The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller is intended for an audience of business employees who are trying to be more productive and thus hopefully more successful. This book was recommended to me when I was starting up my private practice. I felt like I was being pulled in so many directions with so many things that needed to get done. This book helped remind me to prioritize my tasks and focus on the one thing that would help me advance my private practice the most. This helped with my decision making and task list. If you’ve ever stared at your To Do List and had no idea where to start, start by reading this book.
Keller’s message is in the same vein as McKeown’s message in Essentialism; however, I felt it was easier to apply Keller’s message in the moment. As a psychologist, I love it when authors present things within a cognitive framework. Keller starts his book out with “The Lies.” These are dysfunctional thoughts that derail us and keep us stuck. He then follows that up with “The Truth.” These are healthy thoughts, that allow us to move forward. He backs these thoughts up by summarizing the research in this field (examining the evidence is the primary task of thought challenging in CBT). For example, Keller reviews why the belief that we can multitask and depend on willpower to get things done are lies. The truth is our brain can only genuinely focus on one task at a time, and our willpower is finite and it runs out (which is why resisting that bowl of cereal late at night is so hard when you’ve put in so much effort throughout the whole day to be good). The topic of willpower comes up in a lot of these types of books, most notably Mel Robbin’s The 5 Second Rule, where she talks about why we’ll “never feel like it” when it comes to doing things we know we have to. The overarching message here, is that we can’t rely on willpower and need to learn to create habits and routines to keep us on track and to basically parent ourselves.
A visualization Keller uses about the importance of choosing the One Thing right now that is the most likely to help your project, job, goal, move forward is of dominos:…read more