How to Embrace Warren Buffett’s “learner Lifestyle”
For knowledge workers in the 21st century, efficiency and productivity are still essential ingredients for success. We value writers who can create 10 stories every day, and we look to experts for advice on which 10 trades to make to maximize our portfolios. But what if we could rethink this perspective? What if, instead of prioritizing action and production, we focused on learning, understanding, and quality? In other words, what if we were all a little more like Warren Buffett?
Naturally, we would all like to be a little more like Buffett, or at least have access to his bank account. This will not happen, but by adopting some of his habits and ideas, such as the learner’s lifestyle, we can improve our work and life.
As Michael Simmons, author on Medium , writes, “In the knowledge economy, learning and thinking are the single best long-term investments you can make in your career. Our decisions depend on learning and thinking. Then decisions determine our results. ” This is true for a range of professions such as investors, designers, writers, entrepreneurs, and more, where time for reflection and analysis is critical to the success and enrichment of a job.
This is in contrast to a manager’s schedule, which is a traditional hourly schedule, or a manufacturer’s schedule, which focuses on half-day work on something. “The learner’s lifestyle optimizes understanding of coordination and outcomes. While the manager’s schedule is primarily about coordination and the manufacturer’s schedule is the result, the student’s lifestyle is primarily about understanding. ”
This means having a flexible schedule with plenty of “free” time to think. This is the opposite of taking a 30 minute approach for each task . You are not focused on completing something tangible, or marking something off your list. Instead, you prioritize freedom from distractions and perspectives, efficiency over efficiency.
Warren Buffett is a great illustration of the success of this approach because 1) he is, well, incredibly successful, and 2) he puts learning and thinking over just action to get things done. Simmons notes that Buffett hasn’t made any investments for several years. “The trick to investing is to just sit and watch it go step by step and wait for the one that’s in your sweet spot,” he said. “And if people shout, ‘Swing, you are a bum! “Ignore them.”
Obviously, literally few have time for this. It wouldn’t be so good if I told my editors that I was going to wait for the next year or so until I had a particularly compelling idea for an article. You have to work for your money, even in the so-called knowledge economy.
But in order to lead a lifestyle that gives you the time and space to embrace the learner lifestyle, you can look for jobs and industries that value understanding over bottom line and prioritize learning and introspection in your daily life.
Again, not everyone will have the opportunity or opportunity to choose such flexible work and careers, and everyone who does it will have to make sacrifices, just like with any other job. But adopting a learner’s lifestyle will mean that you prioritize value over production, understanding action over action for action’s sake. This is a good way to make a living.