There are times when you read a book that is so in sync with your values, philosophy, practice and approach, that you wonder “How come I didn’t think to write this?”

“The One Thing” by Gary Keller is such a book. Everything in it validates what I believe and practice. The idea is simple: Identify and do THE ONE THING that is so powerful and pivotal that it will create a domino effect for everything else. You do this by relentless asking of this Focusing Question:

“What is the One Thing that I will do such that by doing it everything will be easier or unnecessary?”

Those of you who have participated in my workshops know that I ALWAYS present a Focus Question to frame our deliberations. I invite participants to determine if we are asking the right question because, as I point out, we don’t want to get to the end of the workshop and find that we have answered the wrong question. As a facilitator, I know the power of this. But it never occurred to me that I could use it as a tool for my life, year, month, week and even day.

Here are a few of the other ideas that resonated:

  1. Instead of a “To Do” list, how about a “Success List”? This helps you to focus on results rather than activity;
  2. Time brings clarity. Don’t wait for all the answers, just start, because you can always change;
  3. Saying yes, means saying no to something else.
  4. Accept chaos as focus means that you will decide to not do some things and you will upset some folks. But the payoff is that you get the things that are important to you DONE.

“The One Thing” takes the theory into practice with a chapter on “Putting the One Thing to Work.” Using this section, within 24 hours I:

  1. Decided on, and wrote down my One Thing for the upcoming week for each of the categories– Spiritual, Personal, Physical, Key Relationships, Career, Business and Finances
  2. I blocked time in my calendar for my One Thing most days (not all, as I already had prior appointments)
  3. Each morning, I decide on my One Thing for that day
  4. And then I do it, one by one

And it works!!! In just 2 days I have completed 2 major projects that I had been procrastinating about, and did yesterday’s “One Thing” – spent the afternoon at the Georgia O’Keefe Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario with a dear friend, followed by a leisurely lunch. Normally, I would have been tempted to cancel this in order to tackle my horrifying to do list. Instead, I did this “One Thing” with ease, grace and joy.

I have a lot more work to do, but I am just so excited to share this very, very powerful, liberating practice. Check out the book HERE and let me know how you use it, and the results you get.



Simplicity in your Organization – It’s Simpler than You Think – click HERE to view article
Simplicity Vs Complexity: Choose – click HERE to view article
The Power of No – click HERE to view article

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