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Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy

How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities

Mike Flint was Buffett’s personal airplane pilot for 10 years and he shares simple 3-step productivity strategy that Warren Buffett uses to help his employees determine their priorities and actions.

Here’s how it works…

STEP 1: Write down top 25 career goals. (Note: this can be applied for a shorter timeline like top 25 things to accomplish this week)

STEP 2: Review the list and circle top 5 goals

STEP 3:  The 5 items circled were List A and the 20 items not circled were List B.

 

According to Buffet everything not circled just became Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention until we’ve succeeded with our top 5.

The Power of Elimination

Buffet thinks that eliminating the inessential is one of the best ways to make life easier, make good habits more automatic, and make you grateful for what you do have.

 

The tasks that have the greatest likelihood of derailing your progress are the ones you care about, but that aren’t truly important.

Every behavior has a cost. Even neutral behaviors aren’t really neutral. They take up time, energy, and space that could be put toward better behaviors or more important tasks. We are often spinning in motion instead of taking action.

This is why Buffett’s strategy is particularly brilliant. Items 6 through 25 on the list are things you care about and important to you. It is very easy to justify spending your time on them. But when you compare them to your top 5 goals, these items are distractions. Spending time on secondary priorities is the reason you have 20 half-finished projects instead of 5 completed ones.

 

Eliminate ruthlessly. Force yourself to focus. Complete a task or kill it. The most dangerous distractions are the ones you love, but that don’t love you back.

 

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