Written in the 2013, 'The One Thing' is an eye-opening book that assists you to find your most important goal. It helps you with finding the tools which you will need to manage your own time in the most efficient way possible so that you can achieve this specific goal. It is written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Gary Keller is one of the founders and currently the chairman of Keller Williams Realty International. He grew this company from a small office establishment in Texas, United States into the biggest real estate firm in the country. Jay Papasan is the vice president of publishing at Keller Williams Realty and owns a publishing house known as Rellek Publishing. Many of the mottos about good business practice that we accept are actually just myths which limit our progress. The book debunks them and gives useful, practical guidelines on how to live with purpose, priority and high productivity. By applying the nuggets of wisdom in this book, you can accomplish the most important activities in your life without losing balance. Here are some lessons we learned from 'The One Thing'.
It is not always easy to identify the one thing that you need to focus on
In business, it can be difficult to find the one thing which deserves your time and focus. This is because your product line can involve many items which bring in their own revenues. The book indicates that if you want to find the one thing in your business, simply search to find the one which strategically holds the business together. The product or service that has the highest intrinsic value to your company is the one thing which you should invest time in. For example, the movies in the Star Wars Franchise generate less revenue than the merchandise but they are the one thing in that organization. Find what holds your company together and is loved most by your customers and then focus on it.
Do not put too much emphasis on To-Do lists
According to Gary Keller, who is a successful real estate magnate, to-do lists are nothing more than survival guides. They simply ensure that you get through your day having accomplished everything you want. However, they don't help you to invest properly in your day doing the one thing which you need to do to make the day a steppingstone for the next one. Gary indicates that as much as to-do lists are helpful in organizing the time in our day, they are not helpful in allocating maximum time to the most important tasks. Thus, modify yours to give the one thing that you value maximum time. This transforms your to-do list into a success list.
The principle of 80/20 is genuine
Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule is real. It is named after Vilfredo Pareto, an economist. The rule says that 20% of the input which you invest results in 80% of the results that you get. Gary Keller indicates that the principle is as true and effective as the law of gravity. According to him, the Pareto Principle can be proved, predicted and is a certain effect in the laws of nature. Following the 80/20 rule can greatly boost your productivity.
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Multitasking does not have the benefits it is believed to possess
Many business professionals swear by multitasking. They perform too many activities at the same time. By doing is, they are under the illusion that they are getting things done faster. Gary keller begs to differ and says multitasking does not exist. He proposes that it is simply dividing your time among many activities such that you are performing each one for a very short amount of time. He indicates that this practice often results in average performance. One should perform one task at a time to completion. In this way, you can guarantee high quality performance and excellent results in each one.
Ensure that your workplace is conducive for productivity
According to research, modern workplaces are not conducive for productivity. The average worker is distracted every 11 minutes. In addition to that, they spend 30% of their day recovering from these distractions instead of working. Thus, their overall productivity is negatively affected. Gary advises that employers should create working environments where the employees can focus on major tasks for a substantial amount of time in their day.
Developing habits slowly and steadily leads to success
Performance coaches stress that you must engage in disciplined actions to achieve your goals. This is true. However, it is better to develop habits of discipline than to strain yourself sticking to a list of actions. Habits come naturally after we form them. Therefore, Gary says it is better to develop constructive habits than to try to stick to a list of activities under the illusion of self-discipline. A habit takes 21 days to develop. Therefore, we should develop some positive habits and patiently wait for them to take root in our lives. After that, we can reap the benefits.
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Foster and maintain true focus
Our world is full of distractions. We find it quite challenging to focus on one thing for long periods of time. In the workplace, employees are faced by distractions from multimedia or even each other. Gary has one motto to live by and solve this problem. He says that when it is time to work, do exactly that. When it is time to play, do exactly that. This way, you do not mix them up and end up mishandling these important activities of our lives.
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Go big in everything you do
Nobody knows how much they can achieve in life. Therefore, there is no point in worrying about it. If someone says that you cannot go above a certain level, the natural instinct is to prove them wrong by actually going above this level. Moreover, if we are told to pick an upper limit that we cannot exceed, of course we will pick a high one, not a low one. Thus, Gary Keller advises us to confidently go big in all that we do and we will enjoy the fruit of our labor.
The Important Take Away
The One Thing is a self-help book that has transformed the lives of many. Business professionals, students and even entertainers can learn a thing or two from this bestseller. Some of the life-changing tips from the book have been indicated here. Learning and practising them will get you one step closer to your professional target.
You can get The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan here.