Top 10 Lessons From One Thing Book (Free PDF)

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We will talk about the book “One Thing” by Gary Keller. At the beginning of the book, the author points out that multitasking is a lie. You cannot multitask, and humans cannot multitask. He says that the word multitasks from computers. They’re switching between tasks so quickly that it looks like they’re doing multiple tasks at the same time when in fact, they’re not multitasking.

Computers can’t do it, and neither can humans. He says to use this effectively. We have to focus on one specific thing that we want to do that fulfills our purpose. You should try to limit a minimum of four hours per day doing this thing, whether skiing, playing, or chess making.

10 Lessons From One Thing Book

The author says the distractions are way worse than they seem. A fifteen-minute distraction might take you an extra 15 minutes to get back focused. He also says that big goals can be bad. It doesn’t say that you should get rid of your big goals, but he says they’re wrong.

It is a lot of people focus on the year-ago their monthly call. But you need to focus on what will push you further in the end. When you focus on one thing, it doesn’t have to be in the area specifically. You can also focus on your one thing by reading and learning.

Let’s learn about the top 10 lessons from the “One Thing” book.

1. Domino effect

A domino little two-inch block can knock over another domino that’s up to 50 percent larger than that two-inch block. So you could stack like a domino. Go up from there, and it would be able to knock it over. Our choices and habits are like dominoes. If we get momentum, we can knock over big things and do whatever we want in life.

  • We have to start small and build momentum.
  • Find out the little problems or obstacles and solve them wisely.

Sometimes a small thing can ruin a big dream. So don’t underestimate the little or anything. Point out every steps and portion that you can overcome the domino effect.

2. One thing

One thing is the key concept of the book. If you look at anybody who’s achieved success at any level, all you can trace is back to focusing on one thing. For example, Google, what’s their one thing? Search Starbucks, What’s their one thing? The quote in the book goes, If you try and catch two rabbits, you won’t catch either.

  • The biggest concept of this book, focus your energy on one thing.
  • Multiple things/goals can ruin all of your efforts and your focus.

Don’t try and chase two rabbits. Success is when you narrow it down. Focus on one thing. There are always, you know, pros and cons to anything. So don’t take the one thing as gospel. But the takeaway message is that success leaves clues. Look at the most successful people and companies, focusing on one thing.

3. The six myths

Let’s get into the six myths. The first one is multitasking. It doesn’t exist. Research shows that 28% of the day is lost due to multitasking. So corporations who study their employees found it amazing. On average, the multitasking ones lost an average of 28 percent less productive than those who would focus on a task completed and then move on.

On one end, we’re focusing on too many things and not giving enough attention to the other. Do you have mindfulness where you’re putting all your energy into one task?

The next myth is that willpower is always on will call. We got to think of willpower as a muscle. The more we use it, the less we have, like any muscle. If you exert all your energy first thing in the morning, respond to emails or stress out in traffic, or pay the bills, you feel tired at the end of the day. We do that because we’ve exhausted our energy by the end of the day. Focus on those things first. Then you avoid willpower burnout at the end of the day.

The third one is the 80-20 principle, which we will discuss later. British economists are studying the wealth distribution in England, and they noticed that 80 percent of the wealth was held by 20 percent of the people. Other people took this 80-20 distribution and found that 20 percent of your clothes get 80 percent of the where 80 percent of the traffic on 20 percent of the streets. Twenty percent of your friends give you 80 percent of your happiness.

  • Focus on that, 20 percent, to get 80 percent of the results. It’s a cool way you can hack what’s most important.
  • Avoid multitasking and focus on specific tasks.
  • Don’t use all of your willpower at a time and diversify them.

4. Balance your life

Imagine life as a game where you juggle some five balls in the air. You name them: work, family, health, friends, and spirit. Also, you keep all these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it’ll bounce back up. But the other four balls, family, health, friends, and spirit, are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irreversibly scuffed, marked, nicked or damaged, even shattered. They will never be the same.

  • You must understand and strive for balance in your life.
  • Make a balance between family and work so that you lose nothing in life.

I love that all about prioritizing, love the image of rubber balls versus glass balls and that there are some things that if we don’t prioritize, we’ll never get back.

5. Parkinson’s law

Time management is efficient. Parkinson’s law states that tasks expand to the time allotted. There is a deadline that we work to follow and do in time. So everything has to be in order. All the most important dates have deadlines attached to them.

  • Be more productive, and shorten the time for a given task.
  • Minimize your work deadline so that you can do new work.

Give yourself one hour if you gave yourself two hours to edit a video or respond to emails. Then experiment with that, shortening deadlines and setting deadlines. That’s a big idea of Parkinson’s law.

6. To-Do list

Gary Keller says that we make to-do lists that fill up with many arbitrary things. It’s good to write everything out that you need to do. But what’s the most important thing on this To-Do list. You’re left with like five or six items. Then you look at that and say, what’s the one thing on this list that’s the most important thing to do? You do it first, and that’s how you create a success list.

  • Make some to-do lists and attach them in front of your workplace.
  • Find out the emergency work and mark it serially, which will help you organize and manage.

If you escape some list work, then again create a new one. Remember that a to-do list is nothing if you don’t organize or prioritize them serially. Don’t be emotional; think like a professional.

7. The focusing question

The focus in question is the crucial concept of the book. What’s the one thing you can do this week? Such by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary. So what’s the one thing you can do that has the most impact on whatever you want? It’s an important analogy. But if you’re trying to get fit in shape, the one thing you could do would probably be go to the gym three times a week.

  • Ask yourself: What is an essential thing that you need to do first?
  • Question engages our critical thinking.
  • By asking the question, you will short out the main task.

Everything else doesn’t matter. Responding to comments, responding to messages, and emails, It’s essential. But it’s not the most important thing. So if you ever feel off-task or lost, that’s an excellent question you can use to bring you back and focus.

8. Live by priority

Good image, big picture with a small focus. A big picture means what do you, what do you want to do in your life? What are your life dreams? Who do you want to serve? That’s the big picture.

Then the small focus: What do I need to do today to make that happen eventually? So you stack our dominoes up. Those are the small focus. But the big picture is where do you want to go? This is a cool way to visualize it. You got your someday goal, five-year goal, one-year goal, one-month goal, one-week goal, one-day goal, and then you’re now the goal. So if you look at all those, they all add up. They all are the trajectory of where you want to go.

Key concept: It’s all about living with priority, keeping that big focus, but not losing sight of the small picture.

9. Decision making

Don’t say yes to everything. You soon realize we don’t have time for ourselves if you say yes to everyone. We don’t have time to create one thing. We don’t have time to do what we want to do in life. You can go deeper with a few people rather than shallow with many.

  • Your environment is unsupportive. So don’t say yes always.
  • Poor health practices, losing time due to poor health.
  • The last one is fear of chaos.

So you can check out the book if you want to go over those. If you’re struggling with resistance around anything, ask yourself, what would this look like if it were easy? Just focus on that. Don’t worry about the other stuff. Try and get that on the map for your finances.

10. Purpose of life

The book describes that the extra time needed to switch your focus increases. We need time to decide to switch and remember where we left off before we switched.

If a programmer needs to solve problems throughout the day on multiple projects, they must spend mental processing power to figure out the project. Whenever we have more than one priority and are asked to manage more than one project throughout the day, we experience energy-depleting productivity.

  • Find out the real purpose of your life that helps you to work hard.
  • Follow your purpose, not money, because your purpose gives you real satisfaction.

Frequently, we think things are equally important because we have so many requests coming our way. Overwhelming feelings make everything seem urgent, and we mistake that urgency for importance. The one thing that rises to the top is often what most contributes to your purpose. Gary says your purpose is simply the one thing you want your life to be about more than any other.


Let’s say your priority is acquiring a new client for your business, although there are many things you could do to do this. The first small thing you could do is two minutes of research on that client. That research will enable the eventual meeting to go smoothly, allow you to build rapport with that client, and make acquiring that client much easier. The key to success isn’t doing more. It’s doing a few things well.

So stop switching costs and start asking the focusing question throughout the day to stay focused on one thing at any moment. Your goal is to ask the question enough times. That was the core message that I gathered from the one thing. If you find it hard to accept the essential, you need to focus less on achieving more.

One Thing

Learn more: The One Thing Book Review With Summary

Author: Gary Keller
Average Rating: (4.7 /5)
Category: Self-Improvement, Management, Leadership, Sales

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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