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The One Thing (book review)

Mar 7, 2016 | Reviews | 2 comments

Have you missed me?

Since the new year began I was struck down with a debilitating flu thing. It was a good six weeks before I felt fully fit again. Plus we had a lot of stuff going on in the house (new windows, new boiler, planning a new kitchen, new office…), and then my server crashed spectacularly (more about that in a later post). I was forced to slow down and only do what I actually needed to do. Which meant, blogging and newsletters got sidelined by other priorities.

The One ThingFunnily enough, the book – The One Thing by Gary Keller came into my universe. I first heard about it on a podcast (whilst at the gym), then someone in my mentoring group referred to it and how they were trying to get stuff done. Maybe the universe was telling me I needed this, so I sought it out and bought it and have been reading it on my Kindle and I wanted to share some key messages here that I’m learning from the book. Hopefully if you too are feeling overwhelmed, over-worked and there simply are not enough hours in the day this will help you too.

You may already be familiar with a time management tip about picking three important things from you to do list and making sure you do those three things. It’s less overwhelming than a huge list of the todos that you might end up with if you were to do a braindump of everything you need to do.

Well in The One Thing, Garry Keller advocates picking just ONE thing and schedule time in your diary to make sure you do that ONE thing. When you pick just ONE thing, then you’re more likely to succeed in reaching your goals. You’re far more productive focussing on just ONE thing, rather than be faced with three (or more) things on a to do list. You’re focused on doing the one thing well that it takes you much less time than if you were multi-tasking trying to juggle many tasks at once (and doing not so well).

The key is to make sure that ONE thing is the most important thing and you do that by asking yourself what he calls the Focusing Question ‘what’s the ONE thing that I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?’

But what, like what often happens to me, when you get distracted by other stuff screaming to be done? Write it down on the master to do list and get back to it later; when you’re picking the next ONE thing to do (that by doing it will make everything else easier or unnecessary).

At least by putting it on a brain dump list, it’s out of mind, not forgotten, just waiting for you to come back to the list when that time comes.

There you have a very quick synopsis of one thing from The ONE Thing. Highly recommended read if you too have far too much to do and not enough hours to do it in.

Anyway, I’m back to max power and have lots of great tips stored up to share with you, so stay tuned…

PS Here’s the Amazon link to buy Gary Kelly’s The One Thing

Have you read the book already? I’d love to know what you thought. Share below in the comments the ONE best thing you gained from it.


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  1. Patrick /brke

    Hello Vee,

    I try to eat a frog a day. There is one job that you must stop putting off and do it. Its called a frog and it is the first thing you must do each day.

    I admit that days pass when I cannot face a frog but I always feel better when I do eat one.

    Just another solution to the same problem.

    Talk soon,


  2. Vee Smith

    Great tip Patrick. I agree, frogs aren’t that appetising but they are good for you once consumed. 🙂

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