The One Thing – Achieving Extraordinary Results

Gary Keller’s new book, “The One Thing” provides an excellent life management model for leveraging extreme focus, eliminating distractions and creating a domino effect in your life and career.

The book demonstrates how things like multi-tasking and non-prioritized To-Do lists limit our success in life, undermine our performance and also make us exhausted.   Through ruthless prioritization and only working on the “1” most valuable activity or task until it is complete, Keller highlights that this is the path to exceptional performance.

The author advises readers to always work from a clear sense of priorities and not to succumb to ticking off the easiest items on our check-list first. Most busy professionals are dealing with a perfect storm of demands on their time from home, work and social commitments. Because of these many demands, people quickly lose their ability to focus on the most important task and wind up squandering their time and energy on the “trivial many” tasks.

The book advocates having a Success List and not a To-Do List. This involves leveraging the fact that 80% of the value in our lives comes from 20% of the effort.   Basically narrowing our focus on the 20% makes all the difference.

Keller also discusses the behavioral elements of forming good habits and not solely relying on leading a Disciplined Life. Once a new behavior had been engrained as a habit, less energy (willpower) is necessary to stay on track. Good habits are also important because once established, they can put us on a path to extraordinary results.

The One Thing is an excellent book that emphasizes taking what matters to an extreme and being okay with what happens to the rest.   The notion of counterbalancing work-life and personal-life is also discussed in that focus should not be directed on a single task without having a counter-balance. This advice is recognition that only achieving work related or personal related goals could lead to an empty life. The authors also advocate Thinking Big and “doubling down” everywhere in your life. This means that if you have a goal of 10, set a goal of 20 and you are sure to reach at least 10.

Overall, this book is a powerful self-help book that could benefits most individuals and organizations seeking to improve performance. The text is an easy read, very enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

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