I read a post yesterday on Medium about Warren Buffett’s 5/25 rule. The idea is that you write down the 25 things you want to accomplish in the future. After you do that, you rank them in order of importance and then circle the top five.
When you are done with that list, you are supposed to knock off numbers six through 25 and focus on the first five. The idea is that you can only accomplish the most important things by focusing on them. When we split our attention and start focusing on the lower 25, we lose sight and divert attention from achieving the top five.
It sounds like a great idea and I planned to make my list today, but when I starting thinking about coming up with 25 items, I wasn’t sure I could come up with that many things I wanted to accomplish.
Maybe it was because I knew the outcome of the exercise, but I couldn’t even think of five items. Here are the only three I came up with:
- Keep writing and publishing and learning more about the process
- Spend quality time with my family and friends
- Focus on health, mind and body
I admit these are more like categories than specific steps. Each one could be expanded and could have 25 additional steps beneath it. They almost seem to be mission statements about how I want to live my life.
I had one more, but it seemed too specific: Get hired full-time, by my current job. When I thought more about it, it seemed to fit with the three other priorities. This job allows me to work at home, and gives me the flexibility to pursue the other items on my list, and is a good fit for my health as well.
So, while the exercise may not have turned out exactly as I expected, it did reveal the most important things to me. They may not be revolutionary, but I never really thought about them in list form before. As I consider opportunities and the things that fill my time, I plan to keep these three priorities in mind. If something doesn’t meet these higher goals I might have to give it the ax.