How The Warren Buffett 2-List Strategy Subverted My To-Do’s

I wrote this post for my first contribution to the enough blog community…check out how Warren Buffett changed me.

Welcome! To me. I’m new here at enough. and interested in exploring and dissecting and destroying and welcoming and rolling my eyes at and being slayed by all things “enough.” in my life.


Recently I wrote The World’s Longest To-Do List. And I was proud of it. What? Proud?! I know, sad, right? I had written down my list of tasks to complete in 15-minute increments, because, you know, I have all sorts of chill time between having a teenager and a preschooler, running my own writing agency, working out every. single. day., writing a novel, editing a national women’s magazine, loving to cook, being on every committee known to humankind and having a senior citizen pooch who requires things like walking and being fed and stuff like that. Oh and sleeping–I do that, too.

So, yeah, I wrote this to-do list which even included things like “eat lunch” and “meditate” which feels utterly self-serving. Who out there doesn’t add things to a to-do list which you know you will actually do simply for the satisfaction of checking it off your list?

  • Wake Up

  • Eat Breakfast

  • Get Dressed

  • Go to Frog’s House

Okay, I confess, this is the beginning of Toad’s list from “A List”–a story from Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad Together (which I recommend you read immediately, if not sooner). It isn’t as if I wouldn’t clothe if it didn’t appear on my day’s to-do list BUT if “get dressed” did make it on my to-do list, you’d better believe I’d happily strike through that before moving on to “brush teeth.”

But seriously: blah blah blah. Who cares? My little soliloquy of “poor me and my busy life” list above is just like yours–full. Filled. Abundant! And this is all well and good until life pushes you over the proverbial edge and strikes a throat punch to your life that has you falling to your knees–from exhaustion and disbelief more than for some kind of reverence for the god of to-dos.

Life’s throat punch to me took the form of a wracking 7-week illness unattended by my good senses and therefore completely blitzing. I had this brilliant idea that because I couldn’t get “enough” completed in a normal, human day, how about I wake up at 6:00am and start working? Great idea! And then I can work through breakfast and eat my lunch over my keyboard and then keep working all day, break for dinner and then charge through until 1:00am so I can collapse into bed and lay awake with anxiety about the next day arriving in 5 short hours? Brilliant!

SUCH a good idea. Weird that it backfired.


The backfiring manifested like this: incessant ringing in my ears. Incessant means all the time. Nonstop. Forever. Unending. Always. I could not run away from the ringing. It was loudest during silence. I invested a week curled in the corner of my darkened bedroom hoping my life would end so I could hear silence again. Sufferers of this condition have the highest rates of suicide because there is no cure. No cure. Reminder: the ringing was incessant.

Enter: Warren Buffett.

During what I like to call the Eternal Cry of the Crazy Cicada looping in my ears everyday, I learned about Warren Buffett’s “2 List” strategy. And having an incredible affinity for list-making, I jumped right in. This strategy aims to help you maximize your focus and intent and completely master what is a real priority in your day, week, month, year, life.

And it transformed my life. So that’s what I want for you.

Warren has something like 50 billion dollars. That’s a B, billion. Hello. He’s been doing something strategic, right? His success is undeniable and I’d imagine his to-do list is pretty incredible. But I learned about his productivity strategy and it has changed my approach to, like, everything.

Listen to this story and actually follow the guide and you, too, can eradicate your superfluous to-do lists.

Read the rest on Enough…

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