In all likelihood, you’re trying to be good at too many things. Trimming down your list of priorities can make you more effective. Focus your attention on the tasks that bring the most results.
What is the one thing that will move the needle in your career, relationship, or health? Have you even thought about it? The one thing that matters is often challenging or unenjoyable, but you might have more free time if you did that one thing instead of the three other things you’ve been doing instead.
1. Everyone has 24 hours each day. Everyone has 24 hours, but how you spend them is up to you. Some people manage to build huge companies with their 24 hours. Others struggle to pay the rent. Some people create great health and happiness with their 24 hours. Others are out of shape and miserable. How do you spend your 24 hours each day?
2. Focus on what you should do, not what you could do. Most of us that have a daily list of tasks have both on our list. It’s important to figure out the things that are so important and impactful that they must be accomplished today. All the rest move down to the bottom of the list.
3. Prioritize until you’re down to just one task. Prioritize even further. What is the number one thing you need to do today that will make the biggest difference? When you complete that task, what is the next most important thing. Keep going until you run out of time.
4. Have one thing you’re known for. What are you known for? Playing the piano? Installing windows? Your intelligence? Figure out your one thing and ensure the world knows about it.
5. Eliminate distractions. Distractions get in the way of focusing on your one thing. Be relentless in eliminating distractions.
6. Apply this process to all areas of your life.
- What is the one thing you can do for the next month to most improve your health? There’s one thing you can do in your current situation to improve your health the most. It will probably help more than the next five things on your list combined.
- What is the one thing you can do each day to improve your relationship with your partner? Think about your partner and your relationship. What would bring the most benefit?
- What is the one thing you can practice on the piano to improve your playing the most over the next week? Or your golf swing. Or your reading speed?
- What is the one thing you can consistently do at work to increase your value as an employee? What can you do that would help your company and career the most?
7. Be tough. The most important thing is often the least enjoyable. Squats are far less enjoyable than leg extensions, but far more effective. Joining Toastmasters is far less appealing than practicing your speeches by yourself at home. The one thing is often easy to identify but challenging to do.
What is the one thing for you? What is the one thing for each area of your life that will make the biggest difference? What is the one thing you need to do today? This week?
Find your one thing, and you’ll see that little else matters.