3 Dream Steps You Can Take To Escape The Rat Race

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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escape the rat race

Sometimes when we are working diligently on our dreams it can feel like we’re in some sort of rat race. A rat race is a term used for an endless, self-defeating or pointless pursuit.

To combat this feeling, it is good to look for other forms of dream inspiration. I watch inspirational videos that help me decide if I am on track with my dream or motivate me to make changes to my dream plan.

This week I offer up Tim Ferriss, author of the number 1 New York Times bestseller, The 4-Hour WorkWeek to help us with our dream inspiration. Further reading and sample chapters and more can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog.

This video of approximately 5 minutes is great for those new to the book or those who would like a compressed review of some key concepts of living the 4-hour work week.

If you haven’t heard of Tim Ferriss and his efficiency techniques, I invite you to watch this video:

And here’s a synopsis of Tim’s advice –

  • Work less and enjoy life more.
  • Life doesn’t have to be so hard.
  • Most people have resigned themselves to work 9 – 5 in exchange for weekends off, a vacation and a regular paycheck of a set amount.

How do you escape this 9 – 5 rat race?

Tim offers these 3 steps as a way begin your escape

1. The process of elimination.

  • Use the 80/20 principle. You have to find the 20% of activities that are producing 80% of your desired outcome. Then find the 20% of the activities and people that are consuming 80% of your time.
  • Do more of the 20% of activities that lead to your desired outcome and do less, or involve yourself less with the activities and people who consume 80% of your time and don’t take you any closer to your desired outcome.

Use this step for everything – for customers, personal chores, work tasks and even your friends.

  • Goal #1 – Find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them.
  • Goal #2 – Find your strengths in order to multiply them.

2. Cultivate selective ignorance.

  • Control your information flow.
  • Don’t fall into the all input – no output trap.
  • Put yourself on a low information diet. P
  • lay catch-up verses keep-up at all times.
  • Let certain information wait – like email.
  • Set up and auto-responder that goes something like this:

Dear all,

In an effort to actually get more work done, I’m testing a new email policy. I’m checking and responding to email only twice a day at 11:00am and 4:00pm (time zone). If you need a response before one of these two times for anything urgent, please call me on my cell phone. Thanks for understanding this move to greater effectiveness and efficiency.

Focus on completing mission-critical tasks from START TO FINISH without interruption.

3. Outsource.

  • Replace the idea of an annual income with hourly income. See match in video for the rest of this – pretty impressive.
  • Hire virtual assistants to do menial tasks whenever possible.
  • Set your not to do list.

What steps can you take this week to escape the rat race and get more done on your dream?

Keep on dreaming –


Catherine HughesCatherine’s dream is to be a motivator and published writer. She is testing her theories on motivation with this blog and the seven other women who have volunteered to be a part of her dream project. Catherine also writes about her life as a mom at the blog A Week In The Life Of A Redhead. She would also like to be invited to speak at TED as the next Erma Bombeck. Catherine posts on Monday mornings and fills in when needed.

Have you started your New Years resolutions for 2011 yet? How about figuring out what your big dream is?

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  • I love Tim Ferriss – I am working on several concepts in his book for my business now. Thanks for sharing this one! – Heather

  • Catherine


    Thank you for your great suggestion. We contacted on her Facebook page and requested an interview. Thank you so much for your comment and suggestion!

  • Carol Stamos

    Can you please do an interview with Diane Garnick? She is one of the few women I have ever heard of who came up through so much.


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