Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's Your ONE Thing?

Recently I was telling close friend Vickie Austin about my newest favorite book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (my review) when she mentioned how it reminded her of one of her favorite books The ONE Thing: The Surprising Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (Gary Keller & Jay Papasan). Now I must say it's a tie... I love both of these books and together they are game changers.

Essentialism focuses on the concept of Less but Better and how getting to the essentials improves every aspect of living our lives. The ONE Thing is even more specific and urges us to get it down to ONE thing. Not only one thing necessarily but one thing as a focus of our work and energy at a time or as our priority. Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams, uses the visual of a domino and when we get our first domino in place, and if we've done it right, it will begin to knock over those that follow. His focusing question:

the ONE Thing 
I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
And if I didn't already love the message how excited did I get when I saw this diagram on pg. 114?

It fits perfectly into ME Mapping's concept and makes your ONE Thing even that much more powerful when visually diagrammed out.

The other key concept that I had already been experimenting with is time-blocking my day. Once we are focused on our ONE Thing we prioritize our day differently but we still need some strategic maneuvering and time chunking; blocking our schedule makes it so much more productive.

I will expand on this concept at another time but it is more direct than just the Franklin Covey Planner's idea that I was committed to for years. Coincidentally I came across the Timeful app while reading this book. So now I have integrated my calendar, to-do list, habit building (which includes my ONE Thing time-block) all into my iPhone. It keeps me on track and with the elimination of the non-essential to clear my mind/day and the focus of the ONE Thing I've been more productive, focused, and happy lately and loving how they all work together.

Now some folks might think the idea is too simple or have already mastered not letting multitasking and external factors distract them, and if that's the case skip it. I know one of the things I've done and I see many others do too is to keep piling systems, technology, stuff into our lives... but until we get down to the essentials and our ONE Thing we'll still keep overwhelming ourselves.

I can't recommend these two books enough but if you can only fit in one make it this one. Then work hard on your ONE Thing so you can go back and read the other. And when it's time and you want to thank the one person who recommended them you can reach ME here ;)