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The key points of 'The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results' by Gary Keller

In 'The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results' by Gary Keller, the author explores the power of focus and how it can lead to achieving extraordinary results. He emphasizes the importance of identifying and prioritizing our 'ONE Thing' - the most important task or goal that will have the greatest impact on our success. Keller also provides strategies for effective goal setting, time management, and building habits for success. In this article, we will highlight the key takeaways from each section of the book.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the Domino Effect and how small actions can lead to big results.

  • Identifying your 'ONE Thing' and focusing on it to achieve extraordinary results.

  • Eliminating distractions and staying focused on your 'ONE Thing'.

  • Setting big goals and breaking them down into a hierarchy of smaller goals.

  • Creating a success plan to guide your actions towards achieving your goals.

The Power of Focus

Understanding the Domino Effect

The concept of the domino effect is based on the idea that small actions can lead to big results. It suggests that by focusing on one important task or goal, you can create a chain reaction of positive outcomes. Just like how a single domino can knock down a whole row of dominos, accomplishing your ONE Thing can have a ripple effect on other areas of your life.

Identifying Your ONE Thing

Once you understand the concept of the Domino Effect and how focusing on your ONE Thing can have a ripple effect on other areas of your life, the next step is to identify what your ONE Thing is. This is the most important question you can ask yourself: What is the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

To help you identify your ONE Thing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the one activity that, if done consistently, will make everything else easier or unnecessary?

  • What is the one thing that, if I do it, will have the greatest impact on my goals?

  • What is the one thing that, if I do it, will make all other tasks irrelevant or easier?

Once you have identified your ONE Thing, it's important to prioritize it above all else. Make it the focus of your time and energy, and eliminate any distractions that may prevent you from working on it.

Eliminating Distractions

In order to achieve extraordinary results, it is crucial to eliminate distractions that can hinder progress. Distractions can come in various forms, such as social media, email notifications, or even internal thoughts. Focusing on the ONE thing that truly matters requires discipline and the ability to block out any unnecessary noise.

One effective strategy for eliminating distractions is to create a dedicated workspace that is free from any potential interruptions. This can be a separate room, a quiet corner in a coffee shop, or even a noise-canceling headphone. By creating a physical environment that promotes focus, it becomes easier to stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked.

Another helpful technique is to establish clear boundaries and set specific times for focused work. This can be done by implementing time blocking, where specific time slots are dedicated solely to working on the ONE thing. During these time blocks, it is important to minimize any potential distractions and fully immerse oneself in the task at hand.

Lastly, it is essential to develop the habit of saying no to non-essential tasks and commitments. This requires the ability to prioritize and identify what truly aligns with the ONE thing. By saying no to distractions and non-essential activities, more time and energy can be allocated towards the most important tasks that will lead to extraordinary results.

Goal Setting and Planning

Setting Big Goals

Setting big goals is crucial for achieving extraordinary results. When you set big goals, you push yourself to think outside of your comfort zone and strive for greatness. Big goals provide a clear direction and purpose, motivating you to take consistent action towards your desired outcome. They give you something to work towards and keep you focused and motivated. By setting big goals, you challenge yourself to grow and expand your capabilities, pushing past any limitations or self-doubt. It is important to break down your big goals into smaller, manageable tasks to make them more achievable and track your progress along the way.

Creating a Goal Hierarchy

Creating a goal hierarchy is an essential step in achieving success. It involves breaking down your big goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. By doing so, you can prioritize your actions and focus on the most important tasks that will lead you closer to your ultimate goal. Here are some key points to consider when creating a goal hierarchy:

  • Start with your ultimate goal and work backward: Begin by identifying your long-term goal and then break it down into smaller milestones or objectives. This will help you create a clear roadmap and ensure that each task you undertake aligns with your overall goal.

  • Assign deadlines and set priorities: Once you have identified your objectives, assign deadlines to each task and prioritize them based on their importance. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you are working on the most critical tasks first.

  • Review and adjust as needed: Regularly review your goal hierarchy and make adjustments as necessary. As you progress, you may find that certain tasks need to be modified or new tasks need to be added. Stay flexible and adapt your hierarchy to ensure it remains effective.

  • Stay focused and avoid distractions: When working on your goal hierarchy, it's important to stay focused and avoid distractions. Eliminate any unnecessary tasks or activities that do not contribute to your overall goal. By staying focused, you can make steady progress towards achieving your ultimate objective.

Developing a Success Plan

Developing a success plan is crucial for achieving your goals. It involves breaking down your big goals into smaller, actionable steps. By creating a roadmap of tasks and milestones, you can stay focused and motivated on your journey to success.

One effective way to develop a success plan is by using a goal hierarchy. This involves setting big goals and then breaking them down into smaller, more manageable goals. By prioritizing these goals and focusing on the most important ones, you can make progress towards your ultimate objective.

Another important aspect of developing a success plan is identifying potential obstacles and creating strategies to overcome them. By anticipating challenges and having contingency plans in place, you can navigate through difficulties and stay on track.

Remember, developing a success plan is not a one-time task. It requires regular review and adjustment to ensure that it remains aligned with your changing circumstances and priorities.

Time Management Strategies

Prioritizing Your ONE Thing

When it comes to prioritizing your ONE Thing, it's important to focus on the most important task that will have the biggest impact on your goals. By identifying and prioritizing this task, you can ensure that you are making progress towards your goals and not getting distracted by less important tasks. One strategy for prioritizing your ONE Thing is to use the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps you categorize tasks based on their urgency and importance. This can help you determine which tasks should be tackled first and which can be delegated or eliminated. Another strategy is to use time blocking, where you schedule dedicated time blocks for working on your ONE Thing. This can help you create a sense of urgency and ensure that you are dedicating focused time to your most important task. By prioritizing your ONE Thing and using these strategies, you can maximize your productivity and achieve extraordinary results.

Time Blocking

Time blocking is a powerful time management strategy that involves scheduling specific blocks of time for different tasks or activities. By dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on a single task, you can increase productivity and efficiency. Prioritizing your ONE Thing and allocating dedicated time blocks for it can help you make progress towards your goals. Here are some key benefits of time blocking:

  • Improved focus and concentration

  • Reduced distractions

  • Increased productivity

  • Better time management

Implementing time blocking requires discipline and commitment. It's important to set realistic time blocks and stick to them. Avoid multitasking and allocate dedicated time for your most important tasks. By effectively managing your time through time blocking, you can make significant progress towards achieving extraordinary results.

Avoiding Multitasking

Multitasking is often seen as a way to get more done in less time. However, research has shown that it actually decreases productivity and increases the likelihood of errors. When we try to focus on multiple tasks at once, our attention becomes divided, and we are not able to give our full attention to any one task. This can result in mistakes and a decrease in the quality of our work. Instead of multitasking, it is more effective to prioritize our tasks and focus on one thing at a time. By doing so, we can give our full attention and energy to each task, leading to better results.

Building Habits for Success

The Power of Habits

Habits play a crucial role in our daily lives. They are the small actions and routines that we repeat consistently, often without even thinking about them. Habits can have a profound impact on our success and productivity.

Developing keystone habits is especially important. These are the habits that have a ripple effect on other areas of our lives. By focusing on one keystone habit, we can create positive changes in multiple areas.

Overcoming resistance is another key aspect of building successful habits. It's natural to face challenges and obstacles when trying to establish new habits. However, by understanding the reasons behind our resistance and finding strategies to overcome it, we can increase our chances of success.

In summary, cultivating powerful habits is essential for achieving extraordinary results. By identifying and focusing on our keystone habits, and by persisting through resistance, we can create a solid foundation for success.

Creating Keystone Habits

Creating keystone habits is a powerful strategy for achieving long-term success. These are habits that have a ripple effect, positively impacting other areas of your life. One example of a keystone habit is regular exercise. When you make exercise a priority and commit to it consistently, you not only improve your physical health but also experience increased energy, improved focus, and better overall well-being.

Implementing keystone habits requires identifying the habits that will have the most significant impact on your goals. It's important to choose habits that align with your values and priorities. For example, if your goal is to become a successful entrepreneur, a keystone habit could be dedicating a specific amount of time each day to learning and acquiring new skills in your field.

To create keystone habits, it's essential to start small and build momentum. Begin by focusing on one habit at a time and gradually incorporate it into your daily routine. Consistency is key, so make sure to set realistic goals and hold yourself accountable.

Remember, creating keystone habits is not about making drastic changes overnight. It's about making small, sustainable changes that will compound over time and lead to extraordinary results.

Overcoming Resistance

Overcoming resistance is a crucial step in achieving success. It is natural to face obstacles and challenges along the way, but it is important to persevere and stay focused on your goals. One effective strategy for overcoming resistance is to develop a strong mindset and belief in yourself. By cultivating a positive attitude and staying motivated, you can overcome any challenges that come your way. Another helpful approach is to break down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This allows you to tackle each task one at a time, making it easier to overcome resistance and make progress towards your ultimate goal.


In conclusion, 'The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results' by Gary Keller provides valuable insights on how to achieve extraordinary results by focusing on one thing at a time. The book emphasizes the importance of prioritization, discipline, and the power of concentration. By implementing the principles outlined in the book, individuals can improve their productivity, achieve their goals, and lead a more fulfilling life. Whether you are a student, professional, or entrepreneur, this book offers practical advice and strategies that can help you unlock your full potential and achieve success in any area of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 'The ONE Thing' book about?

'The ONE Thing' is a book that explores the power of focus and how it can lead to extraordinary results in all areas of life.

Who is the author of 'The ONE Thing'?

'The ONE Thing' is written by Gary Keller, the co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

How does the Domino Effect work?

The Domino Effect is the idea that by focusing on one thing and achieving success in that area, it creates a chain reaction of positive outcomes in other areas of life.

How can I identify my ONE Thing?

To identify your ONE Thing, ask yourself what is the most important thing you can do right now that will make everything else easier or unnecessary.

What are some strategies to eliminate distractions?

Some strategies to eliminate distractions include creating a dedicated work environment, setting boundaries, and using time-blocking techniques.

Why is time blocking important?

Time blocking is important because it helps you prioritize your ONE Thing by dedicating specific blocks of time to work on it, ensuring that it gets the attention it deserves.

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