CDIL Blog

5/25 Rule from Warren Buffett to Concentrate on Critical Things

Write down 25 of your goals to find the most important ones. And do not distract for something else.

Goal List 5/25

Create a List of Goals

There exists a story about Warren Buffett to help his pilot, Michael Flint, who had been working for him for 10 years. Once he asked Flint about the worker’s career goals and offered Michael to complete the exercise for determining those goals.

First, the list of 25 goals Flint would like to reach in a “visible” future was needed. Then, he estimated the importance of these goals and underlined the five main ones. It seemed that choosing these five goals was the most difficult part of the job. But then, Buffett asked about what Fling was going to do with the rest of 20 points.

Flint said that he would devote most of his attention to five main goals, but he finds other points important, too. He planned to work on them from time to time while reaching five main goals.

Buffet answered that the pilot could not understand the task correctly. All the goals that were not underlined, turned into the list of things to avoid at any cost. There is no need to pay attention to them until you reach five main goals.

Why is it More Important to Concentrate on a Single Task?

There are many things that distract people on purpose. That is the exact reason why most part of them never become real masters and experts in any field. Every time you distract for something new, you pay for losses of the missed profit. This takes your time and attention and does not let you concentrate on really important things.

Chances for your success increase when you are focused on one goal. Concentrate on the most important thing and try to become an expert in that field.

Do not distract for trends of the latest fashion and do not jump from one interest to another. Use the rule of 5/25 not only for your career, but for other fields of your life: health, relationships, private goals, etc.

This does not mean you need to lead a boring and monotonous life. Just don’t spray your efforts. Reach five main goals first, and then move to the other ones.

How Does it Look in Real Life?

Think on everything you would like to do. To learn a foreign language. To master a musical instrument. To start a business. To see the world. Mostly, people do not reach goals like these, and this means the goals are not really important for them. Usually, people choose these goals because they can bring profits. But that is not enough just to wish them to come true.

For instance, it would be cool if you could speak ten different languages, wouldn’t it? But spending all weekends to learn grammar rules is not that exciting. Foreign languages are not too high in your list of priorities: your job and family usually stand higher there. That is why you learn languages only when having free time, and it takes you years to reach this single goal.

As a result, you get a list of goals you are never going to reach. Stress and guilt feeling appear due to that. Most probably, things that could not appear in the list of five main goals won’t influence your life significantly. Instead of adding goals all the time, just shorten the list. The 5/25 rule is another confirmation of the simplicity making lives better.

5\25 Rule

Spend more time being busy with the things that are important to you.

Time and attention are two most valuable resources, but they both are limited. And there are many things you can pointlessly diffuse them between. Don’t catch them all. No matter how attractive the possibility is: if it only helps you get closer to the goal #25, don’t spend your time for it.

Shorten the list of your goals. That is the way for you to understand which things are important for you. Spend more time on them and do not distract for anything else.