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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Do One Thing at a Time


When asked for a productivity tip, Warren Buffet once said something along the lines of, “It’s simple. I do one thing at a time and I don’t start something else until I’m finished with that one thing.”

In The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker writes about this notion:

If there is any one “secret” of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective executives do first things first and they do one thing at a time….

Concentration is dictated… by the fact that most of us find it hard enough to do well even one thing at a time, let alone two. Mankind is indeed capable of doing an amazingly wide diversity of things; humanity is a “multipurpose tool.” But the way to apply productively mankind’s great range is to bring to bear a large number of individual capabilities on one task…

This is the “secret” of those people who “do so many things” and apparently so many difficult things. They do only one at a time. As a result, they need much less time in the end than the rest of us…

The people who get nothing done often work a great deal harder… the typical executive tries to do several things at once.