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The Four Hour Body and You Like many of your Tim Ferriss fans out there, I've been very keen to try the Four Hour Body lifestyle change. I'm overweight by quite a few pounds, so I made a New Year's resolution to shed some pounds....

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Improvements and Fixes to WP E-CommerceImprovements and Fixes to WP E-Commerce Like many of you, I am a user of the WP E-Commerce plug-in for Wordpress as well as a Gold Cart upgrade customer. While WP E-Commerce has many excellent features and does wonders for the Wordpress-based...

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Credit cards: a lifeline for cash Hi all. It certainly has been a while since I've last posted. That's because in many ways the 4HWW concept has been shot given the urgency of making ends meet and scrambling to get whatever dollars are...

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Version 0.2 of Show User Level Content Plugin Now Available Making an update to the Show User Level Content Plugin ... finally on version 0.2 This version should allow multiple hide statements in the same post. This is a test of that functionality. The first...

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More on Banking... A while back I posted about business banking accounts, and asked the community what their thoughts were on the best ones for FHWW'ers. I never really did get a good response, but the post is out there,...

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One other quick note: time and weather

Category : time management

How to know what time it is when you don’t even know where you are.

Following up on the previous post on efficiency, I just want to point one other item out. I travel a lot. I mean a LOT. At one point, it was cheaper and easier just to fly around the world for 4 weeks straight than to return home between trips. I have to say, this is one area that the 4HWW doesn’t have quite figured out. How can you get to four hours a week when the plane flight itself (for business, mind you) is 12 hours long? Go figure.

One of the tools that I use while I’m traveling is the website at Weather and time. It’s often that I don’t know what time it is in my own city, but to know what it is when you are traveling is tough. Even more important is to know the time difference so that when you set up a call, with say, India, you realize that it’s 10 and a HALF hours ahead of the East Coast of the US. That’s right — it’s off by a half-hour increment. Some countries adjust their time zone up by 45 or 15 minute increments. Who came up with that?

Anyways, the website I mentioned above allows you to check not only the time and date, but also the weather in the some of the most important cities of the world. They have a particular fixation with Spain, and you can see all the time and date in all Spanish cities. But even better, when you get that information, you can print it so it appears on just one page. Slip it into your itinerary, and off you go.

Just make sure to miss the monsoon season in Mumbai. It ain’t pretty for us east coast US folks. Any other good tools or tips for the world traveler (or even for those that spend their time talking on the phone to other time zones)?

Optimizing for efficiency: Online Printing

Category : productivity

Quick bit on Microsourcing (yes, still a tease)

It’s been a short while since my last post, but let me tell you why: I’m still trying to figure out how to make Microsourcing work. The key idea with microsourcing is that you should break up any outsourcing task into small chunks that can quickly be outsourced, easily measured for results, and then paid in smaller increments. This should alleviate any of the problems traditionally associated with outsourcing: poor communicaton, poor control, and lack of visibility. But, that said, it’s hard to know just how small a task should be. So, I’m still working on that.

Get efficient. Do Online Printing.

But more to the point, I want to discuss what has recently been a bit of a god-send to us four-hour-a-weekers: online printing. What is online printing? To us 4HWWers, it’s a way of outsourcing your printing needs to a third party at a cost and complexity much lower than you can do on your own or with a local print shop. Online print shops, like PsPrint give small shops and small businesses (or the muse that you are creating) a way of delivering high-quality print products (such as business cards, brochures, flyers, posters, booklets, catalogs, CDs, and even things like calendars) with short-turn around times, online convenience, and very competitive prices.

I’ve worked with many local print shops, and while I always love the small guy, the truth of the matter is that they really can’t compete. I’ve been very frustrated by the large “print shop” chains that are even worse than Wal-mart equivalents since they are higher price, poor quality, worse service, and fewer offerings than the online print shops can offer. In truth, no traditional printer or local copy shop can really match the breadth, capability, price, and quality than online print shops can offer.

Here’s how I use them: need to quickly put together a booklet or flyer for an online product or print offering? Want to quickly put together some sales sheets for that muse you are working on? Need some business cards to create your in-person identity? Quickly put together a sketch, or even better, use the online design tools provided by these online printers to create custom print products in minutes. Many of these online printers offer customizable templates. Some even go an extra step and will handle mailing and deliver logistics for you as well, including providing mailing lists and custom mailing services.

Why am I saying this now? I’m still surprised at how little is mentioned about the power of the Internet not only for delivering online goods, but also for printing and distrbution of real-world items. Online print shops really provide a way of getting your ideas and concepts to market quickly…. and more importantly, keeping you to your four day a week goal.