The ONE thing to unlocking potential

The trick to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it” –Gary Keller

In the book The ONE Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan talk about it’s always the ONE Thing that delivers extraordinary results: “What's the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Workers usually have ONE Thing that constrains productivity to the extent they would be more effective if they were able to do this ONE Thing better.

Think about how you work. If you had a magic wand to improve anything, what’s the ONE Thing you would choose? Is it:

Time – more hours in the day or week to get everything done?

Flow – fewer interruptions that take you away from what you are doing?

Email – a way to manage email so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming?

Meetings – that added value to achieving your goals instead of unnecessarily wasting time?

Focus – proactively working on the important activities that underpin success?

It could be something else or you might feel there’s more than ONE Thing. While this could be true, it’s likely there’s ONE Thing that also has a major impact on others. For instance, if there was more time there could be sufficient hours available to focus on what’s important or if email wasn’t so overwhelming there could be more time available. Alternatively, we wouldn’t have to work as many hours if there were fewer interruptions or meetings. And so on.

No doubt there are a series of smaller incremental improvements workers can do to improve results. However, a problem for many workers is they don’t know how to address their ONE Thing or if they do they don’t make the effort to resolve it. As such, dramatic improvement doesn’t happen.   

Your ONE Thing doesn’t have to be a huge strategic idea or initiative. In fact, it probably isn’t and it could be something as mundane as managing time or email. But there will be ONE Thing that restricts you from reaching your potential. What’s yours?