The One Thing, a book by Garry Keller and Jay Papasan. The concept of the book is great, and the simplicity of using focus to achieve great things too. I do feel that using over 200 pages to convey the key concepts is a bit too much, and not in line with ‘less is more’.

Here are the key thoughts that we feel cary the weight;

  • “if you chase two rabbits… you will not catch either one” Russian Proverb.
  • “Be like a postage stamp, stick to one thing until you get there” Josh Billings.
  • Realize that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
  • “To do lists tend to be too long; success lists are short. One pulls you in all directions; the other aims you in a specific direction. One is a disorganized directory and the other is an organized directive. if a list isn’t built around success, then that’s not where it takes you.”
  • Pareto’s principle, the #80/20 principle; “The 80/20 principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs or efforts usually lead to  a majority of results, outputs or rewards” 
  • Start with your to-do list, then take the 20% most important actions, and then select the 20% most important of those, you will end up with the one thing.
  • Multitasking is a lie. We can do two things at one time (like walking and talking), but we can not #focus on two things at once.
  • “We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal” Robert Brault.
  • How can I reach 20? Set a goal so far above what you want that you’ll be building a plan that practically guarantees your original goal. 
  • Goal stretching: Doable > Stretch > Possibility.
  • Benchmark and trend for the best answer; the research and experience of others is the best place to start when looking for your answer” . No one has a crystal ball, but with practice you can become surprisingly good at anticipating where things are heading. 
  • Don’t look for a concrete answer, pick a direction. 
  • Block time to work on the one thing. Be intentional.
  • Personal energy mismanagement is a silent thief of productivity. High achievement and extraordinary results require big energy. Walk at least 10.000 steps.
  • Create a winning environment, find the people who can help you achieve the big thing (both in and outside the job), and create an environment where you can thrive (clean, plants, silent, visual aids, ergonomics, gym bike…).

Thoughts triggered by the book; Go Big or Go Home (O’Neill), Play to win, not not-to-loose.

Key summary by Joost d’Hooghe

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