Do you read some books more than once? I do. Why? I find that I miss a lot with the first read. Maybe you do the same? You may remember the main ideas and basic concepts. But the details are important too! And you may slip past them during the first read. When you read a book for the second time, you have a greater chance of catching those details. I reread some books recently and the same pattern repeats every time—I’m surprised with the number of additional details I catch.
What is THE ONE THING I can do SUCH THAT by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
This is the most important question in the book. And I still use it as my focusing question for everyday activities . But after the second read, I have a much broader context and I know why it's so important to ask this question. I also have a better understanding of how you can look for the Right Answers to this question.
New findings from the second read of the book – find the Right Answers
The author lists the 6 lies that we all hear and are prone to believe . He claims that we need to face all of them to be more productive and to achieve what is really important for us.
These lies are:
- Everything matters equally
- A disciplined life
- Willpower is always on will call
- A balanced life
- Big is bad
He attacks each of these lies separately and explains why they are lies.
4 thieves of productivity
In the book you will also find a list of the "4 thieves of productivity." The author lists them one by one and analyzes them thoroughly.
- The inability to say "No"
- Fear of chaos
- Poor health habits
- An environment that doesn't support your goals
You may have one or more of these thieves in your life and not even recognize them. They make you less productive. Just by knowing that they are there you increase your chances of avoiding them.
Tools and practices to fight the 6 lies and 4 thieves
I like this book a lot because it's really practical. It gives down-to-earth type tools that let you fight these things that stop you from being productive. These tools and practices, if applied correctly, let you focus on what is the most important for you—The ONE Thing.
I'll briefly describe for you the three main tools and practices that I find the most useful.
Find the Right Answers
With the focusing question “What is THE ONE Thing…" we have a chance of finding the Right Answers. You can find models in the book that help you find these answers.
Big, Broad, Small, Specific
The author lists a few types of answers and give some examples of them. Basically, he introduces four types of answers and advises which one we should strive for.
Types of goals
Similarly, he defines three types of the goals. When you have your answer, you should check if what you want to do is:
- A stretch
- A possibility
If your goal is either doable (almost like a task on the todo list) or just a stretch (not easy to do, but manageable with some effort), then these aren't good enough goals. The author says that we should aim for the goals that explore possibilities. We don't know how to achieve them—yet. But we know that we want to achieve them and that with the right focus they are reachable.
The final—and one of the most important—tools he gives us is time blocking. He says that we have to block our time to work on our most important goals. He has a few tips for doing this :
- The time we block for our most important task should be early in the week and at the beginning of the day.
- The time block should last for a few hours in a row.
- You should defend that time from others.
- You should get rid of any distractions.
He lists three different types of time that you should block. They are in order of importance:
- “Time Off” time block (vacation, lunch time, breaks)
- Your „ONE Thing” time block
- „Planning Time” time block
I use these concepts every day, both at work and in my private life. I find them to be highly valuable and efficient. I will write more posts about each of the practices described above. In the meantime, you may choose one of them and try it on your own. I strongly recommend doing this in addition to reading the book. This book is so important to me that I'm sure I'll read it for a third time soon enough ;)