The one-sentence summary

You can use the power of targeted thinking to get more done.


  • You can use the power of targeted thinking to get more done
  • Time management techniques and a new breakthrough strategy can help you see obstacles before they happen
  • You can identify common dysfunctional patterns such as serial job dissatisfaction, continuous financial discontent and repetitive toxic relationships. They lead to procrastination, doing the least important work first, fire fighting, and letting the inner critic dominate thoughts
  • This can be combated by generating proper thinking time, chunking down daunting tasks into manageable parts, and harnessing the power of daydreams. The process involves:

1. Analysing the 20% of your time that matters and concentrating only on that

2. Setting your first goal (not goals plural)

3. Changing your time patterns for the better

4. Overcoming the most common obstacles and do fewer, more important things

5. Focusing on what already works

6. Overcoming procrastination – chunk down and get started

7. Training your alter ego – put a different part of your personality in charge

8. Getting others to help you

9. Focus your language (empathise with others) and on your information

10. Mastering paperwork, emails and meetings


  • It’s helpful to identify your type. Are you a puritan (do the hard things first), a hedonist (do the easy stuff first), or a gambler (do it randomly)?
  • Positive people expect to win and negative people expect to be right –which are you?
  • You can cope with deadlines by working backwards. Start with the deadline, and then you’ll know when each part needs to be done.


  • The 80/20 rule and SMART objectives in the first two chapters are not original
  • The book only really works if you have difficulty with focusing or getting things done – if you don’t, it is unlikely to prove that remarkable