Warren Buffett’s Two-List System Should Be Your Plan To Success

by | October 2, 2014

Not many names perk business people’s ears like Warren Buffett. Self-made multibillionaire, investing genius, and philanthropic powerhouse when Buffett speaks people listen.

We’ve been taught to set goals since childhood and it typically follows the same formula: set a number of short-term goals that you work on in the day-to-day and keep a set of long-term goals that you’ll eventually accomplish. Graduating college would have been a long-term goal whereas acing your bio exam was short-term.

Buffett says we’ve been doing it all wrong.

His former pilot apparently got some sound advice business people bid millions for. To achieve success, Buffett swears by a two-list system.

Warren once said to his pilot: “the fact that you’re still working for me, tells me I’m not doing my job. You should be out going after more of your goals and dreams.” He then had him get to making the first list.

List One

Think about twenty-five goals you want to accomplish in the next few years. These can be a mix of your long-term & short-term goals. Write them out on paper, an iPad, or whatever so you can see them materialized in front of you.

The next step is to circle your top five goals. These are what you feel are most important to accomplish in that time.

Those five you circled make up your first list – what you should focus on accomplishing.

Now you should make a plan on how you’re going to achieve each of these goals.

List Two

What about those 20 other goals you didn’t circle? How should you handle those?

According to Buffett, you don’t. Those 20 items get put on an “avoid at all costs” list.

“Everything you didn’t circle just became your ‘avoid at all cost list’,” Buffett goes on to say. “No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”

While we make it a habit of focusing on few short-term tasks at a time, rarely do we apply this to the long-term and we never avoid goals that have value to us. This epiphanic advice already helped me clarify my 5-year plan. What do you think about it?