Personal development Productivity

“What’s the ONE Thing you can do?” – the lesson I learned from the book “The One Thing”

This post is also available in: Polish

“What’s the ONE Thing you can do?” This one simple question asked by Gary Keller in his book, The ONE Thing, forced me to re-think what my top priority is and what I should spend at least half of my time on. This question can be applied to my relationships, my personal development, my job, and also to this blog. This question is very simple, yet very powerful.

The question

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

We hear the first part of the question “What’s the ONE Thing you can do” quite often. Maybe we even ask ourselves that question. The true power of that question is revealed when we connect it with the second part “SUCH that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

When you ask yourself this question, you’re forced to think about that ONE thing in a very focused way. What ONE thing could make everything else easier or unnecessary? It may not be the most exciting thing or the easiest thing to do. But it should be the ONE Thing that will eliminate other things you have to do now so you won’t need to do them in the future.

The author describes why it is so important to choose ONE thing. He gives examples from his life and his work with customers. Based on these stories, he walks us through the whole process of forming that question. He shows us how to go through that process ourselves and how to find the answer to that question.

Connect now with the future

I really like that this question is asked in the context of my life vision for the next few years and, at the same time, also in the context of the present. I can ask this question to pinpoint what I should do now to move closer to the big, bold goal—my ONE thing for the next few years. It creates a kind of hierarchy:

  • What’s the ONE Thing I want to do in the next five years?
  • Based on my five-year goal, what’s the ONE Thing I can do this year?
  • Based on my one-year goal, what’s the ONE Thing I can do this month?
  • Based on my monthly goal, what’s the ONE Thing I can do this week?
  • Based on my weekly goal, what’s the ONE Thing I can do today?
  • Based on my daily goal, what’s the ONE Thing I can do right now?

When you ask such questions, you discover what you should do now to support your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and five-year goals. When you know what this ONE thing is, your only task is to focus on doing it. This becomes your most important task.

In the book, the author shows us also how to secure the time needed to work on that ONE thing. He gives some advice on how to organize your week and day, how to defend your time from others, and how to communicate your need for this time to your peers.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Everyone will find something that resonates with them in it. If you have any questions regarding the ideas described in this book, let me know! I’d love to discuss them with you.

In the near future, I will write a blog post concerning how I incorporated the ideas from this book into my everyday life. That way, you can see how to use this knowledge in practice based on my example.

Call to action

Book some time for yourself and think about the ONE thing you can do now SUCH that by doing it everything else becomes easier or unnecessary. When you find that ONE thing, check your calendar and book a meeting with yourself for 2–3 hours. Spend that time doing only that ONE thing. That’s all you need to do to move closer to your goal.

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