The Most Important Question

UPDATED: November 19, 2013
PUBLISHED: November 19, 2013

“Multitasking is a lie,” writes Gary Keller in his new book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. Strangely enough, if there’s anyone you’d think would need to multitask, it’d be Keller, the chairman of the board and co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate company in the country. But Keller, 56, maintains that you cannot effectively do two things at once. “If you want to be average, do all 20 things. If you want to be extraordinary, do one thing well.”

The idea of concentrating on that one thing is the premise behind Keller’s strategy for striving for the best and most successful life possible. And basically it boils down to this: You’ve got to simplify and focus. “When you talk to people about living a big life, being a big success, they automatically assume it’s complicated.” Instead, he says, you have to ask yourself, “What is the one thing I can do right now to ________?” and then fill in the blank, whether what you’re wanting to do is expand your business, get a promotion, find new customers, or whatever other goal you may have that in the end you think will help you achieve your best life possible.

The ONE Thing is a business book. A real, serious business book,” says Keller. But, he adds, the concepts in it naturally translate to other aspects of your life, like home, family and spirituality. It’s about mastering what matters to you. “It’s about the one thing. Not the only thing,” insists Keller, “but one thing at a time.”