Jobs: How Many Hours Are You Willing to Work?

With the unemployment rate stuck in the double digits and with roughly 15 million Americans out of work, job security has become one of our most pressing concerns. Given this poor economic climate, workers need to find a way to become entrepreneurial and tweak the structure of their professional lives now more than ever. So says entrepreneur and author Timothy Ferriss in the expanded and updated 2009 version of his 2007 book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich.

In his book, Ferriss urges readers to check e-mail once a week, shun meetings, skip phone calls, and work remotely as much as possible. This ruthless management of one's schedule ultimately gives one time to travel and pursue hobbies, he says. When the book first came out in 2007, it became a bestseller, in part, because overworked Americans loved the idea of unplugging the treadmill of their jobs and finding a better balance between work and life. After the recession, things have clearly changed for the millions of Americans who are desperately looking for work of any kind. Ferriss recently spoke with NEWSWEEK's Nancy Cook about his mantra of the shorter workweek and its place in the new economy. Excerpts: