The OATS Principle

by Mike Clayton  - January 31, 2013

At the heart of my original book on personal time management, “Brilliant Time Management” was a simple principle: The OATS Principle.

I originally planned to place it at the start of the book, but as the book took shape, I decided to make it the summary of much of what came before, rather than introduce it early.  But it remains the key to the whole book.

So much so, in fact, that when I came to write what I view as the sequel, “The Yes/No Book”, I made sure that I also placed the OATS Principle in the context of saying YES and saying NO effectively.

And whilst I have alluded to the OATS Principle elsewhere on this website, I realise I have never explained it except in these books or at my seminars. Here is a video (of 5 minutes) of me speaking on this subject to an audience in London.  This was at one of my standard three-hour seminars, which I delivered here to an open audience, for Bite Size Seminars.

This extract from my popular Practical Project Management seminar shows me talking about my OATS principle for personal time management. The OATS principle is fully described in my book, Brilliant Time Management and is also featured in The Yes/No Book.

More about Brilliant Time Management and other personal effectiveness seminars at


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