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January Book of the Month: The One Thing by Gary Keller

The New Year calls for some fresh perspective – and we personally love to find ours in the form of self-help and productivity books. 

This month we flew through Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s best-seller The One Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. The book gives readers the framework to optimize their lifestyles and yield extraordinary results with their goals. The One Thing emphasizes the direct correlation between success and a narrowed concentration: narrowing your life down to one thing will always get you to where you need to be. 

Here are our biggest takeaways for you to take and implement into your life right now. 

The Six Lies

The six lies are socially accepted beliefs that derail us from our goals and deplete us along the way. Learn them and understand them to put yourself on track towards your success. 

1. Everything Matters Equally: Everything does not matter equally. Understanding that not every task holds equal weight allows us to prioritize our time better and focus on what truly matters most in the given moment. 

2. Multitasking: Multitasking is a myth and don’t believe otherwise! Thinking about multiple things and working on multiple things at once is not just scientifically impossible, it is also the thing that slows us down the most. How you do one thing is how you do everything. If you’re stretching yourself thin and half assing every task then chances are, you aren’t doing anything well or effectively at all. 
 
3. A Disciplined Life: Discipline does not breed success. Singular and meticulous focus allows us to create and adopt habits that allow us to take action towards our goals. 
 

4. Willpower is Always on Will-Call: Constant willpower is impossible and unnecessary in terms of our success. Willpower is like a muscle. It needs both exercise and rest. Manage your willpower by tackling the one thing that needs to get done first and allow it to rest and recharge for effective use the next day.

5. A Balanced Life: A balanced life creates the illusion that we can hold everything to equal weight at one time. The One Thing teaches us about counterbalancing focus on what matters most and place the rest on the backburner until that is completed.

6. Big is Bad: Big is not bad, big is good! The One Thing encourages us to think big. No feat is too big in this world. Believe that and the world is your oyster! 

The Four Thieves of Productivity 

Understanding the Four Thieves of Productivity will allow you to make better decisions when working towards your goals. 

Four Thieves of Productivity are as follows: 

  1. Inability to Say No: Saying yes to everything is the equivalent of saying yes to nothing. Stay productive by saying no to anything that could derail you from accomplishing your goals.
  2. Fear of Chaos: When you strive for greatness, chaos is guaranteed to show up. Get used to it and get over it. Make your one thing happen despite any chaos that comes up.
  3. Poor Health Habits: Personal energy mismanagement will affect your productivity. Do not allow your health to become an afterthought as you work towards your one thing. High achievement and extraordinary results require big energy and you need your health to be intact to accomplish it. 
  4. Environment That Doesn’t Support Your Goals: Your environment must support your goals. No one succeeds alone and no one fails alone. Surround yourself with people who lift you up to be your best always. 

The Formula to Success 

Extraordinary results come from purpose, priority and productivity. The one thing is your purpose and it sets the priority for what needs to get done first and productivity is how you best accomplish it. The One Thing encourages you to live your life with these three principles at the forefront. 

To live life on purpose you must first narrow the truth about who you are and what you want to accomplish. To live your life with priority you must understand what the most important thing is for every given day. And finally, to live your life with productivity you must get the most from what you do when what you do truly matters! 

To put these principles into action ask yourself this one important question what is the one thing I can do to ensure I hit my goals this week such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? Successful people are productive people. Design your day around accomplishing your one thing and find the best way to do it. Hold yourself accountable to the one thing and create your success on a continuous spectrum. 

To succeed in anything in life you must start small. Extraordinary results are dependent on how well you can focus on one thing at a time. Do few things for greater effect instead of doing multiple things that create side effects of stress and anxiety which deplete our wellbeing and leave us discontent with life. 

Throw out the never ending to-do list and narrow your focus to the most important one thing. Success is built over time by doing one thing at a time. Remember that, trust the process and start! You don’t have to start big to yield big results. Everything can be done from one breath, to one step, to one thing at a time. 

Kaylee Baez

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Editor’s Note: This article contains affiliate links. The Hive uses commission from our affiliate advertisers (not from you) to fund operations of the business. 

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