Prioritizing Ruthlessly

I met with an entrepreneur yesterday who, in passing, mentioned Warren Buffett’s method of prioritizing (ruthlessly).  To sum it up:               

  • Jot down a list of the 25 most important things you want to accomplish (in a month, in a year, in life).  
  • Circle the 5 absolutely most important ones, and move them to a “must accomplish” list.  This can be hard, since they’re all important.  
  • Then — and this is the trick — move the remaining 20 to your “avoid at all cost” list.
  • Make a commitment to absolutely avoiding everything on that list (until you’ve accomplished your top 5).

Maybe this is old news to everyone, but it was the first time I’d heard it, and it really stuck with me.

The (obvious, when you think about it) point is that the twenty remaining things on your list will kill your focus on your top 5 in a death by a thousand cuts, and then you won’t actually accomplish anything.

The person I was talking to goes through this process with his team on the last day of every month, and they stick with it.  It has resulted in a pretty impressive track record of focus and execution.

I like this, and I am going to give it a go for March.  Will report back.

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Nick Grossman

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