I remember a time during my childhood, just as my mother’s career started taking off, when I saw a particular book lying around the house. Sometimes it was in the living room, other times in the kitchen, and once I saw it in the bathroom.
The book was called The One Minute Manager, and it was a massive bestseller in those days.
I saw it in the library the other day and decided to take a look. It is a short book, easily read in one sitting. It is a parable of a young man who has heard about a manager who is said to be extraordinary, and he goes to investigate.
It isn’t highly complex, nor is it particularly deep. But it isn’t meant to be. It is a parable after all. It is meant to be delivered in the same manner of its subject: in a quick, easily digestible story that can help you see a broader truth.
There was one particular quote that I found to be compelling. It takes the form of a plaque over one of the worker’s desks. It reads:
Take a minute:
Look at your goals.
Look at your performance.
See if your behavior matches your goals.
In other words, is what you are doing right now furthering your progress toward your goals? It’s a good thing to repeat to yourself any time it feels like distractions and side projects are impeding your ability to achieve your goals.