24 Hours with Tim Ferriss, a Sample Schedule

119 Comments

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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 (*):

10am — get up and eat high-protein breakfast of 300-400 calories (I’m typing this at 2:22am, as I do my best writing from 1-4am)

10:30-12* — radio interviews and idea generation for writing (note taking)

12 noonworkout involving mostly posterior chain (back, neck extension, hamstrings, etc.) and abdominals.

12:30 — lunch in a restaurant of organic beef, vegetables, pinto beans, and guacamole (I have this almost everyday. Here is my diet.)

1-5pm* — write piece for The Economist (I’m not writing this whole time, but I block out this period)

5pm* — review my designer’s latest updates on planned blog redesign

5:30pm — first dinner – small

6:30-8:30pm — Brazilian jiu-jitsu training

9pm — second dinner – large

10pmice bath and shower

11-2am — chill out and do whatever, probably reading for enjoyment or drinking wine with friends

Before you ask “but what happened to the 4-hour workweek?!”, realize that the goal was never to be idle.

I hate laziness and make this clear in the book, the “Filling the Void” chapter being just one example. The goal is to spend as much time possible doing what we want by maximizing output in minimal time.

I don’t have to do anything in this schedule. I choose to do them because I like them. None of them are financially-driven or unpleasant obligations. If the chance to do something more fun comes up last-minute, I can cancel all of them.

Remember: having time isn’t hard nor necessarily desirable in and of itself–just quit your job and go on unemployment. It’s how you use time and trade it for experience that counts.

Posted on: March 10, 2008.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

119 comments on “24 Hours with Tim Ferriss, a Sample Schedule

  1. Sign me up for this lifestyle. I can’t wait to finish reading this book. The living dead need to wake up and enjoy their lives. Sounds corny but I never felt so validated reading this book. I think most people don’t even know how empty their lives are.

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  2. Hey Tim, First i want to say thanks,

    I am reading 4hr e-book and your Book change my life! I’ve been an entrepreneur for last 10 years and really the problem was that me too was the hub of everything., Im changing my business and now im thinking about hire some Indians and outsource my life!
    I wish i can found this book early.

    Stive

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  3. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and by no means seem to get something done.

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  4. Tim, found your book fascinating, it took many years of persistence, desire with incredible will power and focused like a laser beam to make my first level of financial independence. After reading your book I could have done the same in record time. I have started a new company that is taking off like a rocket and I have re-invented the workflow of my old company to minimize time spent at the office.

    In short order I have added more time for reading and workout sessions in Wing Chung and Aikido.

    Thanks,

    Ed

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  5. Hi Tim,
    I’ve been trying to read your book for the past few years. There’s so much of value and I want to absorb every bit. The most significant improvement I’ve experienced came about when I started using the kb for weight training. I started with 25 lbs, 75 swings, 3x/week. This was very beneficial. But what shot my results through the roof was when I increased the weight to 35 lbs. I am an apple body type and have always had a round belly. I swear that I can actually see definition in my abs and I’ve got a nice shape to my buns. People in the gym are commenting like crazy on how great I look. Who says you can’t spot reduce? Thank you so much.

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  6. Bonjour de France!

    Someone on the blog asked about what if Tim has kids and what would the day look like then. Actually, I’m currently experimenting many elements of the book and with a baby, travelling and a busy work schedule I’m actually finding I’ve more time than before. I know it’s probably hard to believe, but Tim is right – ‘less is more’ (!) it’s about prioritisation; one needs a lot of willpower and persistance, but I think once you start this way and to eliminate, well there is no going back. Exciting times ahead :)

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  7. Hey Tim,

    You are a life experimenter extraordinaire…yet I’ve never seen you comment on or try Dymaxion or Uberman polyphasic sleeping as a life experiment for productivity improvement…are you up for the ride?! Buckminster Fuller also embarked on a ‘lifelong experiment’ and was a Dymaxion fan.

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  8. Tim,
    To revive a years-old post that is undoubtedly relevant today – Would you mind giving us a sample “day in the life of” of your life back when you were putting all of your systems in place?

    I am in the in-between stage of doing everything myself and getting to the point where the systems are running smoothly on their own…Basically, the set-up stage. How did you keep your sanity / life / interests / social life during that time? The time in which you were interviewing for VAs, seeking answers, setting things up, etc.

    If you were to post a day in the life of Tim-in-transition to the 4 Hour WW, I bet that would be immensely popular to a large majority of your readers. I know I would find it inspirational! :-)

    Thanks for sharing! :-)

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  9. Hello Tim, I’m just curious that what movies do you watch in the evenings and why muted?
    Thanks in advance for your fast reply,
    Mike, a fan from Slovakia

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  10. I am a recent grad from Samford university, unfortunately not in the same pedigree as Stanford. However, I want to learn and work my way up into the type of caliber of a person the ivy’s trend to produce. As a precursor, I noticed that you said you hated multi tasking but after watching a few of your video’s you referenced pausing James bond, listening to your favorite music Which I wasn’t either cultured enough to know nor could I spell when trying to look it up, and drinking wine/ Tea while blogging. Just seemed like multi tasking to me. I probably shouldn’t start off with a critique, especially because I have recently been introduced to your content and i absolutely love it. More than a less work mentality, I see a new way to digest info quickly and produce results on topics the a pertinent to my life and growth. One specific topic, I have not heard you talk much on after researching you is how to deal with mental health issues/ Disabilities or religion. After losing my life to a mental health issue. I am at a point in my life as 23 yr. old wants to live my life focused on living the life I want to but get hung up on the obscurity of the issues surrounding. I know these are very personal issues. Once again, my reason for commenting is to understand your thoughts as it relates because you have done so much research in that area, while also moving on and producing an incredible life for yourself in something you love. Always curious, never static, and achieving results. It may be far off to get you to reply but I will say this is my first comment on any personal blog and would love to hear any of your thoughts as I hope to apply some of you concept and models for my on personal life interest and adventures.

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