I recently read a great Self-Development book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, “The One Thing”. It was published in 2013 and reached the top of the NY Times Business Bestsellers list and it sat in my “I want to read this book” stack for too long!
As a Business Coach, I run into many business owners and executives who are fighting to get more done, to better manage their time and to achieve extraordinary results. This book provides some amazing advice in delivering a formula that will help these clients overcome one of the primary challenges that so many of them face.
Keller and Papasan posit that extraordinary success and results come from an extraordinary focus on your ONE thing. We tend to place pressure on ourselves, and our society tends to lead us to believe, that we must multitask and create to-do lists with hundreds of items on them to keep up in the face of increasing workload, greater expectations and a society that has become connected via mobile devices and technology (7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year). “The One Thing” proposes that we go small, in order to go large. That is, we need to stop obsessing about our 100 item to-do lists, attending every meeting we’re invited to and trying to multitask all the time, and go small. We need to focus on the ONE thing that matters most, the one thing that aligns with our purpose and helps us to really impact what we MUST accomplish to make everything else easier.
Frankly, I LOVE this book. Obviously, Keller is someone with the credentials to have something to say about results, having built the largest private real estate company in the US out of his start in Austin, Texas. Keller talks about how he did it and provides a formula for others to follow in his footsteps, “ Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too.” He has an ability to be crystal clear in describing how to think about this focus, “The prescription for extraordinary results is knowing what matters to you and taking daily doses of actions in alignment with it.”
I’m a big fan anytime somebody slows the game down for me, and for my clients. Keller does that in spades, by reminding us of what we already knew but had lost focus on. Going small to go large makes sense. Working more often on what matters most makes sense. Focusing on fewer things rather than many makes sense. During my lengthy corporate career, I found every one of his recommendations to be true and saw them work. However, I was never as focused on them as when I read the book and he brought it all into a clear, sharp focus for me. “The people who achieve extraordinary results don’t achieve them by working more hours. They achieve them by getting more done in the hours they work.” There, in a nutshell, is some of the greatest advice anyone can ever give you on how to succeed in business, and in life.
So turn off the distractions, get rid of the 100 item to-do lists, stop going to non-productive meetings instead of prioritizing and focusing on your purpose. Focus on the ONE thing that will make the biggest impact on your work, your life, your team and your mental well-being.
This is an extraordinary key to success and results. If you want to deliver ambitious results, you must understand the importance of focus and spend your precious time focused on the ONE thing that brings you clarity, fulfillment and drives results that matter.
Check out the book. It is a great read and a book that could change the course of the rest of your life. It’s available from Bard Press, and you can check it out from the Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting library. Here’s wishing you a tremendous journey and great success delivering ambitious results!