Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by your workload? Find it hard to focus on the work at hand? Wish you were more relaxed and could achieve more with less effort? There is no reason to lose hope.

If you want to become more efficient and less frazzled, and achieve a peaceful state of mind more often, then Getting Things Done by David Allen may be what you have been looking for. It is a practical, down-to-earth guide introducing a proven system to refine your time management skills and personal productivity.

The premise of the book is that you cannot achieve efficiency as long as there are open loops that demand your attention. To keep your mind free from distraction the author suggests following a five-stage system of activities and behaviour, which involves collecting all things that demand your attention, processing them and deciding what actions need to be taken, organising it, periodically reviewing your lists, and then doing the work.

While most people intuitively do some of these steps, the key is to apply them in a systematic, disciplined and consistent manner. Getting Things Done offers a treasure chest of information and examples of how to do it.

I have found the most powerful tools to be the two-minute rule, which states that every important task that would take less than two minutes should be done immediately, and the next action decision technique, which states that a defined next action should be in place for every desired outcome. These tools are great at freeing up your mind and can help to propel your productivity to new levels.