Is it possible to work four hours per week and be financially successful?

Is it possible to work four hours per week and be financially successful?

Do you too have the impression that most people these days are crazy about becoming more productive? Essentially, professionals often want to escape the overscheduled world we live in without having to sacrifice their financial success. Others simply want to be super efficient at work and overtake their competitors.

In the race to commercialise the general population’s frustrations, most successful entrepreneurs recognise the single most important method of marketing: to promise the masses a way out.

Hence, many motivational speakers have been delivering their speeches to boost people’s energy levels and self-esteem – and that’s great! It has helped many of us achieve the things we were afraid to even dream of.

Business and life coaches’ missions are to skilfully question their clients and prompt them to find the best answers and solutions for themselves, their families and businesses. I’ve seen and made that happen so I truly believe in the power of coaching as a self-development technique.

And then there are those who, in my opinion, take it one step too far and promise us, no offence, pie in the sky. A book with the self-explanatory title The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich is a worldwide blockbuster. Having heard of such popular concepts, some people start to believe that it’s possible to be so well-organised that working only a few hours a week can bring in a financial success. I personally know a man who suffered from depression because he blamed himself for not being efficient enough to successfully combine a demanding career, family life and still have the time for hobbies, social life and leisure.

Sadly, no one explained to this man that the 4 hour-work does not mean ‘working’ for four hours and spending the rest of the time for leisure or whatever you fancy doing BUT dedicating those four hours to generating a significant amount of income and the rest of your workweek to any activities which are related to the nature of your business, e.g. marketing, sales or PR campaigns. It’s common knowledge that financially successful people work approx. 60 hours a week UNTIL they have built their expertise and a very strong market position.

That’s the reality. There are, however, many ways to become better organised and more productive as a result. Here are some of the methods which save me, other managers and business owners time on a daily basis.

  • Start by observing and becoming aware of the situations or decisions that steal your time. Streamline those processes. For instance:
    • A BASIC but still widely ignored process: Do you check your mailbox more often than needed? Have you developed an easy strategy to process the incoming emails? (Can free up to 1 hour a day)
    • Another POPULAR AND SUPER CRUCIAL question with regards to time management: Do you visit social media more often than you need to? Do you do it whenever you have a spare moment and could you use that time for something that is higher on your priority list? (Can free between half an hour to even a few hours a day)
    • Do you know how much time you spend on preparing and having your meals? Can the process be more streamlined? I sacrifice my breakfast twice a week for a morning run or yoga in the name of the rule that leaving at least 12 hours per day without food is good for us
    • If you’re frustrated about little time you can dedicate to keeping fit and healthy, why don’t you try using a standing desk or a fitness ball instead of your armchair?
  • Reflect on YOUR CALENDAR and increase the scope. The most efficient and successful people in the world plan not every hour, not every quarter of an hour but every 5 minutes of their day. They say that being well-organised gives you freedom. i.e. the ability to manage your time.
  • Learn to plan as much as you can IN ADVANCE. How many activities have you already entered into your calendar for the next week? What about the next month? Can you enter more as we talk? Have you mastered how to be focused, assertive and stick to the plan?
  • I’d say that once you’ve worked out your good habits, using work management apps such as Trello is definitely worth considering.

It has already been said on so many occasions, but nothing I can agree with more than the statement that a happy person has the ability to make the time for the things which are the most important in their life.

  1. This is a really good article Marta. I wonder how such a young person can so professionally approach every difficult subject. My boss leaving the job asked me why I was still working. I said I had to finish something. Then he said: work on organizing your work and you will not have to sacrifice your private time.

    • Thank you, Sir. Being productive is as difficult a subject as exciting, and there are dozens of ways to master the art of it. But you know that, experience helps big time in that matter ? Let’s exchange best ideas when we catch up!

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