Everyday interruptions can leave your daily list of priorities in tatters, but Winston Fletcher has a few tips on how to deflect the time bandits.
Some years ago Ivy Lee, often called the father of management consultancy, gave this advice to Charles Schwab, then president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation in America: 'Number the items you have to do tomorrow in the order of their real importance. First thing tomorrow morning, start working on number one and stay with it until it is completed. Next take number two and don't go any further until it too is completed. Then proceed to number three and so on. If you can't complete everything on the day's schedule, don't worry. At least you will have taken care of the most important things without getting distracted by items of lesser importance.'