I was reading “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan lately. The book is an Amazon best seller, WSJ best seller, and has over 2000 reviews with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon. It is a great book. Some of key learning points that I wan to pencil down here:
- Multi-tasking is a lie – I see at home and at work, many people including myself do multi-tasking – seemingly very busy and feel good about it, probably because we think we get things done at the same time – so I am “productive”. That is NOT right way to be productive. One Thing at a time. No multi-tasking.
- Always ask the focusing question: What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? This shall be applied to many aspects of one’s life:
- Time blocking – use your calendar to block the time – 4 hours a day suggested by the authors – to focus on the one thing. Everything else will be a distraction. Even if other things are getting into your way, you have to protect your time block. In case you have to switch context, re-block your calendar. Four steps of time blocking: 1) time block your time off; 2) time block your ONE thing; 3) time block your planning time; 4) Protect your time block.
- Be a maker (do or create) in the morning, manager (oversee or direct) in the afternoon, as morning is probably the best time to focus.
- Four thieves of productivity: inability to say “No”, fear of chaos, poor health habit, environment that does not support your goals. The first two thieves are common to me. My takeaway from this is that if the thing does not connect to my ONE thing, just reject it, deflect it, or let it be.
Overall this is a good read. The authors even built a website that offers videos and tools to help the readers put the ideas in action.