If you follow this blog, you know I have spent some time thinking about how to minimize external distractions (e.g. the e-mail inbox) while working. But what about the distractions that come from inside your own head? These may be even more detrimental to a focused work day than any e-mail. In Your Brain At Work, David Rock provides some techniques for improving internal focus.
Each chapter of the book deals with a specific aspect of the brain, and suggests ways of mitigating the downsides of each aspect. You may have intuitively picked up on some of the brain's behaviours, you may have read about others, and some may be totally new to you - at least, that was my experience. At the conclusion of the book, you end up with a pretty good model of how your brain behaves, and therefore what you need to do to keep it focused when you want it to be.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who deals with a lot of mental distraction in their day to day (i.e. you!). Though I read the book last week, I still practice some of the techniques provided to help strengthen my "director" (you'll know what this means when you've read the book), which I consider to be pretty weak.