Day 3 – Dedication and Focus, Simple, but not Easy

Focusing on doing just “one thing” is a bit of a cliché.  It used to be that multi-tasking was the way to go, but as Steve Uzzell so eloquently put it, “Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time” (The One Thing, 44).  If we look at the mentality of athletes and apply that mindset to a business or career, I think you would see astronomical results.

Most people have heard of the Olympian, Michael Phelps, and are aware of his astounding 28 medals from the Olympic games.  What you may not know is that he has ADHD, and just a few days ago, he opened up about his struggle with depression.  So how does someone with attention deficit disorder and depression become the most decorated Olympian ever?  His coach, Bob Bowman (who Michael Phelps referred to as a drill sergeant), would tell you that he was extremely focused.  I’ve been to military basic training, and I’m not sure that a drill sergeant could get anyone to swim 5-6 hours a day, 6 days week.  This amounts to approximately 50 miles a week!  That takes DEDICATION and FOCUS, and that is the epitome of Michael Phelps.

What if you focused on those things, that would bring you the success you desire, for 5-6 hours a day?  If you want true success, you need to focus in on that “one thing” that is going to propel you forward in life.  Gary Keller the author of the #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, “The One Thing”, proposes that you should focus 4 hours a day on the most important aspects of your business. Easier said than done, right?  Here is an excerpt from his book that might help you get started:

  1. Go small.  Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive.  Allow what matters most to drive your day.
  2. Go extreme. Once you’ve figured out what actually matters, keep asking what matters most until there is only one thing left.  That core activity goes at the top of your success list.
  3. Say no. Whether you say “later” or “never”, the point is to say “not now” to anything else you could do until your most important work is done.
  4. Don’t get trapped in the “check off” game. If we believe things don’t matter equally, we must act accordingly. 

“…doing the most important thing is always the most important thing.”

I do not receive any proceeds from this mention, I am just a fan.  You can find his book at

Categories: Life Discussion

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