Warren Buffet's 25/5 method to reach all your goals

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Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger are among my favorite thinkers. It’s one thing to earn a lot of money but it’s a whole another thing to accumulate an equivalent net worth in wisdom and thinking. The mental models which the duo follows have taken decades to think through to reach a point that they can be explained effortlessly in a sentence or two.

This is one such piece of wisdom from Warren Buffet.

The process

It’s a 3 step process:

  • List 25 things you want to accomplish. It can be your long term career goals or the 25 things you want to accomplish today. You set the timeline.
  • After you have this list, you prioritize the 5 most important things out of that 25 things. At this point you’ll have 2 lists. One containing 20 items and another containing 5 prioritized items.
  • Now dump the 20 items list and focus on accomplishing the 5 items list.

According to Buffet, the rest of the items left on the list are not a later/maybe/secondary/someday list. It has now become your ‘Avoid-at-all-costs’ list. Because those 20 items are not on your priority list, working on them will mean not working on your 5 prioritized items. You have to avoid the 20 items list because its standing in your way to accomplish your 5 items list.

By choosing what is important and what to work on, you’re also choosing what not to work on and what’s not that important.

Why this works

More choices not necessarily mean that you’ll make better choices. In fact, in most cases it’ll cause you to overthink and ultimately not make the optimal choice.

Having more choices can easily cause decision fatigue or action paralysis.

But on the other hand if you don’t have much to choose from, you’ll just have to pick one thing and start working.

Your tasks from 6-25 might be important to you, but compared to the first 5 they’re just distractions. Working on them will only steal precious time away from working on the most important tasks on your list.

You can do whatever you want to do in life, but you just can’t do it all together at one time. Actions don’t always follow priorities, sometimes you have to force it to follow the priorities.

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