The One Thing on today’s Sunday Reads!
I LOVE a good business book, and I’m about to share my love for The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I try to switch up my reading, alternating evenly between fiction and nonfiction. I find this is a good way to refresh and digest business oriented book, and to digest plot lines and character development from fiction pieces. Let’s be honest, too, those book hangovers lately are killer! I’ve been on a big kick of books that are heavily driven by magical realism – books that hit you well after you close the last page and tiny details slowly creep in to settle in you mind long after the last page is turned. To let all of those tiny nuggets find a home, I’m sometimes reading two to three nonfiction books in a row now!
Today’s book, The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, is easily one of my favorite personal improvement and development books. The concept is simple: 80% of your success comes from 20% of your effort, and focusing on one thing will drive the largest results.
So simple, right? *laughs uncontrollably* WRONG. I don’t know about you, but I constantly have my hands in one thousand and one cookie jars with my daily time sheet looking like a Venn Diagram written by the red skinned guy with horns that lives down stairs.
I read this book over the summer, and then I read the lovely pages again. One thing (hah, pun might be intended?) was abundantly clear: I needed to simplify my efforts, my outpouring of work, and my focus.
I wrote a few sheets to see what was my biggest time suck, my biggest time loss, and what wasn’t bringing any success but was taking a lot of my time. I found that I was spending considerable amounts of time on other people’s projects, and placing considerable amount of resources in to secondary projects that didn’t support my main goal or my business. What was so funny about this process is that you would think these would be obvious – but they aren’t always so crystal clear. I had convinced myself I needed to help this person because helping them with project x would eventually help me with project a, but what I was really doing was putting project a’s resources and effort into project x. There are a lot of steps from A to X, if you get my drift.
At the end of last year, I knew exactly what I needed to do, what I needed to focus on, and what 20% brings in 80% of my success. To test this before going full force, I put a few pieces in to place and saw fantastic results. With two weeks left until we hit March, I’ve tidied my content plans and business achievement steps, and we are ready go full steam ahead.
There are A LOT of business books out there. For everything you struggle with, there’s a book that promises results, or help, or a simple solution. You can read, and read, and read, and muddy your mind, pull yourself thin, move too far away from what you need to do. Now, I absolutely realize the irony in saying that, considering I just told you how many business/improvement/development books I read. When I talk to you about what I’ve read, I’ll be honest and let you know if I feel it’s a quality book. For example, I just read The Happiness Animal by Will Jelbert, and I found the book redundant and my happiness animal feeling hungry and caged.
In regards to The One Thing, I cannot recommend this book enough to help clear your thoughts, focus your efforts, recognize your needs, and stop working so damn hard on things that aren’t paying off.
Have you read The One Thing? What did you think? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!