Getting Things Done the Buffet Way

Published by Bryce Foster on

This is how Warren Buffet says to prioritize and achieve your biggest juiciest goals.

(by the way this is written about in much more detail by James Clear here  he spends most of his time writing about productivity/habits)

First, make a list of the top 20 things you want to accomplish in your life/business and order them priority.

Second circle the top 5.  

Third avoid everything else on the list and only do things that will help you get the top 5 accomplished.


Now this is MUCH easier said than done, especially when you work on multiple things, have obligations to other people, family etc.  Yes I could tell my Mom to go to hell with her website support requests/updates because it’s not going to get me to 50k/month in revenue but that’s just not realistic.  


I guess there are things we are going to do on some level that come up during the day that are NOT directly aligned with our topmost goals and purposes.  It’s easy to talk tough and say rigorously cut everything out (and maybe we should) but for things where that’s just not an option entirely right now let me propose a new workflow that i’m implementing right now.


I run multiple projects at any given time (consulting clients, personal projects, projects with partners etc.)  all require different things like coding, marketing, general tech support, maybe even just answering silly questions for tech illiterate friends and contacts.  The point is I get hit up a lot during the daytime and if i’m not careful I can spend the whole day hooking up other people while I burn all my precious focus time on their dreams/goals and not on mine.  No bueno.


While I do also think that being the guy that gets stuff done and is always willing to help out a friend can be extremely lucrative in the long run, it’s not practical at all in your day to day life to spending your best hours on someone else’s project.  


So I’ve thought about this alot, and really the goal is devise as system where I can help out the people i need to without taking away from the core of my day.


Going back to our buffet example, I’ve tried to pair everything down to two projects I MUST work on every single day.  Both are software projects so that means a few hours of code each. To handle the interruptions, we go to trello.


As you may or may not know, I live my whole life in Trello.  I’ve created a list on my personal board (for weekly tasks/errands etc. that are low priority)  and called the backlog. Everytime i get hit up during the daytime I simply shove the task off into that list to sit and get done at some point in the future.  Now as you can imagine like a junk drawer this thing will pile up, but occasionally i do need a diversion from my main work (usually late at night when i’m too tired to focus more).  


With a queue of the most valuable distractions ready to go, you can know chip off a few as needed.  


What I also like about this is that it’s going to get your friends/family/whoever accustomed to your new schedule in prioritization.  If you respond right away to people and drop your daily activities to do favors they will appreciate it! But i’ve found that even if you don’t do it right away, they still appreciate it… so it’s better to set more realistic expectations for people.  You still will get the karma points for being a good friend and helping, but you will guard your most valuable asset which for me is about 4 hours of hyper productive work per day.


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