Review: The 4-Hour Workweek

4hourworkweekI finished up reading the “The 4-Hour Workweek”, authored by Timothy Ferriss.  I don’t read too many of these  self improvement type books, but I found this one to be interesting.

First off, the title is a bit of a misnomer, and you are likely not going to find that 4-hour workweek after reading the book. Second,  at the back of the book it says “Warning: Do Not Read This Book Unless You Want to Quite Your Job”. Okay, don’t worry you can read it and not have to quit your job.

I found some of the information in the book useful and parts of it rather obvious recommendations or bold claims of “get rich quick”.  But most intelligent people will be able to read between the lines and  pick out the useful information.

What I liked about the book is Timothy Ferriss talks about how to streamline your business, eliminate distractions (e.g. email), automate your day to day processes, with the outcome hopefully being that you generate more revenue, but spend much less time doing it.  Some rather straight forward tips that are at least worth trying out.

He also talks about taking a “mini-retirement”, a different approach than the typical work to live approach.   This  advice is probably more practical for someone who has a self sustaining business than someone who’s employed by another employer.  But it does make you wonder why we work to live, save, and eventually retire.  Why not work, save, take a mini-retirement, come back to work, save some more, and then retire?

My favorite quote from the book is “Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe”. This quote definitely rings true in some cases. Taking the time to step back and evaluate the effectiveness of what we are doing, may actually result in doing less while being more effective.

In the end, what Timothy Ferriss is suggesting we create a life that balances work and play. This is not a new concept, but his recommendations put a different spin on this topic, and are worth trying out. This book is a very easy read and worth picking up.

Enjoy the book if you choose to read.

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Latest Webcast: Invoice Capture

Just wrapped up a Webcast on invoice capture. Here’s a link to where you can find the recorded Webinar.

Invoice Capture: Where Do You Stand in the War Against Paper?

In my presentation, I talked about one of the most time consuming parts of the AP process being how you capture, validate, and deliver all the relevant data from an invoice into your AP systems and processes.  To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, below is a simple diagram illustrating an invoice lifecycle.

 invoice lifecycle

Intelligent capture helps automate digitizing paper invoices, automatically identifying the hundreds/thousands of vendor invoices a company may receive, intelligently reading the data from a invoice (e.g. invoice number, purchase order number, line item details), validating the data (e.g. PO matching), and delivery to an ERP system (SAP, Oracle Financial, etc). The costs and time savings can be substantial for businesses that are receiving even a few hundred invoices on a daily basis.

A couple customer examples I mentioned demonstrate the costs savings.

  • 35 percent productivity improvement of AP personnel
  • Reduced processing time from 9 days down to 2 days
  • Annual savings of $180,000

If you’d like to learn more on this topic, I’d recommend downloading the following analyst paper.

PayStream Advisors: Invoice Imaging and Data Capture for AP Analysts