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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Warren Buffett's 2 List Strategy

How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities



With well over 50 billion dollars to his name, Warren Buffett is consistently ranked among the wealthiest people in the world. Out of all the investors in the 20th century, Buffett was the most successful.
Given his success, it stands to reason that Buffett has an excellent understanding of how to spend his time each day. From a monetary perspective, you could say that he manages his time better than anyone else.
And that's why the story below, which was shared directly from Buffett's employee to my good friend Scott Dinsmore, caught my attention.
Let's talk about the simple 3-step productivity strategy that Warren Buffett uses to help his employees determine their priorities and actions.

The Story of Mike Flint

Mike Flint was Buffett's personal airplane pilot for 10 years. (Flint has also flown four US Presidents, so I think we can safely say he is good at his job.) According to Flint, he was talking about his career priorities with Buffett when his boss asked the pilot to go through a 3-step exercise.
Here's how it works…
STEP 1: Buffett started by asking Flint to write down his top 25 career goals. So, Flint took some time and wrote them down. (Note: you could also complete this exercise with goals for a shorter timeline. For example, write down the top 25 things you want to accomplish this week.)
STEP 2: Then, Buffett asked Flint to review his list and circle his top 5 goals. Again, Flint took some time, made his way through the list, and eventually decided on his 5 most important goals.
Note: If you're following along at home, pause right now and do these first two steps before moving on to Step 3.
STEP 3: At this point, Flint had two lists. The 5 items he had circled were List A and the 20 items he had not circled were List B.
Flint confirmed that he would start working on his top 5 goals right away. And that's when Buffett asked him about the second list, “And what about the ones you didn't circle?”
Flint replied, “Well, the top 5 are my primary focus, but the other 20 come in a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit. They are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them a dedicated effort.”
To which Buffett replied, “No. You’ve got it wrong, Mike. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”

The Power of Elimination

I believe in minimalism and simplicity. I like getting rid of waste. I think 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.
That said, getting rid of wasteful items and decisions is relatively easy. It's eliminating things you care about that is difficult. It is hard to prevent using your time on things that are easy to rationalize, but that have little payoff. 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 your list are things you care about. They are 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.
James Clear

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Monday, November 19, 2018

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November Rains

The change of Season sets a reflective tone all over. As the winter sets in the northern hemisphere, the mixed emotions prevail over somethings that have gone past and somethings to look forward especially as we have reached penultimate page of 2018 Calender. Grey images in the northern part of globe add to the blues as depicted in the great Guns and Roses Song, but same chill add world famous romantic and invigorating spirits (Gulabi Thandi) in Pune. Festivities of Ganapati, Navratri , Dusshera and Diwali done and dusted with we now head towards year end festivities after this small hiatus.  

Festivities of Diwali was marked  with the debate on crackers. There is a repeated pattern to kind of stigmatize Indian festivals like Diwali branding it as a source of pollution while same crackers turn into festivities for year end. Dahi handi and Ganpati to create noise pollution while ignoring all political noise, honking, marriage processions etc. Holi being source of water wastage while allowing swimming pools, loose taps to waste water 24 by 7. That does not mean we should not tamper with traditions and improve them but not through consorted agenda to shame these festivals while being silent on such flaws on other festivals. This modernization has to be done by sensible leadership, internal examples and awareness. No court can have any say in matter of faith his unless actual rituals negatively affect human life and well being, safety and legal violations financially. This awareness resulted in less pollution this year. But forget this noise, lets salute Diwali Traditions which ensure creativity through rituals like Rangoli, Illumination. Food and Miniature forts. Diwali also creates awareness of cleanliness. New trends like Diwali early morning events and concerts, Deepotsav, Tourism/Trekking are in thing in Diwali and this Diwali was no exception.

Mention of courts lead to another serious issue which has resulted in creating questions over credibility of this August institution. Apart from Indian Armed forces it was the only institution in India which had respect and which was russet by masses to have sense and ensure that things are above the board  in India. But now with some curious judgments as in Sabrimala, Crackers, and some very frivolous issues, really that credibility is at stake. As a systemic fault this institution is overloaded but that requires sense of prioritization prevail which has not as shown in midnight hearing of Afzhal Pardon, out of turn hearing in Setalwaad bail, and unnecessary delay in Haywood dispute. One feels that all these years we were made to believe in efficacy of collegium system to ensure unbiased judgement but it seems most severe form of manipulation we had been living in past regimes. With new school of thoughts having power in center and most parts of India, these fractures are exposed. With Media in their pockets , past regime had made us to believing in the fairness of system. Only time will let us know but we should have concrete plan to restore the credibility of Judiciary.

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