the brand-new book, Upgrade Your Life, which comes out today, is largely responsible for the popularity of the term “lifehacks.” I figured I’d ask her to share a few of her favorites. From morning routine to top downloads and more, we were able to cover a lot of topics in just 8 questions.

Continue reading “Interview with Gina Trapani, Founder of Lifehacker – Morning Routine, Little Hacks with Big Results, and More…”

Size Does Matter — Bigger Monitors Save 2.5 Hours a Day

Bigger is better? (Photo: ikelee)

According to University of Utah researchers, using a larger monitor could save you 2.5 hours per day.

Specifically, test subjects completed everyday tasks like editing documents and massaging spreadsheets 52% faster when using a 24-inch monitor than they did with an 18-incher.

Not sure who uses 18-inch screens (17″ and 19″ are more typical), but I’d be curious to see how productivity with a 24-inch screen without Expose compares to a 17″ Mac with Expose activated.

If they are referring to docs and spreadsheets, it would seem to be a mostly scrolling-based discrepancy, n’est-ce pas? I suspect that if we use double-finger dragging on a scratch pad to scroll vs. a mouse, this gap would narrow.

Any theories to explain the difference, and how to make a smaller screen behave like a larger screen? Top picks for afforable 20-24″ monitors? I’m planning on a 22″ Acer LCD in black and hope to quantify the difference over a 4-week period.

[Thanks to Scott Allen via Wall Street Journal for the tip.]

How to Fly Without ID and Skip Lines

Lose the wallet to enter the fast lane? Strange but true. (Photo: Dam)

In the world of orange alerts and terrorism, how do you fly without ID? Is it even possible?

I learned last week that–not only is it possible–it’s faster.

My wallet was stolen at ETech in San Diego 3 hours before my flight was scheduled to leave for Austin, TX. Panic set in, as I had to be on a panel the following afternoon, but I learned of a few work-arounds.

Here’s what I did, first from the hotel:

1. I took the clever Brady Forrest‘s advice and printed out a little-known (outside of techies) letter from the TSA, written to Senator John Warner, that outlines protocol for flying without ID. If the airport check-in staff or security stop you, this letter and requesting a supervisor is often enough to get you onboard. Continue reading “How to Fly Without ID and Skip Lines”

GetFriday and the Cost of Success: Exclusive Letter from the CEO

Do you want to get a promotion, make $500,000 per year, appear on Oprah, or have 10x the number of customers?

Be careful what you ask for.

GetFriday, a personal outsourcing firm in India, was thrust into the limelight when The 4-Hour Workweek hit #1 on The New York Times bestseller list, and their client numbers jumped by almost 1000%. Outsourcing your life was now in fashion.

It’s not simple to handle unexpected massive demand, and this was reflected in complaints from new users who were frustrated with waiting lists, response time issues, and mistakes. New personal outsourcing services popped up to fill the demand, and the niche industry of personal outsourcing is now big business.

I asked the CEO of GetFriday, Sunder Prakasham, to explain the problems and address the criticisms. Below is his letter to me, an excellent description of the growing pains many of you will face if you become “overnight successes” or get sudden primetime exposure. Continue reading “GetFriday and the Cost of Success: Exclusive Letter from the CEO”

24 Hours with Tim Ferriss, a Sample Schedule


The goal is NOT inactivity. (Photo: the super smart and sexy Pinar Ozger)

Perhaps the most common question I’m asked is “what do you do all day?”

I was recently interviewed by J.D. Roth on his popular personal finance blog, and one of his readers wrote in with the following:

“I would like to know as best he can give, what Tim’s average NON-mini-retirement day entails.”

Here was my answer:

My days almost never look the same. I ask my assistants to avoid phone calls on Mondays and Fridays, in case I want to take a long weekend on either end, and I almost always allocate Mondays for general preparation and prioritizing for the week, then any administrative tasks that I need to handle (paperwork for accountants, lawyers, etc.).

I put very few things in my calendar, as I do not believe most people can do more than four hours of productive work per day at maximum, and I loathe multi-tasking. For example, my day tomorrow [Tim: this was about 14 days ago] looks like this, with items in my calendar preceded by an asterisk (*):

Continue reading “24 Hours with Tim Ferriss, a Sample Schedule”

Redesign Launching

We are currently launching the new blog design and functionality – please play around. If anything looks off or isn’t working, let us know! Still working on getting everything running smoothly.

Postscript: A few questions:

1. LOL… some of you have said that one of the header photos is creepy. Which one? Just refresh and they should rotate. I’m assuming from the “too dark” comments that it’s the sunset from Panama — will yank that soon 🙂

2. Are the top photos rotating for everyone? Hit refresh and they should. Refresh a few times, as they might repeat here and there since it’s randomized.

3. Other bugs? Comments working for all?


Is Technology Failing to Simplify Life? Tim Ferriss on Economist.com

Do you think technology simplifies or complicates life?

I was recently invited to participate in a debate sponsored by The Economist, and it just went live.

The proposition: If the promise of technology is to simplify our lives, it is failing.

Do you agree or disagree?

There are some fascinating points made by both debaters, and I add a few observations of my own. Be sure to read their “opening statements,” which are what I focus on, before their later rebuttals. Here is the first part of my commentary as a “featured participant”:

I receive 500–1,000 e-mail per day.

To contend with this, I have virtual assistants in Canada and sub-assistants in Bangalore who filter my inboxes using processing rules in Google Docs. Connected via Skype and compensated via PayPal, this team translates a 10-hour task into a 20-minute phone call…

[Read the rest of this one-pager here]

It will be obvious why I voted “pro”.

In order to vote — and I find this ironic — you need to first “register” in the top right of the screen, then get a screen name, then click on “pro” or “con”. Simple. 🙂

Real Life Extension: Caloric Restriction or Intermittent Fasting? (Part 2)

There are options for extending your life, but is it worth it? (Photo: Megan*)

This is the second half of our two-part article on real experiments (and successes) in life extension, authored by Dr. Michael Eades. Part 1 covers supporting research for caloric extension (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF).

Dr. Eades continued from Part 1:

We fooled around with a number of different eat-fast-eat regimens and came up with something that works pretty well. We set up our cutoff time as 6 PM. On the day we started, we ate until 6 PM, then fasted until 6 PM the next day. On the next day we ate supper right after 6 PM and ate breakfast and lunch (and a few snacks) the next day until 6 PM when we started fasting again.

Continue reading “Real Life Extension: Caloric Restriction or Intermittent Fasting? (Part 2)”