The ONE Thing [Book]

The ONE Thing [Book]

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan) is an excellent read for anyone wanting to accomplish something significant in their life. It is about focusing on the one thing now that will make the biggest difference down the road.

If you are in a leadership position, applying The ONE Thing principles to your life and to your organization will pay off huge dividends in time. Most won’t stick with the principles long enough to make a substantial difference, but if you do, hang on to your seat.

Even if you don’t have a formal leadership position at work, this book can be valuable. Why? Because it’s about weeding out the urgent and focusing on the important in life in general…work, family, spirituality, etc.

There is just one hesitation that I have. Not everybody is in a position at work where they can have the kind of flexibility to do it exactly the way Gary and Jay recommend, but everyone can learn the basic concept behind living an intentional life. Sure, you may not be able to tweak your own job description, but the one thing concept can still help you do your job better and more effectively as well as help you clarify and be intentional about the rest of your life outside of work.

The ONE Thing has a similar theme to another one of my favorites, Essentialism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. If you are familiar with Essentialism, then you will love The ONE Thing as well.

Here are key themes that stand out in my mind after reading the book.

  • how to clarify and define your ONE thing
  • the benefits of intentional time blocking
  • multitasking myths that need to be busted
  • the power of focus
  • choosing to pursue success (achieving your ultimate goal) over productivity (merely getting something done)

And finally, here are a few select quotes from the book that might intrigue you. I narrowed this list down from about 120 passages that I personally highlighted.

Regarding the main thesis of the The ONE Thing:

What’s the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?
~ Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Regarding how we think about “productivity”:

Not everything matters equally, and success isn’t a game won by whoever does the most. Yet that is exactly how most play it on a daily basis.
~ Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Regarding intentionality and when to say “no”:

…extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
~ Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Regarding the 80/20 rule and how it applies:

…the majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do. Extraordinary results are disproportionately created by fewer actions than most realize.
~ Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

-Have you read the book? What nugget did you take away? Let me know in the comments section.