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Unlocking Extraordinary Results: The Power of Focus

As undergraduate business students, you continually juggle academics, extracurricular activities, internships, and personal commitments. In this fast-paced environment, mastering productivity management is essential to maximize your college experience and achieve success. Gary Keller's book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results offers invaluable insights on focusing and prioritizing to maximize productivity. 

Keller's main premise is that concentrating on a single, most important task at any given time can lead to extraordinary results. He introduces the Focusing Question, which asks: "What's the one thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?" By consistently asking and answering this question, you can clarify your priorities and direct your efforts toward tasks that create the most significant impact. 

Here's how you can integrate the principles from "The One Thing" into your college experience: 

  1. Identify your priorities: As a business student, you will encounter numerous opportunities to learn, network, and develop your skills. To make the most of your time, determine which activities align with your long-term goals and passions. Regularly reassess your priorities and adjust your focus accordingly. 

  1. Schedule time blocks: Allocate dedicated time blocks for your most important tasks, such as studying, attending networking events, or working on group projects. Protect this time from distractions and commit to maintaining a singular focus during these periods. 

  1. Embrace singular focus: Resist the temptation to multitask or spread yourself too thin. Concentrating on one task at a time allows you to delve deeper, achieve greater understanding, and produce higher-quality work. 

  1. Balance short-term and long-term goals: While it is essential to focus on immediate tasks, remember to keep your long-term objectives in mind. Continually ask yourself how your current actions contribute to your overall goals and adjust your efforts accordingly. 

  1. Cultivate habits that support your "one thing": Develop routines and habits that enable you to consistently prioritize and focus on your most important tasks. This may include regular planning sessions, time management strategies, or self-care practices that support your well-being and productivity. 

Integrating "The One Thing" principles into your undergraduate college experience allows you to maximize your productivity, impact, and overall success. Embracing a singular focus and consistently prioritizing the most critical tasks will help you excel academically and lay a solid foundation for your future career in the business world. 

Reflection Questions: 

  1. What is your "one thing" for this week or month, and how can focusing on it make other tasks easier or unnecessary? 

  1. How can you create dedicated time blocks in your schedule to work on your most important tasks, and what strategies can you use to protect this time from distractions? 

  1. What areas of your life could you benefit from adopting a more singular focus, and how can you cultivate habits supporting this approach? 

About the Author

For many learners, their business education journey begins with Introduction to Business. Tim has had the pleasure of educating numerous unique students in this course. His innovative teaching methods, applications of learning science, and educational technology have taken this foundational course to the next level. He arms students with the skills needed to perform like pros in the world of work, excel in future college courses, build wealth, and become savvy consumers. Tim has been teaching marketing, management, and entrepreneurship courses at Green River College in Auburn, Washington, since 2010. He was tenured in 2015 and is best known for co-creating and then leading the country's first Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Tim also developed an Applied Management BAS program. Affordable has recognized the Marketing & Entrepreneurship program as the #1 most affordable entrepreneurship program in the country and the #7 most affordable entrepreneurship program by UniversityHQ. Tim is a recipient of Green River College's Distinguished Faculty Award. In addition to teaching and authoring, Tim works in the technology industry as a Senior Manager at Microsoft, which provides him the ability to bridge the divide between today's higher education curriculum and the rapidly changing needs of today's employers. While Tim serves in many roles, his most important role is as husband to his wife, Danielle, and dad to his sons, Raymond and Joey.

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