One Thing: A Key to Productivity

This guide will walk you through the essential elements of using one thing - the productivity method to keep your team productive and engaged.

Lark Editor TeamLark Editor Team | 2023/12/19
Try Lark for Free
an image for one thing

In today’s fast-paced world, staying focused and effectively managing time is crucial. The concept of one thing has gained significant attention as a productivity and time management strategy. This article will explore the origin of one thing, its relevance in enhancing productivity, its pros and cons, and provide a step-by-step guide for implementing this strategy in daily life.

What is "One Thing" in the Context of Productivity?

In the realm of productivity, the term one thing refers to the practice of identifying and focusing on the most essential task or objective at any given time. It emphasizes prioritization and dedicating uninterrupted time and energy to the most critical activity. This approach, popularized by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan in their book, "The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results," aims to enhance efficiency and achieve remarkable outcomes.

Understanding the Essence of One Thing

The concept of one thing revolves around the principle that by identifying and addressing the most impactful task, individuals can streamline their efforts, minimize distractions, and make significant progress towards their goals. This method advocates for singularity of focus to maximize productivity and generate optimal results within a specific timeframe.

What is the Origin of One Thing?

The one thing concept finds its origins in the study of time management and personal effectiveness. Inspired by the Pareto Principle, which asserts that 80% of results stem from 20% of efforts, this approach advocates for identifying and dedicating time to the crucial 20% that drives the majority of outcomes. The ideology behind one thing aligns with the pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness.

Pareto Principle and its Influence on One Thing

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, highlights the imbalance between inputs and outputs. This principle has been a driving force behind the development of the one thing strategy, emphasizing the need to discern and prioritize tasks that yield the most significant impact. By recognizing the profound influence of a select few activities, individuals can channel their efforts toward endeavors that truly propel them forward.

Use Lark to unleash your team productivity.

Try for free

Who is One Thing For?

The one thing approach is tailored for individuals seeking to optimize their productivity and achieve exceptional results. It is particularly beneficial for professionals, entrepreneurs, students, and anyone striving to manage their time more effectively and enhance their overall performance.

Relevance of One Thing in Various Contexts

  • Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs often find themselves juggling numerous responsibilities. The one thing strategy can aid them in identifying the most critical tasks that drive business growth and success.
  • Professionals: In the corporate world, professionals can leverage the one thing approach to streamline their workflow, enhance focus, and accomplish key objectives with greater efficiency.
  • Students: Students can use the one thing methodology to prioritize their academic tasks and extracurricular activities, leading to improved academic performance and balanced personal growth.

Now, let's delve into the pros and cons of implementing the one thing strategy.

Pros and Cons of One Thing

Understanding the advantages and potential drawbacks of applying the one thing strategy is essential for individuals looking to incorporate this approach into their daily lives effectively.

Pros of Embracing One Thing

  • Enhanced Focus: By focusing on a single task at a time, individuals can direct their undivided attention and efforts, resulting in higher quality output.
  • Increased Productivity: Prioritizing the one thing minimizes multitasking, leading to a more structured and efficient workflow, ultimately boosting productivity.
  • Clarity and Goal Attainment: The approach provides clarity on essential objectives, aiding individuals in effectively navigating towards goal accomplishment.

Cons of Embracing One Thing

  • Risk of Overlooking Other Priorities: While focusing on the one thing, there is a likelihood of neglecting other important tasks that also require attention.
  • Adaptability Challenges: In dynamic environments, strict adherence to the one thing strategy may pose challenges in adapting to unforeseen pressing matters.

How to Get Started with One Thing

Implementing the one thing strategy necessitates a systematic approach to successfully integrate this productivity method into daily routines. Below is a comprehensive guide outlining the steps to initiate and maintain the practice of one thing.

Step-by-Step Guide for Implementing One Thing

Step 1: Clarify Your Goals

  • Identify the overarching goals you aim to achieve, both personally and professionally.
  • Discern the specific areas where you strive to enhance productivity and effectiveness.

Step 2: Prioritize Tasks

  • Evaluate your tasks and responsibilities to determine the most critical activities that contribute significantly to your goals.
  • Categorize tasks based on their impact and urgency, highlighting the one thing that demands immediate focus.

Step 3: Establish Dedicated Time Blocks

  • Allocate uninterrupted time intervals for addressing the prioritized task, ensuring minimal distractions and maximum concentration.

Step 4: Mitigate Distractions

  • Create an environment conducive to focused work by minimizing potential disruptions and optimizing your workspace for productivity.

Step 5: Review Progress and Adapt

  • Regularly assess the outcomes of dedicating time to the one thing, allowing for adaptability and refinement of the approach based on results and feedback.

Use Lark to unleash your team productivity.

Try for free

Actionable Tips for One Thing

To effectively integrate the one thing strategy into daily routines, individuals can benefit from incorporating the following actionable tips:

  • Set Clear Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to safeguard the dedicated time for the one thing, minimizing interruptions and external distractions.
  • Utilize Time Blocking: Implement a structured time-blocking approach to allocate specific time slots exclusively for focusing on the one thing.

Now, let's explore the essential do's and dont's when applying the one thing strategy.

Do's and Dont's

Prioritize tasks based on impact and urgencyEngage in multitasking, diluting focus
Allocate dedicated and uninterrupted time intervalsOverlook the importance of adapting to unforeseen priorities
Create a conducive work environmentNeglect the need for periodic reviews and adjustments

By adhering to the do's and being mindful of the dont's, individuals can optimize their utilization of the one thing approach.


In conclusion, the one thing strategy serves as a potent tool for enhancing productivity, fostering enhanced focus, and driving remarkable results. Embracing the singular pursuit of the most impactful task enables individuals to channel their energy and resources effectively, ultimately leading to substantial progress and accomplishments.

Now, let's address some common queries surrounding the implementation of the one thing strategy in the FAQ section.


Q: Is it advisable to consistently work on the same "one thing" every day?

A: While consistency is beneficial, it is essential to periodically reassess priorities to accommodate evolving needs and goals. Flexibility is key to long-term success with the one thing strategy.

Q: How can I determine the "one thing" amidst numerous pressing tasks?

A: Conduct a thorough analysis of the potential impact of each task and align it with your broader objectives. The task with the most substantial influence on your goals should be designated as the one thing.

Q: Is multitasking always detrimental when compared to focusing on the "one thing"?

A: Multitasking can lead to reduced efficiency and quality of work, whereas prioritizing the one thing cultivates enhanced concentration and superior output.

Q: What if unexpected urgent matters arise while focusing on the "one thing"?

A: It is crucial to strike a balance between adherence to the one thing and addressing genuinely critical unforeseen matters. Flexibility and adaptability are key in such scenarios.

Q: Can the "one thing" strategy be applied in personal and professional settings simultaneously?

A: Yes, the one thing approach can be integrated seamlessly across both personal and professional domains, offering substantial benefits in enhancing overall productivity.

By thoroughly understanding and implementing the recommendations and strategies outlined in this article, individuals can harness the power of the one thing concept to amplify productivity and achieve extraordinary results in their endeavors.

Remember, in a world full of distractions and competing demands, identifying and dedicating oneself to the one thing can make all the difference.

Lark, bringing it all together

All your team need is Lark

Contact Sales