What is the One Single “Secret” to Making this Year Better than Last Year?


If you try and chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.

~Russian Proverb~

Several years ago, like many entrepreneurs I was struggling with feeling overwhelmed with too many things to do. Consequently, there were a lot of things I wasn’t doing or wasn’t doing really well.  In many years of helping small businesses become more efficient and more profitable, I’d say this feeling is more the norm than the exception among business leaders.

During that time, I read one of the most important books I have read on this paradigm of feeling overwhelmed by too much to do.  That book was The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

The basic concept of this book is to narrow your focus to just “One thing.”

What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Last year my “ONE thing” was to find and hire a very competent personal assistant.  WOW! That did transform nearly everything I do, and I finally had time to focus on the really important things.  It was exciting to know that while I was doing a all-day session with a leadership team, that someone was keeping up with my schedule, my email – and even running my business development campaigns.

There is no way that I can capture all the great documented research and accompanying tips from The ONE Thing in this short article.  But let me whet your appetite to read it.  Here is a 7 min video by Gary Keller, Fight Mediocrity

Let’s start with THE SIX LIES or MYTHS: 

  1. Everything Matters Equally – of course it doesn’t! But how much time to you spend on the “Urgent” stuff instead of the Important?
  2. Multitasking – it’s been proven time and time again – Multitasking robs efficiency. Stop it!
  3. A Disciplined Life — it is not about self-discipline but about your habits – typically takes 66 days to develop a habit.
  4. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call – not true, near the end of the day, your energy is low – do you important things first of the day.
  5. A Balanced Life – leading a balanced life is a lie. Read the book to find out why. Learn to have a “counterbalanced life.”
  6. Big Is Bad – don’t succumb to megaphobia— the irrational fear of big. Think big, aim high, act bold.

Here are some quotes from The ONE Thing:

  • The ONE Thing shows up time and again in the lives of the successful because it’s a fundamental truth.
  • The key is over time. Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time.
  • You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. The problem with trying to do too much is that even if it works, adding more to your work and your life without cutting anything brings a lot of bad with it: missed deadlines, disappointing results, high stress, long hours, lost sleep , poor diet, no exercise, and missed moments with family and friends.
  • Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list— a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results. To-do lists tend to be 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.
  • Success is actually a short race— a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.
  • Success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right. The trick to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it. That’s it.
  • To achieve an extraordinary result you must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. This requires getting extremely out of balance in relation to all other work issues…

There are a number of excellent forms on their website: http://www.the1thing.com/

Next Steps:

  1. Get the book, The ONE Thing.
  2. Take some time and determine: “What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
  3. Is there a way to measure how well you are doing?
  4. Ask someone to hold you accountable – remember it takes 66 days to form a habit.
  5. Contact me if you want to know how to implement this throughout your organization using a business system called EOS®. wayne@kurzengroup.com or  678-362-7734.

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