We are besieged with so many activities, information overload, huge demand of our time from other people and our tendency is to “thinly spread ourselves.” And I am guilty of this. I want to do so many things at so little time that I realized that the “ one person” that is putting such a big tension and stress in my life is none other than “me.”
Aside from managing an audit firm, I write in two newspaper columns including this one and finishing a book, organizing seminars now and then for our firm and for organizations of which I am presently active in, involved in two other companies, maintain offices, maintain two main households, etc. Other people maybe doing more than what I do but I am trying to analyze this kind of life and what successful people do. I maybe working myself to the extent that it will not only affect my health but may also deprived me of time for myself and other areas of my life that really matters.
When you think about successful people, the two people that easily comes into mind are Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. People may say , it is difficult to imitate these people because we are not as rich as they are and not as popular. If this is our way of thinking, we will really hit the “muddle puddle’. There is a popular saying that when you dream, aim for the mountain – that way when you don’t reach the mountain, you will hit the valley. But if you aim for just the valley, you will hit the middle puddle”. And of course we should temper it with realistic goals.
To work smart, we must learn how the truly successful people made it. We may not be able to adopt everything they do but at least we can get a glimpse of how they do it. One common thing they say that make these people successful is “ focus.”
The first time that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates met, the host who is the mother of the latter, asked everyone in the table the single most important factor to their success and both big personalities gave the same one-word answer: “ Focus” ( source: Michael Simmons January 7, 2019 acceleratedintelligence.com).
So we all need to write down our goals and that should start with our values or else as Michael Simmons said, we will end up adopting the “values of the cultures we have previously been in”. From that values, we can create our goals. It is not easy to create the real goals in our lives unless we define what one value is our priority. Defining what that one value is wil be crucial in creating the right goals. And it is not just enough to set what our goals are. We should learn to trim it down to 5 goals, then from these goals, choose which is the “one thing” we should focus on.
His personal pilot in his private jet, Mike Flint outlined Warren Buffett’s 5/25 strategy which he shared with Flint. We can also apply this in our own lives – work and personal. Determine what your 25 goals are and from these goals choose the top 5 goals. Then learn to say ” No “ to the rest of the 20 goals – not working on them when you have time but avoid these goals at all cost if possible (source: mayooshin .com).
There are so many versions of this strategy given to Flint but they all refer to the importance of being focused.
This also goes with the 80/20 rule in adopting Buffet’s 5/25 strategy. When you set your goals think of the 80/20 rule. After determining the 5 most important goals focus again which of the top 5 will give you 80% of the results which should be aligned to your values. This is the One Thing (source: Michael Simmons January 9, 2019 acceleratedintelligence.com). Personally, I do not believe in having separate goals for work and personal lives because I believe that all areas of our lives are entertwined – work, family, spiritual, health, etc.
That One Thing will determine the rest of the reason why we pursue what we pursue and prioritize in life. Life can be simple if we just learn how to say “NO” to those activities which are not aligned to that One Thing we prioritize. But it is easier said than done – we should be disciplined and patient – for in due time it will become a habit. And habits are not just formed overnight but we have to start somewhere or else we will forever be tossed back and forth with the wave of activities that demand our time.
We do not want to wake up one day and feel empty and ask ourselves where did my time goes?
(Wilma Miranda is a Managing Partner of Inventor, Miranda & Associates, CPAs, Chair of the Media Affairs Committee of FINEX, member of the Board of Directors of KPS Outsourcing, Inc. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of these institutions.)