March 2020 Book Review: The One Thing BY Gary Keller (with Jay Papsan)

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was looking for answers.

A feeling of been persistently overwhelmed was overshadowing my life.

There was always too much to do in too little time and I felt like I was nowhere close to accomplishing my goals. After analysing the situation, I surmised that I needed one thing.

Focus.

Google answers most (if not all) questions. So, I used Google to begin my search for a book that would help me to gain incredible focus.

I found “The One Thing” and it has truly changed my perspective on life.

Few books are able to profoundly impact me the way this book has. I won’t clue you in on all the secrets but I’ll share with you my top three takeaways.

The Focusing Question Brings Clarity to Life

The premise of Keller’s book is that by focusing on one thing, everything else naturally falls into place. His signature focusing question is what will help you narrow down that one thing in all areas of your life.

What’s the ONE THING that I can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?

He then explains that the key to crafting the right focus question is to start with the big picture and then work your way towards the smaller questions that will help you get there. Here’s an example from my own life.

I believe that my purpose in life is to help people attain financial freedom and become the best version of themselves possible. How can I use focusing questions to help me get there?

My Someday Goal: What’s the ONE THING I can do someday to help at least 1,000 people attain financial freedom and become the best versions of themselves such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?

My Answer: Successfully create a sought-after online platform for both personal and business success.

My Five Year Goal: What’s the ONE THING I can do in the next five years to achieve my someday goal such that by doing it everything will become easier or unnecessary?

My Answer: Become a living example of financial freedom and self-actualisation by having a happy family, following God’s direction for my life, owning my dream home, having at least 2 million JMD in cash reserves, having a well-diversified financial portfolio and contributing positively to nation-building.

My One Year Goal: What’s the ONE THING I can do this year to achieve my five year goal such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?

My Answer: Achieve financial, spiritual and relationship growth by spending time with God daily, building a strong foundation for a successful relationship with my partner,, earning at least $200,000 per month (after-taxes) through my business and spending time building strategic relationships so that Success Lifestyle Magazine can grow.

My Monthly Goal: What’s the ONE THING I can do this month to achieve my one year goal such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?

My Answer: Live with purposeful intention by spending at least 7 hours with God each week, helping my partner accomplish his goals while I accomplish mine, building the Success Lifestyle Magazine platform with at least 4 content pieces and 2 new advertisers and gaining at least 5 new high-value clients each month.

My Weekly Goal: What’s the ONE THING I can do this week to achieve my one month goal such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?

My Answer: Spend at least 2 hours each Sunday reflecting on my progress over the past week and creating a plan for improvement.

My Daily Goal: What’s the ONE THING I can do today to achieve my weekly goal such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?

My Answer: Plan a realistic and purposeful schedule each day that allows me to spend at least four hours working on the ONE THING for that day that will bring me closer to my goals.

Traditional goal-setting tends to be more of a bottom-up rather than a detailed top-down approach. Keller’s strategy will be pivotal in helping me achieve my life’s purpose.

Priority and Purpose Drive Productivity

It takes 66 days to form a habit. Therefore, developing the habit of productivity requires making a daily commitment to priority and purpose for at least 66 days until this becomes your natural way of life.

Our purpose sets our priority and our priority determines the productivity our actions produce.

Gary Keller

You should make a deliberate attempt to set aside at least four hours to achieving the ONE THING necessary for that day to fulfill your purpose. Keller refers to this strategy as time-blocking. It’s a time that is completely free of distractions because your priority deserves 100 percent of your attention. If you can set aside more than four hours, great!

Multitasking is a Myth

I have always prided myself on being a great multitasker. However, Keller helped me realise that I really do only accomplish my best work when I am completely focused on one task at a time. The best results require focused attention.

Keller says, “You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.” Trying to multitask leads to distractions which inevitably results in you not doing anything well.

Final Words

The One Things is the ultimate guide for living a productive, purposeful life. It truly is a book that lives up to its number one bestseller status. Eloquently written with practical advice I am able to apply to my life. I look forward to achieving my someday goal by doing the right ONE THING daily. I want my life to matter.

Published by Christine McLean

Christine is a passionate writer who is committed to the success of Jamaican businesses. She loves dancing and writing. Her aspirations include become one of the leading content marketing professionals and financial advisers in Jamaica.

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