The ONE Thing Book Summary

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The ONE thing is one of my favorite books ever.

The ONE thing helps you focus on the right things to achieve your goals

Here’s the summary:

There are a lot of lies that you’ve been told, that aren’t true if you believe those things you’ll not make any progress.

1- Everything Matters Equally
If you have a to-do list, not everything on that list matters equally.
Certain tasks will help you make progress and others are not as important, but you should do them.
To make progress, you need to be able to identify those task and focus on them.
“Achievers always work from a clear sense of priority.”

FIG. 4 A to-do list becomes a success list when you prioritize it.

80/20 rule: 80% of results comes from 20% for your tasks.

FIG.3 The 80/20 Principle says the majority of your effort leads to the majority of your results.

2- Multitasking
People talk about Multitasking as a good thing, but it’s not.
When we focus on one thing at a time, you will it get it done faster with better quality.

FIG.6 Multitasking doesn’t save time—it wastes time.

3- A Disciplined Life
Most people think that successful people are disciplined, but they’re not as disciplined as you think they are.

You only need to build the right habits, once you build a habit, it takes way less discipline
to maintain.

“Stick with the discipline long enough for it to become routine. Habits, on average, take 66
days to form.”

FIG. Once a new behavior becomes a habit, it takes less discipline to maintain.

4- Willpower is Always on Will-Call
Willpower is not on demand, each day we have limited amount of willpower every day.
“Willpower has a limited battery life but can be recharged with some downtime. It’s a limited but renewable resource. Because you have a limited supply.”

FIG.8 Good decisions depend on more than just wisdom and common sense.

“Don’t spread your willpower too thin. On any given day, you only have a limited supply of willpower, so decide what matters and reserve your willpower for it.”
“Time your task. Do what matters most first each day when your willpower is strongest. Maximum strength willpower means maximum success.”

 

5- A Balanced Life

“The reason we shouldn’t pursue balance is that the magic never happens in the middle; magic happens at the extremes.”

“When you gamble with your time, you may be placing a bet you can’t cover.”

“To achieve an extraordinary result you must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. This requires getting extremely out of balance in relation to all other work issues.”

FIG. 12 Extraordinary results at work require longer periods between counterbalancing.

“In his novel Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, James Patterson artfully highlights where our priorities lay in our personal and professional balancing act: “Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is like a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls—family, health, friends, integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”

6- Big Is Bad

“Thinking big is essential to extraordinary results. Success requires action, and action requires thought. But here’s the catch—the only actions that become springboards to succeeding big are those informed by big thinking, to begin with. Make this connection, and the importance of how big you think begins to sink in.”

FIG. 13 Thinking informs actions and actions determine outcomes.

The Domino Effect
Lorne Whitehead described how a single domino is capable of bringing down another domino that is actually 50 percent larger.

For example:

If you start with a two-inch tall domino and it knocks down and a 50% larger domino by number 51 it knocks down mount Everest.

FIG. 2 A geometric progression is like a long, long train — it starts out too slow to notice until it’s moving too fast to stop.

Here’s video:

If you get the right things done you’ll achieve the big goals just like dominos.

The Focusing Question

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.”
“Great questions are the path to great answers. The Focusing Question is a great question designed to find a great answer. It will help you find the first domino for your job, your business, or any other area in which you want to achieve extraordinary results.”

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary.”

Examples from the book:

FOR MY SPIRITUAL LIFE…

  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to help others… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve my relationship with God… ?

FOR MY PHYSICAL HEALTH…

  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to achieve my diet goals… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to ensure that I exercise… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to relieve my stress… ?

FOR MY PERSONAL LIFE…

  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve my skill at ________… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to find time for myself… ?

FOR MY KEY RELATIONSHIPS…

  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve my relationship with my spouse/partner… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve my children’s school performance… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to show my appreciation to my parents… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to make my family stronger… ?

FOR MY JOB…

  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to ensure that I hit my goals… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve my skills… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to help my team succeed… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to further my career… ?

FOR MY BUSINESS…

  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to make us more competitive… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to make our product the best… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to make us more profitable… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve our customer experience… ?

FOR MY FINANCES…

  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to increase my net worth… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve my investment cash flow… ?
  • What’s the ONE Thing I can do to eliminate my credit card debt… ?

Goal Setting to the Now

“There can only be ONE. Your most important priority is the ONE Thing you can do right now that will help you achieve what matters most to you. You may have many “priorities,” but dig deep and you’ll discover there is always one that matters most, your top priority—your ONE Thing.”

 

“Goal Set to the Now. Knowing your future goal is how you begin. Identifying the steps you need to accomplish along the way keeps your thinking clear while you uncover the right priority you need to accomplish right now.”

FIG. 24 Future purpose connects to present priority.

Time Blocking
Make to sure to block time for your one thing and make sure you protect it, to make sure you are getting your one thing done and making progress.

FIG. 28 Your ONE Thing gets the time of day it deserves!

Accountability
Research show that having an accountability partner will increase your chances of success by 76.7%

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