How to Do The One Thing that Matters Most
By Rochelle Melander
When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “one word at a time.”
In the book, The One Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, write about the focusing question:
What’s the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
They break down this single question into two questions.
The first question helps us discover and follow our big picture goal:
What’s my one thing?
The authors call this a “strategic compass.” They encourage readers to use the question to set a life vision and a direction for their careers.
The second question helps us know what to focus on each day:
What’s the one thing I need to do right now?
The authors recommend that readers use this question to decide what one thing they can do right now to make the rest of the day go better.
How can this help you?
Start by using the first question to determine your vision. What’s your vision for the year (or any period of time you choose)?
Then consider how you will make that vision a reality. In order to do that, what’s the one project you need to start or finish this quarter?
Finally, take note of today: what’s the one small step you need to take to make that happen?
But wait: there’s one more thing!
Your habits matter—and they can help you achieve your goal.
Take a look at what you want to achieve and consider: What is the one habit that will help you achieve this goal? If you’re working on a writing project, then that habit will be dedicated time for reading, writing, and imagining. Before you do anything else, schedule time in your calendar to write.