Monday, February 3, 2014
Tim Ferriss is the author of the book 'The Four Hour Workweek', a highly successful tome in the self-help niche and one that has inspired countless new entrepreneurs to start working less and living life more. Ferriss' argument is that you don't need to be tied to a desk 9-5 staring at a computer and getting shouted at in order to make a living, and that you should be living life to the fullest now rather than waiting for that day when you retire or happen to win the lottery. He advises against 'fear disguises as optimism' and recommends making changes to your life that will help you to create a lifestyle that works for you and gives you more time to enjoy the things that are important to you.
One of the key elements in creating such a lifestyle is the smart use of technology – and Ferriss thus explains in the book how you can use a number of technologies in order to automate your work flow, manage your money, work remotely and more. Here we will look at some of the technologies you can use to do that, both those listed in his book and those that he neglected to mention…
VAS stands for 'Virtual Assistant Services' and is one of the big topics that Ferriss focusses on in the book. Essentially, a virtual assistant is someone who charges a relatively small fee in order to take on all manner of odd jobs for you that can be completed by e-mail. Normally this means paying $40 or so a week/month in exchange for x-number of e-mails and calls.
What can you do with such a service? Well pretty much anything you don't want to do yourself: including contacting potential new clients, releasing press releases about your new product, calling people you need to interview, or sorting through your e-mails and flagging up only the most important items. This can save you countless items and when used correctly is more than worth the money.
IFTTT is one that doesn't get a mention in Ferriss' book, but which is highly useful for automating aspects of your lifestyle. Essentially IFTTT stands for 'If This, Then That' and allows you to create small routines that work across your various social networks and other online services.
For example, you could organise your DropBox to automatically download any pictures you are tagged in on Facebook, or you could get your Twitter to post messages that you write on Facebook. You can get it to e-mail you tomorrow's weather, and generally you can do a whole range of other cool things that automate annoying online tasks and save you a ton of time.
Ferriss recommends that one way to save yourself time is to write one to-do list at the end of each day. This way you can work through items the next day without wasting time thinking about what needs to get done.
What he doesn't mention is what a great app EverNote is for doing just that. The best part of EverNote is just how many different platforms it's supported by – which means that no matter what kind of phone you have you can make your note on there and then see it on your computer as soon as you wake up the next day. I use a Galaxy Note 3 which allows me to take hand written notes very nicely.
How does Spotify help you to get the lifestyle you want? Well, technologies like this allow you to do away with physical products such as CDs. This then frees up much more space in your home, which at the same time will free up more time as you have fewer items to look after and maintain. It also means that if you ever want to consider moving to Toronto on a whim you will be able to much more easily. And then once you're out there, you'll be able to sit in the sun and listen to your whole music collection that you didn't have to pack or bring with you…
The contributor of this article, Evan Adams, is an employee at Tender Touch Moving Company, leading commercial movers Toronto. Evan is fitness enthusiast and strictly follows his exercise routine.