Reverse engineer your way out of work misery | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 18, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:22 PM, August 23, 2017

Reverse engineer your way out of work misery

If you can't seem to set goals even if your life depended on it, and you think it's getting in the way of a fulfilling work experience, do not despair. Turns out you are in the same boat as Warren Buffett and his business partner Charlie Munger.

According to Buffet, the duo never learned how to solve difficult business problems, just how to avoid them. Or as Munger related at an investors meeting in 2000, “A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: early death, a bad marriage, etc.”

Inspired by Buffett and Munger, tech entrepreneurs Andrew Wilkinson and his partner Chris Sparling decided to identify the aspects of the work experience they least liked—what they call “anti-goals”:

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1. Full of long meetings

2. A packed calendar

3. Dealing with people we don't like or trust

4. Owing people things/not being in control/obligations

Then they figured out ways to avoid them:

1. Never schedule an in-person meeting when it can otherwise be accomplished via email or phone (or not at all)

2. No more than two hours of scheduled time per day

3. No business or obligations with people we don't like—even just a slight bad vibe and it's a hard no

4. Never give up voting control of our businesses, no favours from people who could need something from us

It might seem like it's easy to set the terms when you're your own boss, but we have more control over our workday than we realise. You might not be able to avoid all workplace unpleasantries, but devising strategies to avoid what's within your control works. But if it turns out your day is jam-packed with anti-goals you can do nothing about, it might be time to set the goal of finding a new job

Amiya is In-charge of the career publication of The Daily Star.

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