If you are like most people, you probably have many things to do and not enough time. The amount of time that you can allocate to each task on your to-do list is very limited, and thus your productivity diminishes. Because of this, the results of your efforts remain unsatisfactory. The problem here is not that you are taking the wrong actions, but that you are taking way too many, exceeding your capacity to focus. The solution to your productivity problems is not as complex as it looks, and you can find it when you ask yourself the following question:
“What is the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
When you try to focus on many things, you cannot focus on any. Therefore, you must only focus on ONE Thing, but not any random thing, but the one that is most significant towards achieving your goals.
Richard Koch, in his book The 80/20 Principle states that the minority of causes, inputs or efforts account for the majority of the results. If you can identify the 20% of the actions that are responsible for the 80% of the results, you can focus on that and forget about the less productive actions. This points out a very important fact: not everything matters equally. Some things are much more important than others. Focus on the things that truly matter. Do not waste your time on the rest.
If you are trying to go on a diet, ask yourself: What is the one thing that I can do to lose weight and stay healthy? If you work on sales, ask yourself: What is the one thing I can do to increase my sales this month? If you are an entrepreneur, ask yourself: What is the one thing I can do to make my startup grow?
Your time is limited. Focus on the things that will make a difference. Put his principle to work and it will increase your productivity in any area of your life.
If you want to learn more about this rule, check out: The One Thing, by Gary Keller.