The ONE Thing. This book literally changed my life. From my daily habits to my work focus. And it’s paid off in fabulous results.
It literally changed my life. Yep, it sounds ridiculously overdramatic. Saying a book changed my life. But this one did.
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I read a lot of non-fiction books. I originally read The ONE Thing with my Scribd subscription (though I’m a serious fan of Kindle Unlimited also). Applied the concept for a few days. Then immmediately went to Amazon to buy the paperback for keeps.
The very top of my weekly planner now has the ONE thing I’m focusing on this week listed.
Yes, I do other things. Laundry still needs done. And while the ONE thing is work related, it’s not the only work related things I do. For example, I still have to share on Facebook holiday-related content. And super-popular stuff like my free printable weight loss trackers or food journals.
But the ONE thing is the priority. When I’m not doing “to keep the website and store running” vital stuff, I’m working on the ONE thing.
The ONE Thing (by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan) is a self-help book designed to help you identify the most important thing(s) in your life. And to help you focus on it. Instead of getting distracted by the million of other things.
Its claims are ambitious. The book claims to:
• Achieve better results in less time
• Build momentum towards your goal
• Stay on track
• Dial down the stress/overcome that overwhelmed feeling
• Cut down on the clutter
When you break it down and read the book, they’re putting forth a couple of simple concepts. But the way they do it (and with some decent illustrations) makes it “click” in a way that it didn’t before. (Apparently this isn’t just a “me” phenomenon…it’s been on best-sellers lists).
They’re even concepts I’ve covered on my website before! But, as I said, they have a way of explaining it that makes it “click.” You can practically hear the snap in your head when you finally “get it.”
The authors advocate “going 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.Gary Keller & Jay Papasan, The ONE Thing
It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
But they’re careful to point out that you need to pick the right things to focus on.
Second, you must continually seek the very best ways of doing things. Nothing is more futile than doing your best using an approach that can’t deliver results equal to your effort.Gary Keller & Jay Papasan in The ONE Thing
In a post “Systems vs. Goals,” I tried out a few systems/habits to improve my life. And I discovered this. Spending all the time in the world doing things that don’t provide results isn’t going to help. Systems is based on the idea that…well, I’ll let F.M. Alexander say it: “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.”
To describe a bit of the phenomenon behind why we should focus on the ONE thing, they go into Pareto’s Principle (specifies that 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes, asserting an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs). Ironically, that’s something else I’ve covered in a post: Stop Feeling Overwhelmed: The 80/20 System. Despite writing a post on it, I wasn’t applying it fully.
One new thing (new to me) they covered was the myth of balance. According to them, it’s not going to exist. And definitely not in conjunction with amazing results.
The problem is that when you focus on what is truly important, something will always be underserved. No matter how hard you try, there will always be things left undone at the end of your day, week, month, year, and life…Leaving some things undone is a necessary tradeoff for extraordinary results.Gary Keller & Jay Papasan in The ONE Thing
Overall, I would recommend this book. Probably before any other self-help book I’ve ever read.
I’ve done a lot of research over the years for this website and for binders I’ve made for my store.
But applying the ONE thing concept can affect any area of your life you want to improve. It’s not work-specific. You can use the ONE thing to get your finances in order, lose weight/get healthy, and more.