Have you ever got to the end of a long, busy day at work, and felt like you haven't actually achieved anything you hoped to? It's a frustrating feeling. Maintaining focus in today's workplace is hard. Not only do you have more information and distractions coming at you than ever before, but you are probably working in an open-plan workspace and have lost the protection of four walls and a door.

But if you do not work out a way to stay focused on your commitments and priorities, the precious time you do have will quickly evaporate, leaving you wondering where the day went. Sound familiar?

Hopefully the previous two chapters have helped you get all of your actions scheduled in one place. Now we will look at some strategies that will keep you and your schedule organised and focused.

By planning your day, or your week, you are attempting to shape the future. You are trying to control as best you can what will happen, knowing of course that it will probably not work out quite as you would like it to.

To shape the day that lies ahead, you need to assess all the data currently available. What meetings do you have currently booked in? What are the existing priorities you know you need to tackle? What tasks are unfinished from yesterday or last week? What time do you need to finish your work day because of personal commitments? All this data gets fed into your daily plan, with the probable result that you have way too much to do in too little time. So, decisions need ...

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