Now that you’ve got that Bigger Picture ready, it is time to do some cleaning up. For me, cleaning has always been therapeutic. I’ve spent hours and hours rummaging through my closets, clearing out the things I don’t want. This exercise, I have come to realize, has taught me what I am ready to let go of; but we’ll discuss that another day.
With your Bigger Picture in hand, things may surely seem more clearer. I’m sure you’ve also thought of a mind map of how you’re going to get there. Well, this – Warren Buffet’s 2 lists strategy is a way of focusing the best of your energy and time to achieve your Bigger Picture.
For those of you who have been living under a rock and don’t know who Warren Buffet is, here’s a small introduction. Warren Buffet is an American business magnate, investor, speaker and philanthropist who serves as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and as of March 9, 2019, making him the third-wealthiest person in the world. That was Wikipedia.
For me, while Warren Buffet is all of the things mentioned above, he is also someone who sees the Bigger Picture in businesses and projects before someone else can even sniff it. He has, with his keen observation made multiple bets on businesses and turned them into successful ventures. If he has a list that keeps him at it, you and I sitting on our desks trying to make a little difference to the day need that list.
Whether you have a single point agenda or a laundry list of goals you want to achieve in this lifetime, this approach will keep you on the path of achieving all of it.
So Lo and Behold, the 2 List strategy…
The 2 Lists strategy as the name suggests consists of two lists.
Let’s break that down first.
The first list will be an exhaustive one of the top 25 goals you want to achieve in your lifetime. Take your time to think it through and then list them all down. This may take you a couple of days to even a week, so don’t restrict yourself. For some of you, it may be difficult to limit it to 25 goals. Make sure you list all of your goals down and then prioritize to finally come to a 25 goals list.
Now that you have your first list ready, let’s get on with the next one. This is going to be tougher than the previous one and will require you to really debate with your brain, so sit down patiently for it.
Of the 25 goals that you want to achieve in your lifetime, pick out 5 goals (yup, only 5) of those. These are the ones that you have to achieve, no bargain. Think about it like this – if you had a chance to fulfil any 5 of the whole lot, which ones would you pick? Which ones would make you the happiest? Write these down on the sheet of paper.
Are you done picking? Great.
The top 5 goals you chose have to be your focus. If you look closely, these goals almost lead directly to your Bigger Picture. These are sacrosanct. Nothing should come in between your work towards these 5 goals.
Now let’s look at the remaining 20. These are your distractions. Let’s just say that until you don’t achieve your first 5 goals, you don’t touch these. Look at them as barriers to staying focused on the Bigger Picture.
It is very unlikely that most of us will achieve the top 5 goals on our list in a short span of time. For most of us, it could even take a few decades. That doesn’t matter. Once you have achieved the top 5, you repeat the exercise again with the goals on your first list. Feel free to keep adding stuff to this list as you pick up new goals as you get on with life.
To tell you the truth, this exercise works great with both – achieving your Bigger Picture and meeting your weekly targets. For the weekly targets, list all of the things you want to do this week. Of them, pick the top 5 things that you ought to complete. The process after works the same way.
I used this technique to keep me off social media and Netflix until I finished writing my weekly articles and clearing my editing backlog. It is definitely difficult at first but once you get on with it, it is refreshing.
What’re you waiting for then? Let’s make ‘em lists.