The ONE Thing by Gary Keller part 4

Episode 24: The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, part 4

In this new episode of The RevolutionFI Podcast, Tim Desmond discusses The ONE Thing by Gary Keller part 4.

“So, the question is this: How can 50+ folks like us, honest and hard-working, how do we manage our current responsibilities and still plan for retirement? 401ks alone won’t be enough and we don’t have 40 years to save, so how do we leverage our experience and wisdom to gain financial independence? That is the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Tim, and welcome to the Revolution. The RevolutionFI podcast.”



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Hey there. Welcome to the Wednesday Edition of the RevolutionFI Podcast. I’m Tim, and I’m back here by myself. I gave Jim the day off this week because I wasn’t going to make him read the book.

Today, we are talking about the fourth and final installment of the Book Club of the Month episode, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. Before we get into that conversation today, I would love to encourage you to leave me a comment on the blog. I would love to engage and hear your thoughts, get some feedback, and know what you’re thinking about, so please consider doing that. I would really appreciate it.

What’s My One Thing?

Okay, let’s get into the final installment of the Book Club of the Month episode. Here I am going to get into really the crux or the main idea of Gary Keller’s book. We’re going to start with the big picture question. No surprise, if you take a look at the cover, the question is, what’s my one thing? Here’s what Gary says about it. “Use it to develop a vision for your life, and the direction for your career or company is your strategic compass. It also works when considering what you want to master, what you want to give to others in your community, and how you want to be remembered. It keeps your relationships with friends, family, and colleagues in perspective and your daily actions on track.”

The Small Focus Question

This is such a powerful question, but at the same time, it can feel very overwhelming. Gary introduces what he calls the small focus question. This is a variation of the big picture question, and that is, what’s my one thing right now?

Gary says, “Use this when you first wake up and throughout the day. It keeps you focused on your most important work, and whenever you need, it helps you find the levered action or first domino in any activity. The small focus question prepares you for the most productive work week possible. It’s effective in your personal life to keep you attentive to your most important, immediate needs, as well as those of the most important people in your life. Again, this is another way of using a question to frame your big thing, your one thing. Big picture, what’s my one thing, and that guides your life, but the small focus question guides your day.”

The Focusing Question

What’s really cool is Gary talks about the focusing question collapsing into all possible questions into one. Think about this. What’s the one thing I can do? Such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? I want to repeat that because I think it’s such a powerful question. What’s the one thing I can do? Such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? Gary talks about reframing that focusing question, inserting your area of focus, so think about it this way. You can also do a timeframe. He says, you know, what’s the one thing I can do right now or this year, or in five years, or someday, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Managing Opportunities

Here are some focusing questions to ask yourself, and these are again, from Gary’s book. “Save the category first, then state the question at a time frame, and end by adding such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary. For example, for my job, what’s the one thing I can do to ensure I hit my goals this week, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary.”

This is an incredibly practical approach to productivity and managing the barrage of opportunities that we have, not to mention the distractions. Another very powerful element of the one thing is the ability to leverage reminders. Gary says to set up ways to remind yourself to use the focusing question, and one of the best ways is to put up a sign. Here’s the sign that Gary puts up. “Until my one thing is done, everything else is a distraction.” Again, until my one thing is done. Everything else is a distraction. This really goes against the to do list mentality, which I have never been a fan of.

Time Blocking

If you have a list, by nature, you’re distracted by the items on the list, and the fact that you have a list. My alternative to that is time blocking. I’ve always been a fan of time blocking. I put myself in the chair and say, this is what you’re working on. Now, this and only this. It doesn’t matter how far you get or what you get done, but this is the block of time dedicated to this particular task or project.

Gary says, “Productive people get more done, achieve better results, and earn far more in their hours than the rest. They do so because they devote maximum time to being productive on their top priority, their one thing. They time block their one thing and then protect their time blocks with a vengeance. They’ve connected the dots between working their time box consistently and the extraordinary results they seek.” So well said that I don’t believe I need to comment any further. If you have not tried time blocking, I would highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoyed the four installments of The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. As I mentioned in the first installment this month, this is one of the most powerful and important books I’ve read in a long time, and I hope you feel the same way.

Jim will be back tomorrow with me. Before I sign off for today, I thought I would give you a little tease if you wanted to know what next month’s book was going to be, and you can get a start on it if you want it. That is The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau.

This is a classic in the entrepreneurship space which is funny because it’s only about eight years old, but that’s how time moves in the entrepreneurship world. This is a great book if you’re considering a side job, a side hustle earning extra income. It’s an incredible book, and I will really be looking forward to getting into it for the month of December, 2020.

Okay, hope you enjoyed this Wednesday episode. I will be back with the Hair of the Blog tomorrow along with Jim Kukral. See you then.

Transcription by Otter.ai, please forgive the bot for typos and mistakes.

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