Being able to concentrate on one thing for more than a couple of minutes is a lost art.
If we're not being encouraged to multi-task, then we're constantly interrupted by email. Harriet Griffey's new book, The Art of Concentration: Enhance Focus, Reduce Stress and Achieve More, shows how to reclaim this skill.
Why should concentration matter to the third sector manager? For a start, recent research shows that you're more effective and productive in your work if you focus on one thing at a time. Second, who wants a headless chicken as their boss?
If you think you fall into that category of manager, you can try several things to get out of it. Next time you tell yourself "I'm having trouble concentrating", change the words of that critic in your head to "don't try harder; try differently".
Create a genuine interest in the task you're meant to be getting on with and drum up some enthusiasm. Another tip is never to start a task that you need to concentrate on if you don't have everything you need.
Lastly, avoid the temptation to multi-task - you won't get any of your chores done as well as you would if you concentrated on one thing at a time. Job done.
- Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today