A few years back California passed Proposition 227 which mandated an English immersion approach to teaching kids whose primary language wasn’t English. Teachers union-types and so-called education “experts” decried the policy as unfair and harmful to the students. After a year of focusing on teaching the students in one language rather than using the prior method of bilingual education, the results demonstrated that the students were actually performing at a higher level.
This shocked and dismayed the “experts” but, was actually a very predictable result. By focusing the efforts, 100% of the time on one thing, students learned English faster and improved the results across the board. If you did anything with a 100% focus rather than splitting your focus in half or quarters or eights, what do you think the results would be?
While multi-tasking has been the rallying cry for business for years, yet study after study as shown that outcomes aren’t great for those who practice it. Gary Keller and Jay Papasan are offering up a contrarian view to multi-tasking in the new book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results which makes the case not only for singular focus, but also for a process of determining what your priority should be.
They make the case that with laser focus being brought to your “one thing” it can start a series of dominos tumbling that lead to extraordinary results. The process that leads to those results starts with the work of trying to identify your one thing. Keller and Papasan detail the plan for “time blocking” a daily, four-hour, appointment with yourself used to focus on your one thing. They also spell out the three commitments you must make to make that block as productive as possible.They cite the effectiveness of the practice of the One Thing; the challenge for rank and file workers is the inherent expectations of the work place. Like many business planning programs, The One Thing may be easier for those entrepreneurs and solo practitioners who can guide their own fates.