One of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett, lives by the 5/25 rule.

What is the 5/25 rule?  Instead of me just describing the general principle, let’s apply it directly to YOU!  Ready? 

Write down the top 25 things that you want to accomplish in the near future.  Keep nothing off the table - learning a new language, starting a new business, playing a new musical instrumentThen, rank these items in order of importance and circle the top 5 that are most important to you.  Prioritizing your goals will be harder than listing them, but try your best.

Now look at your list. You probably agree that your top five will require a majority of your energy and focus - you placed these at the top because they most significant to you.  

So the question now is…what do you do with the remaining 20?

Because you probably find numbers 6-25 to be somewhat important, my guess is that you’d probably want to work on these 20 items intermittently while you chip away at accomplishing your top 5.

But Buffett suggests you do something different: Avoid the bottom 20 at all costs until the top 5 goals have fully manifested.

The logic behind this? There's a time limitation to what you can accomplish, meaning every one of your possible future outcomes includes a set of goals that you won’t be able achieve because there simply isn’t enough time to get everything done. So the million dollar question is this: which specific permutation of accomplishments do you commit to right now, the one that will make you the most happy and fulfilled? Buffett’s answer: the set where you manifest your top 5.

This belief of being supremely devoted to your top 5 is in alignment with Pareto's law, which states that 20% of your actions generate 80% of the benefit you receive in life.

So what are your top 5 goals? Do you have any hesitations about ignoring your bottom 20? Let me know in the comments below.

Working hard isn't enough to create the future you want.  You also have to be intentional and strategic with your actions given that time and energy is limited.  So see what happens - give the 5/25 rule a try and dive in.

Andrew Abaria

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