Q: How can we manage all of the problems, projects and opportunities on our plate? What do we do first?
A: There is one lever that you need to push, and everything else will fall into place. Find and articulate that "one thing." Then begin to organize your time and priority list around that theme.
There Is Always, Ever, Only One Thing
Do you remember this scene from the movie City Slicker?
Curly (Jack Palance), cigarette dangling from his mouth, tries to give Mitch (Billy Crystal) some wisdom for life. As they stop their horses for a moment, Curly asks, "Do you know what the secret of life is?"
Curly holds up one finger and then explains, "One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean sh*t."
Mitch's interest has been sparked. He replies, "That’s great. But what’s the one thing?"
Wise Curly responds with a dry smile. "That’s what you have to figure out."
To view the video clip, click here.
To solve an organizational dilemma, find the "one thing" that connects all the challenges and opportunities.
1. Write down everything you need to do in the upcoming week. Group the list according to themes and patterns. What do you notice?
2. Consider a time in your life when you were both productive and fulfilled. What does that story tell you about the "one thing" that makes you most happy?
3. What is the thing your organization does best? How much of your to do list supports that "one thing?"