As any manager who is constantly bombarded with information will testify, getting stuff done in a day can actually be quite difficult. How many times have you got to half past five and wondered why you didn't get any work done? Instead, you were dealing with numerous emails, interruptions and phone calls. How do you go about finding your focus, mastering distraction and getting the right things done?
The consultant Peter Bregman tells us how. It's partly about deciding what you want to spend your time focusing on, and then learning habits and tricks to help you stick to your resolutions. It's about choosing five things on which you would like to focus your time and attention in the space of a year, and translating these into an 18-minute daily plan.
Finally, it's about learning how to block out distraction, getting motivated and following through when you're tempted to give up. The best way to start with all of this is to choose the one thing that will make the biggest impact on your life - maybe it's to stop multitasking - then do it. You'll find that once you've done one thing, you'll have the momentum to move on to the next. Before you know it, as Bregman writes, "you'll find that your life moves in a purposeful direction".
Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today