Do you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to finish? Is balancing work or school (or both) with home and family stressing you out? Do you feel like you never get anywhere on your to-do list? Would you be more successful if you managed your time more effectively? Montgomery pulls no punches with the urgency of the problem of poorly managed time: stress can actually kill us. But stress is really an issue of our thought life, rather than a physical condition or illness. Focus gets us into the action steps immediately by having us first identify our priorities.
We can't do everything we're asked to do - we have to say "no" to some things. We need to determine ahead of time what the most important matters are, and what is not important to us personally. Montgomery recommends meditation as a method of training our minds to stay in the present time and place. This helps us focus on the tasks at hand and not get distracted by interruptions. Once we know what our priorities are, we can set some goals. Montgomery carefully outlines how to set goals that we can really work with. Montgomery introduces us to the idea of keeping a time log for a few days, a journal to record how we are currently spending our time in a typical day. By studying our log, we can see where we could work more efficiently. For example, if I see that I'm spending two hours per day in my car, I can make a point to get some phone calls made while I drive. Maybe we need to see in black-and-white how much time we're spending playing video games or watching TV. A time log will reveal that to us as well. We can also examine our workspace for unnecessary clutter and clear it out. We can work more efficiently in an uncluttered space, where we can find everything we need immediately.