The One Thing (Book Review)

Looking for the solution to constant chaos and overwhelm?

The ONE ThingThe author promises extraordinary results if you can identify the “one thing” that you need to do. The “one thing” that is like the first domino which creates a domino effect.  It is essentially another version of the 80-20 rule, but a very simplistic one that suggests you reduce your focus to literally, “one thing”.

I think the theory is good but am sceptical about implementation.  My take on this is that most people will struggle to identify their “one thing” and to do this consistently without some assistance.

Multitasking and To-Do Lists

The book highlights how multitasking has become an addiction, and therefore damaging to our efforts at improving results.  Given that many of us survive our manic and over-scheduled days by multi-tasking, it may initially be difficult to accept that our coping mechanism is actually not serving our end game.  I suggest that you try NOT multitasking and observe the resistance.  There is a certain likeness to withdrawal symptoms!

“Multitasking is the opportunity to screw up more than one thing
at a time” – Steve Uzzell.

To-do lists were another time-management tool criticised and I found myself agreeing.  In my experience, lists have a place as a memory aid in low level, low impact tasks.  However, when it comes to bigger picture outcomes, they appear to have very little benefit.

A flaw in our prioritising

A common strategy for prioritising is reserving or booking time in our schedules for those important tasks.  Inevitably though, even with the best of intentions, this time gets chipped away because something else comes up or we get distracted.  Following the method prescribed, time set aside for our “one thing” should be immutable.  If we get as far as identifying the “one thing” that has the most impact on our goals, we should protect any time allocated to this “one thing” at all costs.  And IF cannibalising of this precious time really cannot be avoided, then it MUST be replaced.  This is where most people fall over.  Time lost is rarely replaced.

One of the most useful suggestions made by the author is to consider that when we say yes to something, we are effectively saying no to something else.  Every time we include something less important on our to-do list, we are re-directing our already limited resources away from our most important things, or in the words of the book, our “one thing”.

Despite my scepticism, I think the book is a worthwhile read.  There are useful nuggets throughout that should provide food for thought.

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I’m a business coach passionate about helping women make the impossible possible! Do get in touch. I would love to have a chat to see how I can help.

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