Book Review of “The One Thing”

The book The ONE Thing was highly recommended to me as a self-help book that helps people achieve more by focusing on what really matters.

There are many bits of useful wisdom, and much of what the author cites is based on studies as well as anecdotes. The idea is that most of the big results that successful people get come from very specific efforts, and that not all efforts yield the same kind of results. The book cites an 80/20 ratio, while clarifying that the ratio in each activity and business model will vary: most companies get 80 % of their revenue from products or services that take 20 % of time and investment (effort).

One of the things that the book does is help us to value our time, investigate where efforts yield the best results, and focus on that. Also, we live in an age of instant gratification and where apps, phones, and devices are constantly fighting for our attention. It’s easy to develop a short attention span, and this takes a toll on productivity. The One Thing helps us to train ourselves to focus on that which will make all other things either easier or unnecessary, and it reminded me of the advice in the Tao Te Ching about achieving great things by focusing on the small things, by performing one little thing at a time, with consistency.

Plan difficult tasks through the simplest tasks
Achieve large tasks through the smallest tasks

Further Reading:
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

About hiramcrespo

Hiram Crespo is the author of 'Tending the Epicurean Garden' (Humanist Press, 2014) and 'How to Live a Good Life' (Penguin Random House, 2020), and founder of He's also written for The Humanist, Eidolon, Occupy, The New Humanism, The Secular Web, Europa Laica, AteístasPR, and many other outlets.
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