Rich or poor, young or old, there is one thing that all people have in common each and every day.  Time (1,440 minutes to be exact). Time is the great equalizer. If you want to make a difference at work or in life, the real question is how to spend your time.

The challenge is that there are significant forces that can throw you off course by having you spend time on tasks that don’t impact things that are important to you. It is a constant battle, but if you build the right skills and habits, you can significantly increase the amount of time you spend the way you want.

This is the first in a series of articles about our favorite tips and techniques for prioritizing and being productive.

Pure Focus: The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, the first step is to take the time to think about that. It can be a life goal, a career goal, or even a goal for this week. The more important it is and the more you want it, the easier it will be to cut away the rest of the clutter and keep your focus on that item.

Once you have it in mind, ask yourself “What is the ONE thing that I can do that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?”

Then do that one thing above all others until it is done. Then move on to the next one.

This is the simplest method, but also the hardest, as it requires an iron discipline to say no to the million other things that demand your time. Give it a try!