Episode #159 – With Tim Ferriss of The Four Hour X


In Episode #159 Ari is joined by productivity man, myth and legend Tim Ferriss of The 4 Hour Work Week fame. During this hour-plus interview, Ari asks Tim about the origins of his success, the keys to his continued habits of excellence and what makes “The Four Hour X” approach to life so radically helpful.


Special Announcements:

Less Doing Does Europe!

Watch Ari bring the lessons of Less Doing to some of Europe’s most famous cities including Barcelona, Munich, Amsterdam and Budapest for the 2015 European Growth Summit. Ari will be joined by fellow masters of entrepreneurship Steve Martin, Director of Influence at Work in the UK, and Verne Harnish, founder and CEO of Gazelles. For the most up-to-date information on the Growth Summit, check out TwitterFacebookGoogle+ or LinkedIn!

EO Vancouver

On June 18th, join Ari at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in b-e-a-utiful Vancouver, B.C. as he takes the microphone for EO Vancouver. Enjoy this unique opportunity to watch Ari candidly discuss life as an Author, Speaker, Teacher and – most importantly – Achievement Architect.

EO Victoria

Join Ari at one of the Entrepreneur Organization’s high-impact learning events in Victoria, B.C. Like EO Vancouver, this will undoubtedly be a unique opportunity to watch Ari candidly discuss life as an Author, Speaker, Teacher and – most importantly – Achievement Architect.

Fuel the Fire

Come watch Ari light-up the Drake Hotel in Chicago on Wednesday, August 5th as he delivers a rousing keynote speech for IPPA Business Excellence Conference: Fuel the Fire. This will be a great opportunity to watch Ari translate the lessons of Less Doing into terms business leaders can take to the bank.


Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 31:14 – It’s not enough to be a positive thinker—you need the “feet on the ground” strategies
  • 32:00 – Mastery comes through teaching
  • 32:38 – Tim didn’t learn how to swim until he was in his 30s
  • 33:12 – When you suddenly overcome an “impossible” other impossibles in your life start to fall
  • 37:30 – Tim’s next “skill” to develop?
  • 39:03 – Tim’s to-do list
  • 41:14 – Becoming proficient in any activity creates far-reaching transferrable skill
  • 42:38 – The Checklist Manifesto
  • 42:45 – No matter how dexterous of mind and body you are, checklists (processes) will make you better
  • 43:40 – Is there blowback from people who are offended by the notion that Tim can “learn” a task in one-week?
  • 46:12 – Be unorthodox and challenge the “best-practices” of your given skill
  • 46:29 – “This takes a lifetime to learn” is something people say when they’re trying to defend their fiefdom
    • 46:44 – More often than not, it is said to deter people from trying
  • 48:31 – Tim’s key tools for automation
    • 48:47 – Boomerang as a Gmail extension
    • 50:14 – Delegate anything that consumes attention rather than time
  • 53:32 – Ari defines Optimization as…tracking…looking at the process you’re going through as it exists and making it better
  • 54:15 – Tim’s key tool for Optimization
    • 54:26 – The quantified-self movement
      • 54:45 – People who track for the sake of tracking
      • 54:55 – People who track for goal accomplishment
    • 58:35 – Don’t view the physical body as separate from the mind—Your brain is an organ subject to the same constraints and variables as your body
    • 61:00 – Temperature is the under-discussed aspect of sleep
  • 62:15 – When you take care of your primary asset, everything becomes easier
  • 63:12 – Tim’s take on the Invisible UX movement—text-based services
    • 63:37 – One of the easiest types of businesses to prototype and start but the most difficult to scale
  • 67:25 – Tim’s Top 3 Tips to be More Effective
    • 67:55 – You are the average of the 5 people you associate with most
    • 68:48 – Exercise regularly, at least 15-20 minutes of motion per day
    • 69:39 – Meditate first thing in the morning, even if it’s just 5 minutes
    • *70:25 – Download and use the Chrome extension Momentum


7 Key Points:

  1. The internet is helpful, but it’s also a rat-hole—don’t get lost in it.
  2. More than anything else, mastery comes from teaching.
  3. Your brain is an organ subject to the same constraints and variables as your body—it needs proper nutrition, exercise and rest.
  4. Good tracking habits are key to optimization.
  5. Don’t be afraid to challenge best practices—be unorthodox.
  6. The small things, when repeated, become the big things.
  7. Conquer something you have long deemed “impossible”—watch as all the other “impossible” things start to become possible.

Resources Mentioned:

  • How to Stop Worrying – From Barking Up the Wrong Tree, an article aiming to help people defeat their worries
  • Is Multitasking Bad? – It is impossible to truly multitask, but you can combine low-focus tasks with high-focus tasks
  • Telegram That – Physical telegram delivery, available only in San Francisco
  • Video Pixie – A freelancing website, specifically dedicated to video production
  • PariBus – Automated price-drop recovery technology
  • Launch Kit – An app store sales recorder
  • GetTre.at – Mobile payments by visiting specific locations
  • Infant Antibiotics and Adult Disease – Science Daily article explaining how heavy antibiotic use as children can weaken our gut flora and immune systems as adults
  • Sidekick – A Google Chrome plugin that allows users to quickly see who opens and clicks on their emails