At Startup School 2013, an annual event held by Y Combinator, the GOAT of startup incubators, Jack Dorsey delivers a heavy-hitting talk that will surely inspire thousands of entrepreneurs for years to come.

Towards the end of his talk, he shares two lists that has helped him establish patterns for himself and became fundamental to his success. Dorsey says that it helps give him focus:

It gives you something to really ignore every else that’s going on, All the other noise to allow you to focus on what’s important.

It’s a simple Do list and a Don’t list. He has the Notes app on his smartphone’s home dock with these two lists. He checks it in the morning, night, and throughout the day. Take a look:


  1. Stay Present
  2. Be Vulnerable
  3. Drink only lemon water and red wine
  4. 6 sets of 20 squats and push ups throughout the day
  5. 6 sets of 30 second planks
  6. Run for 3 miles
  7. Meditate on this list
  8. Stand up straight
  9. Say hello to everyone
  10. 10 minutes on the heavy bag every day
  11. Video journal every single day
  12. Get 7 hours of sleep


  1. Don’t avoid eye contact
  2. Don’t be late
  3. Don’t set expectations for someone and not met them
  4. Don’t eat sugar
  5. Don’t eat wheat, lentils, or dairy
  6. Don’t drink hard liquor or beer on weekdays

What I like about this system is how simple it is. Anyone can do it and it doesn’t cost anything. We all know how important daily, weekly, and monthly routines can help with productivity, but the execution and practice of it all is difficult.

Skip to 18:10 of the video below, but I highly recommend watching the entire thing. He’s one of the best entrepreneurs out there and there’s a lot to be learned from him. Enjoy: