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If you were early Buffet working from home, how would you plan your schedule?


BG2008
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Let's assume that you're Buffet-in-training and you're working form home and have a completely flexible schedule.  How would you schedule your day?  If you have 2 hours each day that are completely free, what skills would you pick up?  Part of my routine is to utilize the pomodoro technique to help me work in bouts of 25 mins followed by 5 mins of rest for 2 hours and then taking a 30 min break.  It is incredibly productive when followed to the T.  http://pomodorotechnique.com/

 

Currently I work for 2 hours straight and I'll try to get a workout in, i.e. rowing.  What else can one do to broaden one's experience?  Learn to break dance at home? Learn to give better speeches? What would be the highest return-on-time activity if you have this flexible schedule? 

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Interesting. Do you find that technique works well for business analysis? I can see it being very productive for more routine tasks (TPS reports) but am not sure well it does when trying to assimilate information from different fields. Curious as to your thoughts.

 

As to me, I also do 2-2.5 hr chunks of work, then take 30-60 minutes to do an unrelated activity: cooking, playing a musical instrument, reading sci-fi/fantasy, etc. Then I usually either do some light follow up work, or spend time synthesizing/reflecting on the work done previously with a fresher mind.

 

I guess in terms of activity...I would say do something you've always felt like accomplishing, not money related, just something "cool". I always wanted to learn violin (people can have vastly different opinions of cool!). So I practice 30 min daily. But the point I think is to do something which uses your brain differently so you come back refreshed. Heck, it could be daydreaming about a future in which solar panels and solar plants populate the landscape, we all drive Tesla's, clean energy causes re-design of pollution-soaked cities, or whatever.

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I find the pomodoro technique to be very productive for both business analysis and TPS reports.  It is slightly more so for the TPS reports when you just got to sit down and grind through things.  When I do do research, I kind of "freestyle" a bit in that when I let the mind wander and just go with it until I hit exhaustion.  It could be 1, 2, 3 hours at a time.  Although, I feel that my max endurance at any given time is about 1.5-2.0 hours without a 5 min break.  My mind also works better when I let things stew in my subconscious.  If I am faced with a seemingly impossible problem, I tend it let it stew and I'll wake up with a lightbulb moment a few days later. 

 

Interesting. Do you find that technique works well for business analysis? I can see it being very productive for more routine tasks (TPS reports) but am not sure well it does when trying to assimilate information from different fields. Curious as to your thoughts.

 

As to me, I also do 2-2.5 hr chunks of work, then take 30-60 minutes to do an unrelated activity: cooking, playing a musical instrument, reading sci-fi/fantasy, etc. Then I usually either do some light follow up work, or spend time synthesizing/reflecting on the work done previously with a fresher mind.

 

I guess in terms of activity...I would say do something you've always felt like accomplishing, not money related, just something "cool". I always wanted to learn violin (people can have vastly different opinions of cool!). So I practice 30 min daily. But the point I think is to do something which uses your brain differently so you come back refreshed. Heck, it could be daydreaming about a future in which solar panels and solar plants populate the landscape, we all drive Tesla's, clean energy causes re-design of pollution-soaked cities, or whatever.

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I mostly work from home, it's something I enjoy and it keeps me sane.

 

In my experience I am both more focused and less focused.  At the office I can muddle along in a mildly busy state all day.  At home I can focus for 2-3 hours as if nothing else existed, but at the end need to take a break.  If I find my mind wandering, or if I have the urge to mindlessly surf the net or something I just take a break.  I go run, talk to my wife, talk to the kids, something different.  Then I come back and get in the zone.

 

I'd say once a week I have a day where I'm in the zone all day.  I'll come down into my office and will reappear for lunch and then dinner.  Those days if feels like I only worked 5-10m whereas I really was just in the zone all day.

 

Here's another thing I've found.  My hours don't match office hours.  I will work a block in the morning then go running and have lunch.  Then a block in the afternoon and call it a day.  Then I usually come back into my office after my wife goes to bed and I can find myself working for another 3-4 hours at night.  I've found I work really well the later it is in the day.  If I didn't have a family I could probably work 1pm-9pm and produce my best work.

 

The key is finding a rhythm.  I've been doing this for almost four years now, find a natural routine and it'll be easy to stick to it.

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If I am faced with a seemingly impossible problem, I tend it let it stew and I'll wake up with a lightbulb moment a few days later. 

 

 

If I'm faced with something impossible I do two things:

1) procrastinate

2) exercise

 

It's been my experience that when faced with a task that seems impossible it's because I don't have all of the required information or prerequisites done.  Exercise helps my mind re-organize my thoughts and think through the best way to approach the problem.  Procrastination helps me work on other tasks first.  In about 90% of the time something I do with my other tasks 'solves' or advances what I need to do for the impossible task.  In many cases saving the impossible thing for last clarifies the situation so much that the impossible thing isn't impossible anymore it's very simple, or in some cases unnecessary.

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i like to hear more of everyone experience in this.

 

i actually find working at home some what difficult. the isolation is tough. also i tend to get lazy and just end up doing the same thing over and over, because doing anything else is too difficult :) Get into a routine rout.

 

in my past experience having a partner in whatever you do helps a lot. that trusted partner that you can chat with and bounce idea off. which i don't really have right now.

 

come to think of it a lot successful people have that trusted 2nd half (a few come to mind, buffett -> charlie, steve jobs -> steve wozniak, bill gates -> paul/balmer etc.etc.)

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I think it was Ben Franklin who used to lie on his couch for a nap with a ball bearing in his hand. He felt like he figured out many things right before falling asleep, and this way, the ball bearing would fall to the floor and wake him up -- letting him record his eureka moments.

 

I have a pretty open schedule. Nothing set in stone on any given day. Sometimes I read annual reports. Sometimes books. I've taken to having a mid-afternoon walk for an hour on the National Mall, and I've found that it helps me figure things out.

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The title of this thread had me think and I prefer the Buffett-of-late's methods, time spent etc. Buffett and Munger seem to think so too.

 

Ahh, I know, this is about behaviors that produce 30% returns.

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Taking the thread question literally, one would have to swill a lot of Pepsi while taking a breaks from Moody's Manual, then play a lot a bridge.  Sometime in mid-career, after closing the partnership, you switch from Moody's cigar-butts at cheap prices, to long-term compounding great businesses at fair prices, and switch to Cherry Coke and Dilly Bars.  Continue playing bridge.

 

For me, the soft drinks are unhealthy and would detract from my performance.  Playing bridge seems to flex the same cerebral gyri as value investing, so it might be of minimal marginal benefit to improving my thinking process.

 

I'm with oddballstocks:  physical activity is doing something completely different, and is healthy.  Exercise should be interspersed in one's schedule.

 

The guys on the Meditation thread a few months back are on to something useful, too.

 

(A corollary, speculative question:  would a soft-drink-abstaining, exercising, meditating Oracle of Omaha be a better investor?)

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There is something very refreshing about working from home (clothes tend to be looser, music tends to be louder and focus seems to be easier to come by).  To be honest though I do not really see how Buffett actually relates to the topic.  However, based on Alice Schroeder's biography I think he should have planned his schedule in such a way that allowed him to spend more time with his kids.

 

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Exercise is an amazing thing.  I truly believe the excess blood flow through the brain makes a difference.  I keep a note-pad and pencil in my work-out room at home because ideas seem to pop into my mind frequently when I'm working out. 

 

A technique that helps me keep on-track is recording my activity throughout the day in 30 minute increments (I practice this on and off).  It's eye opening to see how you spend your time.  I think most people don't realize what they do all day. 

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