Short Summary

Focus on what is most important. Do not multi-task.

Build constructive habits with self-discipline.

Work with a purpose, priority, and productivity, to gain profit

The One Thing Book Summary

The One Thing Book Summary Garry Keller

The Focusing Question- “What is the one thing such that, by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

Gary Keller asks us to first figure out the answer to the above question. The answer to the above question should be the ultimate goal of our life. This goal will have the leveraging quality. Attaining small goals should become easier after you attain this goal.Knowing this goal will also bring clarity to your path ahead. Once you know what is that ‘One Thing?’, you should devote your undivided attention towards the attainment of that goal. The rest of the book will help you out in reaching your goals

What is the 80/20 rule?

The ’80/20 rule’ is universally applicable and hence it is widely popular. It mainly says that the minority of your efforts lead to the majority of your results. As I said this rule is universally applicable, here are some examples-

  • 80% of your sale comes from 20% of your customers.
  • 80% of the world’s wealth is owned by 20% of individuals.
  • The most frequently used 20% of the words account for 80% of the word occurrences.

Therefore you should be aware of this rule and try to find the 20% activities which can yield the 80% of your success. You should narrow down some more on these 20% activities and find out the most crucial ones out of them. As these activities have the leveraging power, therefore the more time you spend on them, the faster you succeed.

Related- What is 80/20 rule? 51 Examples

Many personal growth books have talked about the 80/20 rule, The 4 Hour Work Week is also one of them.

Do one thing at a time

Our brain is not made to multitask. It can do only one thing at a time, When you are multitasking, actually you are not doing any of the tasks properly. You may say that we can easily walk and talk simultaneously, then aren’t we multitasking at that time? But while talking about trivial topics, your brain does not need much attention and you easily divide your attention between the two tasks. But if I ask you what is 32 multiplied by 13, would you be able to answer while walking at the same pace? No, your pace will slow down because you have a limited attention which you cannot squander on walking while solving a much attention seeking question. Therefore, do your most ‘20%’ activities with full attention!

Automate your Success

Your success can be automated with habits. If you have constructive habits then you will automatically become a successful person. But habits do not come easily. Habits are the products of discipline. If you stay disciplined and keep training yourself to act in a certain way then it sticks with you as a habit. Being disciplined requires Willpower, and Willpower is self-depleting. Therefore you need to spend your willpower cleverly to save it for doing important tasks.

The 4 P’s for Success

  1. Purpose– Begin with the purpose. The purpose will provide you clarity and it will help you in setting your priorities.
  2. Priority- When you are clear about your priorities, you will start working more productively.
  3. Productivity- When you work more productively, you start profiting yourself with it.
  4. Profit- Profit will be the byproduct of doing the above three steps right.
The One Thing Book Summary 2

The One Thing Book Summary Garry Keller

Drilling Down Your Goals

Here is how you should drill down your goals to stay focused-

  • Final Goal- What is the one thing which I want to attain finally?
  • 5 Year Goal- Based on my final goal, what is the one thing which I can do in the next five years?
  • 1 Year Goal- Based on my 5-year goal, what is the one thing which I can do in this one year?
  • Monthly Goal- Based on my 1-year goal, what is the one thing which I can do this month?
  • Weekly Goal- Based on my monthly goal, what is the one thing which I can do this week?
  • Daily Goal- Based on my weekly goal, what is the one thing which I can do today?
  • Right Now- Based on my daily goal, what is the one thing which I can do right now?

So this was the summary of The One Thing by Gary Kellar & Jay Papasan. I would like to end this with the motivating words of the author himself-

“…at any moment in time there can be only ONE Thing, and when that ONE Thing is in line with your purpose and sits atop your priorities, it will be the most productive thing you can do to launch you toward the best you can be. Actions build on actions. Habits build on habits. Success builds on success.”“I want you to do something. I want you to close your eyes and imagine your life as big as it can possibly be. As big as you have ever dared to dream, and then some. Can you see it? Now, open your eyes and listen to me. Whatever you can see, you have the capacity to move toward. And when what you go for is as vast as you can possibly envision, you’ll be living the biggest life you can possibly live. Living large is that simple.”

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