The ONE Thing by Gary Keller Book Summary

Book Summary — The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

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Gary Keller is the founder of Keller Williams, the largest residential real estate company in the world, with the most total real estate agents worldwide! No simple feat! I discovered this book from Entrepreneur On Fire’s Top 15 Business Book List (EOFire is a must listen to podcast!)

#1 – Eliminate multitasking! Study after study has proven multitasking decreases your productivity. You should rather focus all your attention on one thing until successful completion. If you try to swat two flies at once… guess how many you hit? ZERO! Focusing on ONE thing helps you have less distractions and less stress in your life, therefore making you more productive. Your one thing can be for the next hour, for the day, week, month, year, next 5 years! Just answer this question for each block of time, what is the one most important thing I NEED TO DO!

Next, like multitasking, a “work-life balance” is impossible to do well. Instead of balancing work and life, focus on one at a time and commit 100% to each at separate times. So this means no checking work emails during your family time each evening. Keep the work and life separate and you will we see each strengthen individually!

#2 – Start each day with the most challenging task first. We only have so much willpower in our gas tank each day, so knock out the hardest things at that beginning of each day when you have the most willpower.

Also, prioritize your activities into time blocks throughout the day. This is win-win as you will not only hit the challenging tasks first, but you will build in time constrained blocks forcing you to work faster to get your one thing done in each time period. This helps hold you accountable for not letting a one-hour task take all day because you didn’t give the task a time constraint.

#3 – Break all your priorities (or “one things”) and tasks down into small, easily achievable chunks. The author uses the analogy of a domino… a domino can knock down another domino 50% larger than itself. So like the dominos, if you break down each “one thing” you want to accomplish into small chunks, you will successfully finish multiple tasks en route to your ultimate goal! All these easy tiny wins added up will give you momentum, making big goals much easier to accomplish. So don’t be overwhelmed by big goals… embrace them and dream even bigger! By having a clear purpose, set priorities and one important thing you want to accomplish, you can attain truly any goal you set.

#4 – We have all said the phrase, “I don’t have enough time in the day!” Lacking time is a challenge we all must contend with, but most of the “things” we have on our to do lists could easily be cut out of our lives by saying no! So many things we do each day are distractions that take away from our ONE THING we should be focused on, so just cut those things or tasks out of your life completely. A huge component of becoming successful at anything is learning when to say NO!

Now if you can’t eliminate the task, you should delegate it. Make yourself unnecessary in the first place by automating processes with software or by delegating your time-consuming tasks to other workers or outsourced freelancers. Remember this… DELEGATE and ELEVATE!

#5 – The 80/20 principle helps you pinpoint and focus on the few vital to-dos that will help you achieve your one big thing each day. 20% of your activities will equal 80% of your results. So cut out pointless tasks (or tasks below your pay grade). Cut multitasking. What do you do best? What is your best-selling product? The list goes on and on… so focus on the one thing, your primary purpose that produces the most results and cut the rest!

For example, turn your to-do lists into success lists… write down a list of ten things you need to get done today, identify the top two most important tasks on that list, then cross out the other eight. Remember, 20% of your daily work will account for 80% of your results!

#6 – Successful people use discipline to focus on accomplishing their one thing until they form habits. The brain loves habits as these allow the brain to run on autopilot. You can form habits in a short couple of months by using discipline to stick with your new daily routines. And you can really get your habits to form quickly by rewarding yourself when you complete each priority, while progressing toward your ultimate goal!

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