The One Thing, by Gary Keller: Book Review

I got so much great feedback about the first book review I did (Your Brain at Work, by David Rock), I decided to review a new book every month, starting with The One Thing, by Gary Keller. Using tips from this book has made a big shift in how I approach my work, and it has really paid off for me!

How do some people get so much more in a day than others? The answer is simple. And I mean that literally. In The ONE Thing, Gary Keller shows how extreme prioritization and focus can lead to higher productivity. Here are my biggest takeaways…

How do some people get so much more done in a day? The answer is simpler than you think. Way simpler! #theonething #bookreview #focus Click To Tweet

Focus and dedication are key.

As Keller says, focus is “ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.” This singular focus allows you to more easily connect what you’re doing to what you want to achieve. And when you’re super-clear about where you’re going, you’ll know what’s on your path that goal and what’s a distraction.

Everything doesn’t matter equally, and multitasking doesn’t work.

Many folks look at items on their “to do” lists as inherently equal; one check box is the same as any other. But even when the size of the tasks is roughly equivalent, their importance to you and your work is not. Extreme prioritization – whittling your “to do” list down to a single item – will allow you to focus on the one thing that matters most.

Willpower is a limited (but renewable) resource.

Our willpower is much like battery power for wireless devices – you use up energy as you’re using the device, and you need to recharge when you’ve used it up. Decision fatigue (and getting tired from adopting new behaviors, resisting temptation, and ignoring distractions) is a thing. By focusing on your one most important task first, you’re more likely to complete it well.

Making a habit around focus pays off. Big time.

The ONE Thing habit begins with this focusing question:

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

– Gary Keller, The ONE Thing

If you make a habit of asking yourself this question at the beginning of each day, and any time you feel stuck, you’ll pull yourself out of multitasking/distracted mode and back into working from your priorities. Which are connected to your goals, which in turn are connected to your successes.

Want more insights, examples, and details (including prioritization & productivity tips)? Here’s the link to The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller, on Amazon (it’s available from the library, too!).

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