NOTE: I’d heard this story and finally tracked down the source. Scott Dinsmore (who tragically died last year while climbing Mt Kilimanjaro) wrote about it first (link below).
Warren Buffett was worried his private pilot wasn’t living up to his full potential. He’d been in the job for a number of years without doing much else.
So Buffett had the pilot write down the top 25 things he wanted to do in the next few years or longer. Then to circle the top 5. They then planned out the top 5 in detail. And when he was sure these were his top 5, Buffett said to cross off the other 20 and these would become the “avoid at all cost list”. Keep only the top 5.
The point? Do too much and you’ll do too little. Spread your attention too thin and you’ll fail to make an impact.
Write your 25 today, cross off 20, and avoid these at all costs.