Warren Buffett, an investor and the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has built a fortune of wealth—a net worth close to $89.2 billion. Warren Buffett uses highly effective strategies that help him to get more done in less time than most people achieve in a lifetime.
In a conversation between Warren Buffett and his Pilot, Buffett recommended a strategy to help prioritization that always stuck with me. It’s simple, clean, and helps get to the heart of what you should be working on.
Warren Buffett’s 5/25 Strategy
The story started when Warren Buffett has a conversation with his private jet pilot, Mike Flint Who had piloted for Buffett for 10 years. Flint was a successful man in his field. Buffett said to him, “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.”
Buffett then walked Flint through a simple 4 step process to gain clarity on priorities and achieve goals.
Step 1: define your top 25 goals.
The first thing Warren Buffett asked Flint to do was to list the most important career goals he wanted to achieve in his lifetime. These would total to 25 goals.
Flint spent some time and came up with the 25 career goals that he felt were most important to him.
Take your time in this stage, it is the time to write down every goal you have in mind. What you most passionate about? What would you feel amazing to achieve? What keeps you up in the night? What do you want to do right now?
Step 2: Draw a circle around your top 5 goals.
Once Flint compiled his list of 25 career goals, Buffett asked him to draw a circle around his top 5 most important goals. Then, Buffett asked, “Are you sure these are the absolute highest priority for you.” Flint replied, “Yes.”
This is will be a difficult stage because each goal sounds important for you, but hang on, don’t give up, go through the list and reflect. Elimination concept will help you, start to eliminate goals that are good to have, do not actually fulfill your passion and desires, what is not really important for you now, and then start to focus on what is the most exciting and got the highest priority for you.
Step 3: Focus on Your Top 5 Goals.
After the brief discussion, Flint said to Buffett, “Warren, these are the most important things in my life right now. I’m going to get to work on them right away. I’ll start tomorrow. Actually, no I’ll start tonight.”
Those top 5 are now your to-do list, give your attention and focus on those 5 goals and only those! Do not move on to any other thing before you achieve those 5 goals.
Step 4: Avoid the 20 goals (avoid list)
Buffett replied, “but what about these other 20 things on your list that you didn’t circle? What is your plan for completing those?” Flint replied swiftly, “Well the top five are my primary focus but the other twenty come in at a close second. They are still important, so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit as I’m getting through my top 5. They are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them dedicated effort.”
After a moment of silence, Buffett looked straight into Flint’s eyes and said, “No. You’ve got it wrong Steve. Everything you didn’t circle just became you ‘avoid at all cost list’. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve cussed with your top 5”
Strictly consider the bottom 20 as your avoid list, even if you feel overwhelmed, struggling with progress, procrastinating, etc. don’t fall back on items 6-25. Even if they sound achievable.
If you reflect effectively on the 25 goals and select your top 5, then follow your decision and don’t allow your self-doubt to control you. When you think about those goals, ask yourself why? Is there something on your top 5 list you should be doing? Is there are obstacles shown up in the road to achievement? How would you deal with this? What the one step you can take now toward those top 5 goals?
Apply 5/25 Strategy on every aspect
The strategy does not only apply to a career, but it also applies to every aspect of life. Whether it is life goals, career goals, leadership goals, etc. you can apply the 5/25 strategy for better focus and prioritization of your everyday goals. For Example:
List down your relationship goals i.e. spend more time with family, friends, the team at work, networking, etc., then decide your top 5 goals and focus on these only.
List down your business goals i.e. to launch your new startup idea, build your marketing strategy, fundraising, hire more staff, etc. and focus only on the top 5 goals.
Apply the same on all life aspects and goals.
Say no to the Inessential
Time and energy are limited resources, wasting them in too many wish lists will lead you nowhere. I emphasize “Saying no to the inessential goals) in my life coaching, executive coaching, and most importantly career and teenagers coaching sessions with my clients.
Stop spreading yourself thin by chasing too many goals at the same time. That makes you easily distracted and lose focus. Start to apply Warren Buffett’s 5/25 strategy is an effective tool that will help you prioritize your most important goals and achieve results in life.
I share the same strategy with my client in life coaching, executive coaching, career coaching and teenager coaching during the sessions in Dubai and online in different other cities. Use this simple strategy in everything such as short term goals, personal goals, yearly goals, health goals, education goals, etc.
Try this strategy today, see how it will help you to effectively prioritize your goals and stay focused. Focus on what is really important for you now and forget the rest.
Feel free to email me Coach@modelawer.com if you need any support from my side or have any questions.
You are Scrolling down on Instagram and see a photo of
food and that trigger “WOW, I am hungry”. But what triggers the feeling of
being stressed in
you? What triggers the anxiety in you?
When suddenly you remember a
bad meeting you been into today, a crucial conversation you had with your boss,
pending report you did not finish today, financial issues you are facing and so
When those thoughts pop-up in
mind, what happens next? Self-inner talk starts, and a long dialog starts to
take place between you and your self, a small control tower in your brain called hypothalamus decides to send out the order; the
Stress leads to sleepless nights, exhaustion, excessive worry, lack of focus,
and irritability. Even physical symptoms – like rapid heart rate, muscle
tension, and headaches
If you let yourself with the flow
and did not stop to think about all this, you are putting yourself on autopilot
mode and allowing those thoughts, behavior and reactions to control you.
How to reduce stress and avoid anxiety?
Ask yourself what triggers the stress in you? What initiates those thoughts and inner talk? How do you feel in that state? How your body reacts? and that what is called Self-awareness.
What is self awareness?
Self-awareness is simply giving time to get along with yourself Understanding your personality, your values, your relationships, and your beliefs. Self-awareness includes understanding how you process your experiences. Ability to manage the self and its feelings, reactions, habits, and behaviors
Why self awareness is important?
Self awareness is one of the most life fundamentals and the most
ignored one as well.
It is the awareness of your body
responses, thinking patterns and thoughts, including feelings, desires and the
way you react. Plus, and most importantly how these relate to each other – awareness of how the
mind-body connection reacts with the external world.
As I mentioned if
your mind reacts to thoughts in pilot mode, then they control you! If you want
to control them, you should focus and identify the triggers as well as how your
mind processes them?
Start with the stress and anger moment. Think about;
made me stress?
I have thought about it?
and when this situation happened?
it one-off or repeatedly happening?
I reacted at this moment? And keep digging deep!
Discovering the trigger and how your mind reacts until it
gives the order to be stressed
is the self-awareness.
Example, while you are at home watching a movie, then all
of the sudden you feel your body getting tense, heartbeat increases slowly,
there is a vague image hits your mind about that bad meeting you had with your
boss a few days back and in seconds you get stressed and all your mood changes! Let’s reverse
made me stress? That image about the meeting
What I have thought about it? How
unfair my boss is, he never listens to me, I can’t express my thoughts with
him, I cannot even defend my point, and so on
and when this situation happened? A meeting with my boss four days back
is involved? My boss
it one-off or repeatedly happening? Yes
I reacted at this moment? I freeze, my body got so tensed
Can you see how things became more logical, now what
should you do?
Practice self reflection decides what is in your control and what is not
and get yourself together to let go.
How to practice self awareness?
Look at yourself independently
yourself as you really are! Though identifying and writing the following Self-perceptions;
Things you are good at
Things need to be improved.
you are proud of.
childhood and what made you happy back then.
honest feedback from someone you truly trust, about what he/she sees and feels
In the end, you will come
out with a fresh new perspective on yourself and your life.
Keep a journal.
It sounds an old
fashion, but it is proven to be a mind relive and I recommended to my clients
in life coaching sessions, writing almost everything you want in a journal
relive the mind of those ideas and free up space for new information.
I advise my
coaching client to a specific time on the day to write down their thoughts,
feelings, ups, and downs for the day. This will lead to self-reflection
Tip: you can use
a journal apps which most of them has a password to keep your data protected
Define and set your goals
Dreams without goals are just dreams! That stays in our mind and keep it busy without directions or vision. Turn your dreams or even small things you want to accomplish in the short and long term into a defined SMART goal and break them into sub-goals that make you taste and celebrate small wins. Setting and achieving goals is a lengthy process, so you Download Modealwer app that helps you in creating your life goals, career goals, leadership goals, productivity goals, financial goals, and stay on track. Also,
In order to have self-awareness, performing self reflection is a must. Again I advise my clients during the life or executive coaching sessions to preform self-reflection at least once a day and gradually increase to be done right after an even take place that they feel they need to reflect. For example, an argument took place with their spouse or tough meeting at work. Self-reflection applies to you as a person in any situation you face in life and or as a leader in your organization.
Magic won’t happen overnight; self-awareness is a process just any other process that needs time and commitment. During this process if you got hit by those inner thoughts which you aware it will lead you to stress, change your body state stand up, take a walk, shake your body, etc. start a positive inner talk, tell yourself it does not matter, it does not worth, go more into positive talks where the sky is the limit! That may work especially if you started before a significant emotion take control.
All of us have dreams. We dream of a better life, a healthy
life, job advancement, business growth and lots more. However, dreams without goals are just dreams!
for things you dream to reach in life is a must, however, you need to ensure
that it won’t end up as just an unfulfilled dream.
The more your goal
is clear and defined the more you will reach it, on the other hand, the more
your goal is vague
and general the more it will end as just a dream!
For example, I want to lose weight Vs I am overweight with 15Kg
and I want to lose 5KG by end of this month. Which sounds clearer and well
defined, first of the second statement?
lead you to endless loops of hopes, ups-and-downs, work hard and reach nowhere
and end with frustrations.
What is a SMART goal?
In 1981 SMART
as an acronym came to life in issue or management review by George T Doran. It
is attributed to Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.
It is a way to make sure that your goals are clear and reachable, SMART acronym stands for:
(simple, sensible, significant).
(reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
bound (timely, time-based, time-limited, time/cost, time-sensitive).
SMART goal has erupted in the corporate world; however,
it applies in every type
of goal we set.
Let’s have a look at the above example:
I want to lose 5KG:
Specific, Measurable and Realistic
By the end of this
How to Set a SMART goal?
SMART goal should be crisp clear otherwise you won’t be
able to focus, this involves the related “W” questions, such as:
specifically I want to achieve?
is involved in this goal?
do I want to archive this goal?
Example: I want to lose 5KG (not just lose weight)
SAMRT goal should have a measurement tool. How will you
know that you achieving the
goal, if you don’t have a measurement tool? You need a measurement to assess
progress and stay motivated. This involves the related “How” questions.
much? How many? How I will know?
Example: I will weigh myself every week and expected to lose 2 KG first week and a KG each following week.
SAMRT goal should be reachable. Yes, the sky is the
limit! But this for your dreams. However, in goals, you need to set achievable milestones.
Stretch your limits but make your goal reachable. Follow the baby-steps concept and set sub-goals if needed. Nothing
resources do I need?
skills do I need?
I need support?
is out of my control?
what is more achievable losing 15Kg in a month or three months with commitment?
While setting a goal, be aware if someone else or specific
circumstances may have control over it, if yes, define clearly what is and what
is not in your control?
SMART goals should be realistic. This step is about
ensuring that your goal
is important to you and relevant. It also involves ensuring that you will be
committed to it.
it really important?
this the right time?
would I feel after achieving
goal of my dream?
would I stay committed?
Example: being overweight is affecting my health and appearance negatively, I am tired of this, I want to lose weight, I want a better life and I will do it.
5. Time bound
SAMRT goal should have a target date. Without a target
date, you are leaving your goal
subject to procrastinating and mostly it won’t happen. A deadline makes you
focused and works toward accomplishment. It answers the “When” question.
I will achieve it?
are the milestones?
Lose 5KG by end of the month.
setting your time plan, take into consideration everything else in your plate,
distractions and out of control factors.
Wish list remains a wish list and dreams remain a dream unless you set
a SMART goal and
remain committed to achieving it. When I
work with a client in a life
coaching session or Executive
coaching session, I ensure that my client has set a clear and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant
and Timely) goal. Setting a goal
is the first step in achieving what you dream for, however, the way down is not
easy, you stay committed, focus and measure the progress and completion down
today and turn your wishes into action plan goal using the pattern and tips.