IF YOU CHASE TWO RABBITS, YOU WILL CATCH NONE! That is the main lesson from the book – THE ONE THING by Gary Keller. This book is about three core things that matter most to us as human beings. It is about knowing your purpose, and how to prioritize your activities around the purpose in order to achieve high productivity. It helps us to identify our calling and determine our areas of strengths, by focusing on what really matter most to us as individuals. The book seeks to motivate the reader to find their true motivation in life by focusing on what they are passionate about, it provides the guides on what you need to do to discover the passion, and it gives recommendations on the daily adjustment that you need to make in order to achieve your goals.
Here are some lessons I learned from reading “The One Thing”
1. The Lies we were told: Many of us have been misled and derailed through the various lies that we have been made to believe at some points in our lives. The one thing gives insights into the lies we have come to accept. The lies include the fact that we have been made to believe that everything matters equally, multi-tasking is a good trait to have, and that having a big goal is bad. The book revealed the truth by teaching people how to follow a path to productivity. The core ideas to productivity and achievement include: asking the focusing question, developing the success habit and finding answers to our questions.
2. Start with “the focusing question”: The focusing question is “What is the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” And success habits involve doing the right thing, the right way, at the right time. We need to identify what is right for our spiritual life, physical health, finances, business, career, relationship, and personal life. We should then ask the focusing question along these areas. For example, what is the ONE THING I can do to improve my relationship with God? Also, to arrive at great answers, we must be able to make the question “Big & Specific”. For example, what can I do to reduce my weight by 20lb in six months? With this goal, the one thing you may need to do is to have exercise plan or change your diets in order to achieve your objective. If you have a long-term goal of saving, say $1 million, by asking this question, you can determine how to arrive at your goal. For example, you need to know the number of years, the monthly savings, and at what percentage returns you need to get in order to build such a nest egg. Here the one thing you need to do is to have a monthly savings plan. Students should particularly use this concept to make studying a little easier. For example, a student that wants to improve his productivity can ask, what is one subject that I need to read now to make my exams easier?
3. Learn to Say “No” most times: According to Keller, saying yes to almost everything that comes our way hampers our productivity. He encourages us to say “no” to everything except it is connected to our ONE THING. We are sometimes afraid of saying no especially to those we love because it might hurt their feelings, in such an occasion we can say no and provide a lead to how they can get a yes. For example, if at your office, you have employees that create distractions by bothering you with questions and you don’t want to say outright “no” to him, then you should consider creating a list of FAQs that will provide answers to the typical questions you get on the job. That way, you have said no by presenting an opportunity for the person to explore other ways to get their answers.
So how exactly have I benefitted from this book? In the past four weeks whenever I get to my office, I have been asking myself the focusing question. What is the one thing I can do today, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? This question has helped me to be more focused and be better able to prioritize my task and improve my time management skills. We all can develop the ONE THING approach to improve productivity and achieve extraordinary results. I will leave us with a quote from Og Mandino – “It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world”.
You can boost your productivity by following the principle in this book.Get your copy here