"If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one" – This Russian proverb quoted at the beginning of the book sets the tone of the book.
The One Thing is very specific and gives reasons why this quote is true. It draws your focus on what is actually important for work efficiency and also imparts some valuable lessons on how to succeed in life.
The profound insights offered in this book not only tell you how to get things done and strategies to deploy over long periods of time, but also what to do on a day-to-day basis. Some great analogies, some examples and some comparisons open up your mind to time management and how schedule management can make you a high achiever. A book that is very comparable is Essentialism.
Oftentimes we try to do too much, but Gary & Jay make a wonderful case for the fact that success is sequential. World class experts and those with impressive levels of knowledge learned over time.
Skilled individuals develop their talent over time. If a hero of yours has accomplished a lot, they have done it over time. Then of course, if an individual has a lot of money they acquired it over time. The keyword here is ‘over time’. Success is sequential. Brick by brick. The book GRIT really shines a light on this issue. As well as talks about what is needed to persist at something for long periods of time.
This book helps you focus on the one thing that you are best at. The explanation given on how to do that is so brilliantly phrased that it renders all other things unimportant. Only ‘the one thing’ in your life should be above everything else or transcend all other trivialities that crowd your life and how to deal with the collateral damage that letting things go causes.
Gary Keller says that if you want to grow your business and succeed, narrow your focus on the one thing that is most important and it will make everything else easier. As a business owner or a startup, it may be actions and decisions relating to - signing more clients, getting a CRM finally built, signing up for a software that tracks everything, building more widgets, whatever it may be.
If we focus on one thing, the most important thing, everything else will get easier, productivity will soar and you will ultimately accomplish more. There is a lot to do in life but these to-dos don’t matter equally and when we focus on what really matters we find success. The author provides a lovely example about Star Wars to this end. More on this topic can be found in the book Winners And How They Succeed.
Planned focus on the right thing, will minimize collateral damage. Gary Keller does not advocate checklists. Most other authors propagate checklists to improve efficiency and as a tool to track work accomplished. He says that checklists only make you feel that you are doing a lot, but it is doing a lot of what matters that is important. If you want to hear the other side of this argument, read the book The Checklist Manifesto.
The idea and the strategies suggested in this book bring you to the realization that focusing on the one thing to the exclusion of all else will lead to collateral damage like chaos and incomplete work with regard to all matters that you do not focus on. However passion for something will lead to more focus and effort spent improving at it.
That effort compounds and as skill develops, success follows in sequence. If you focus on the one thing the process of getting to success becomes expedited. Another great book about achieving success is Outliers.
“You do the right thing and then you do the next right thing. Over time it adds up, and the geometric potential of success is unleashed.”
As a beginner, one does not necessarily get a flying start in their work. They may need a little momentum, some small wins to get them down the path towards encouragement and success. A different perspective about success from books recommended earlier is this review can be found in The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.
The One Thing by Grace Kelly and Jay Papasan is an extremely insightful book. The concept of the book is very simple but very relevant and important. In an environment of many distractions and choices, it is necessary to filter out the unnecessary and focus your attention on the one thing that has meaning and depth to bring you the fulfilment and success that you wish for in life and work.
It gives great tips on how to align your daily behavior to achieve your long-term plans and goals. The helpful insights in the book will enable you to devise time management strategies and develop time management skills.