The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results

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“The One Thing” is a self-help book written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The book focuses on the idea that by focusing on one thing, we can achieve extraordinary results in our personal and professional lives. The authors argue that multitasking and trying to do too many things at once can lead to burnout and lack of progress. Instead, they suggest that we should identify the one thing that is most important to us and focus all of our energy and resources on that one thing.

The book is divided into three parts: The Lies, The Truth, and The Extraordinary Results. In the first part, the authors debunk common myths about productivity and success, such as the idea that multitasking is effective or that we can have it all. In the second part, they introduce the concept of the “domino effect,” which suggests that by focusing on one thing, we can create a chain reaction of positive outcomes in other areas of our lives. Finally, in the third part, the authors provide practical tips and strategies for identifying and focusing on our one thing, including time management techniques and ways to overcome distractions and obstacles.

Overall, “The One Thing” is a thought-provoking and practical guide to achieving success and fulfillment by focusing on what truly matters. The book is well-written and easy to read, with plenty of real-life examples and anecdotes to illustrate the authors’ points. Whether you’re a busy professional looking to improve your productivity or someone seeking greater clarity and purpose in your life, “The One Thing” is a valuable resource that can help you achieve your goals.

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Key Concepts:

– The focusing question: What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

– The domino effect: Small, focused actions can lead to big results over time.

– Time blocking: Scheduling time for the most important task and eliminating distractions.

– Goal setting: Setting big goals and breaking them down into smaller, achievable steps.

– The 80/20 principle: Focusing on the 20% of tasks that will lead to 80% of the results.


The book’s concepts are highly applicable to entrepreneurs and their unique challenges. Entrepreneurs often have to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities, and the book’s emphasis on prioritization and focus can help them achieve better results. The book’s concepts can be applied in real-world business situations, such as:

– Prioritizing tasks and projects

– Time management and scheduling

– Goal setting and planning

– Eliminating distractions and staying focused

Actionable Takeaways:

– Identify the most important task and focus on it first thing in the morning.

– Schedule time for the most important task and eliminate distractions during that time.

– Break down big goals into smaller, achievable steps.

– Use the 80/20 principle to focus on the tasks that will lead to the biggest results.

– Practice saying “no” to tasks that are not aligned with your goals.


The book can have a significant impact on an entrepreneur’s personal development and business success. By focusing on one thing at a time, entrepreneurs can achieve better results and avoid burnout. The book’s concepts can help entrepreneurs:

– Achieve their goals more efficiently

– Improve their time management skills

– Increase their productivity and focus

– Reduce stress and overwhelm

Author’s Background:

Gary Keller is a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, one of the largest real estate companies in the world. Jay Papasan is a writer and editor who has worked with Keller for over a decade. Their experience in entrepreneurship and personal development contributes to the book’s value.