The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, is a book about decluttering your life and focusing on ‘the one thing’ that has the most value and will help you achieve the best results. I know what you are thinking- this doesn’t sound like a new concept- but I assure you this is different.
Like you, I was hesitant at first, but what I didn’t know at the time was the impact this book would have on my life. The One Thing promises that it will reveal the “surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results” and that’s what it does.
It’s one of those concepts that’s quite obvious, but not well practiced, and what Keller and Papasan have done is turn the concept into a practical and simple system that can improve, not just your work life, but any aspect of it.
The book begins by questioning what hinders your progress, with Keller and Papasan suggesting four reasons for the lack of productivity (a lot of these reasons I fell afoul of):
The idea to solve this is simple- find one thing that will allow you to produce amazing results, in any area of your life or any situation, that makes everything else either easier or not needed. Simply, focus on your one thing.
How do you achieve this? I am glad you asked. My first key takeaway is the importance of being organised and prioritising. Not everything matters equally. Keller and Papasan suggests the best way to be organised, prioritise and to achieve the best result, is to go small:
“’Going small’ is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus…When you go as small as possible, you’ll be staring at one thing. And that’s the point.”
My second key take away is to surround yourself in the right environment. Find someone, a group of people or some way to support yourself, encourage yourself and hold yourself accountable. There is not a professional sports person, athlete or business person in the world that didn’t have guidance, a coach, a teacher or a mentor.
My last takeaway is to remember that success is built sequentially, one thing at a time, and I think this is the most important lesson. Everyone tries to build something by doing twenty things at once, because quite frankly, that’s what it takes to build a business. But you have to remember, it’s not going anywhere. It’s better to focus on one aspect one week and develop it to the most extraordinary result and then move on to the next.
This is where it interlinks. Prioritise, be organised, be focused, and build one thing at a time and you will be successful, in any aspect of your life.
If you have read the book, let me know your thoughts in the comments. What do you think about the book, how did you apply the strategy? I am always curious to hear people's stories!
Written by Jay van den Boogaard, COO of RAW Compliance
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