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What’s your One Thing today that will get you Results?

If you want to have even more energy and laser like focus when building your business, a book that we highly recommend is The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

Usually in any given week, month or year there is an overarching One Thing that needs to be kept as a top priority. The One Thing I do today may be different from the One Thing I have to do in a month, and that may be different to the One Thing I can do right now.

When I read the book, I liked how the approach is so simple and cuts through the multi-tasking mindset we have been trained to believe is productive. Many times we feel obliged to act on other people’s agendas –  to react, rather than respond. The multi-tasking mind becomes a ‘monkey mind’, over stimulated and hectic, and it’s too easy for us to end up as victims of such an overly busy mind and life – counterproductive if we want to make real strides forward.

A better way of thinking to make great progress

You may be aware of the Pareto Principle that states 20% of your activities produce 80% of your results. The One Thing pares that down even further.

Ask yourself:

‘Of the 20% of my highly leveraged activities what is the One Thing that I can do that will make the biggest difference to my business? To my personal life outside of work?’

This book talks about scaling down your ‘ToDo’ list and instead creating a “Success list”, usually just 20% of the To Do List and then filtering out that One Thing you need to focus on today or this week or this month. So the ‘ToDo’ List could be 20 actions. The Success List will focus you on about 4 of those highly leveraged actions, and The One Thing is the Key action that will make the biggest difference to your day.

The book states “Thinking informs actions and actions determine outcomes” so it is important to think in the right way by asking resourceful questions.

Ask Big questions and you will get Big answers or ideas.“Dont fear Big, fear Mediocrity”. The book mentions how we over-plan and over-analyze when success is based on just a handful of things we need to do well.

The key question in the book goes something like this: “What’s the One Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or even unnecessary?” If you read the sentence it relates to what you “can do” and not relying or depending on someone else.

The One Question You Should Be Asking Yourself Daily

There are many variations of this same question but the authors propose asking yourself a version of this one question every day if you truly want success.

  • “Whats the One Thing I can do today such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
  • “What’s the One Thing I can do this week around my business goal such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
  • “Whats the One Thing I can do this month such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

I hope you can see the power in asking such an excellent question of yourself.

A powerful reminder to stay focused could also be useful “Until my One Thing is done, everything else is a distraction”. This is a great reminder because for most of us we are distracted and go into reaction mode so quickly. The question helps to keep you on track on the important project or activity.

By asking your One Thing question, to add more power to the process, visualize the end result and simulate the steps along the way. Its a kind of mental flow charting of the process, which helps to get your thinking more focused and clear.

Time Blocking to Protect Time for your One Thing

A very important consideration mentioned in the book is the importance of time blocking. In fact the authors suggest you “time block with a vengeance”. Meaning: do all you can to protect your time, no matter what.

And here at EnergizedCEOs.com we actively encourage you to not just time block your work time, but time block your time to re-charge. This is one of the number one ways CEOs and Leaders burn out and get ill by NOT doing so.

Check out our other article about time blocking time in the morning to take care of your body and mind using an acronym called the 4Fs. It’s a proven approach to gaining back more of your valuable energy.

And don’t stop there! Make it a daily practice (and eventually a habit!).

Time block your one important thing. Time block your thinking or planning time. Remember “until the One Thing is done everything else is a distraction”.

A good time block question is “What’s the One Thing I can do to protect my time blocks every day such that by doing so everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

Like all things, this type of thinking and approach requires mastery and practice. Doing this once a week may help you improve at work, however, to think and act this way on a daily basis by asking that One Thing question each day will lock into your nervous system a new way of being effective and more energized as a CEO.

As a coach to business owners I hold my clients accountable to the One Key Thing they commit to agree to do between sessions. Having accountability like this helps to boost this level of focus and productivity.


So I’d love to know, what is the ONE THING you need to get done: Today, This Week, This Month, This Quarter in order to do the ONE THING you really want to accomplish this year? Please tell us in the comments! Consider it your Day One for Accomplishing your One Thing!

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