If you have a to do list with many things, the process of thinking what is your number one priority helps give a laser sharp focus to what really matters.

This mindset, of focusing on one thing at a time, is described in Gary Keller’s book, “The One Thing – the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results“.

Gary suggests a framework I find intriguing:

  • What’s your five year goal?
  • What One Thing can you do in the next year to get closer to that five year goal?
  • What One Thing can you do in the next month to get closer to where you need to be in one year to get closer to your five year goal?
  • And, continue the pattern above to ask your One Thing to do today that will take you closer to where you need to be in one week, one month, one year, to get closer to the five year goal.

Essentially, the daily One Thing to do has got to be related to the five year goal.

So for example, if you wish to be great at writing in five years, the One Thing framework of prioritising your tasks will likely mean you need to write everyday.

It works the other way too – to prioritise what you need to do today, it helps to have a far-off goal.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.”

Source: Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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