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You might have come across the book “One Big Thing” by Gary Keller. It was a book that when I first listened to it in 2020, honestly didn’t have that much impact on my life. I knew that the concept was solid, but rarely would I make time for deep work, rarely would I achieve my goal for the day

The concept of the One Big Thing (OBT) is fairly simple, have a big goal in the future and break it down into smaller monthly, weekly and daily goals. By following the OBT methodology, you should do one activity daily that takes you closer to your ultimate goal.

During Q4 of 2022 I finally began to live the OBT philosophy, and since then I’ve been operating on a whole new level. From the chaos of 10-15 calls per day to the zen like state of deep work execution, in the blog I’m going ton break down what allowed me to make this transition.

One Big Thing: My Route to Prioritising Deep Work
Changes I made to prioritise my OBT daily:
  1. It starts the night before 
    I make sure my one big thing is planned the night before the following work day and I  schedule this into my calendar. I outline the task in a description, and if complicated I break it down it sub-tasks.

  2. First thing 
    I made sure that the OBT is the first thing that I do in my working day. No notifications before, no surfing the web, no looking at apps. I do the one thing before I do anything else. 

  3. Phone off
    My phone stays off until my deep work is done. The phone is a pandora’s box full of distractions, when it’s off life is simpler. I now keep my phone off until mid-day and feel so much better for it. 

  4. Pomodoro
    I set a 50-minute Pomodoro timer and tune into for added focus. The way that my OBT task has been planned, 50 minutes should be just enough time to get the job closed. The timer makes me sprint

  5. Accountibility
    I document my One Big Thing for the day in several places, I write it in my notebook, and I share it with my team leaders on slack. I can’t hide from the OBT, I’m looking at it throughout the day, I have no excuse for missing it. 
One Big Thing: My Route to Prioritising Deep Work

Since I started implementing this process I feel like I’m moving forwards every day, this sense of progress is a great sensation. I can see my OBTs getting crossed off, I know that I’m moving forwards despite what mayhem I might encounter later in the day.

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