Book Review: ‘The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results’

By Barbara Danza, Epoch Times
August 9, 2017 5:25 pm Last Updated: September 23, 2017 12:25 pm

Multitasking is a concept that plagues most people today—whether entrepreneurs, professionals, parents, students—no matter the roles we fill we’ve got a lot coming at us and a lot on our plates.

The idea of doing more than one thing at a time, on its face, seems like a more efficient strategy. However, as “The One Thing” handily debunks, “multitasking is a scam.”

Instead, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan bring forth the revolutionary idea that we should instead (gasp) do one thing at a time.

Previous societies may have baulked at the need for such advice, but as our stress and feeling of being overwhelmed clearly tell us, this message is one we need to hear.

“The doors to the world have been flung wide open, and the view that’s available is staggering. Through technology and innovation, opportunities abound and possibilities seem endless. As inspiring as this can be, it can be equally over-whelming.”

“The One Thing,” of course, goes well beyond the simple idea of only doing one thing at a time. In fact, it calls the reader to identify the one thing that should take highest priority in every circumstance and facet of life. The authors implore readers to ask themselves, in the face of decisions large and small, a very specific question: 

“What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

“If everyone has the same number of hours in a day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others?” The answer, “The One Thing” concludes, is the ability to do “the one thing” until it’s done.

This means ignoring and eliminating distractions, blocking time, forming good habits, fueling your body adequately, and more.

“It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it’s that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have.”

A dose of clarity and a sigh of relief, “The One Thing” is a quick and worthwhile read. If you feel overwhelmed and behind the high ball, this perspective may be just what you need.