Thoughtscape: Thoughts and Tips from Mike Clayton

  Conquer Procrastination
    News and views


  Dear %1
Welcome to my first Thoughtscape newsletter.  I've kicked-off with six ways to get over putting things off, so you can start the new year with a burst of productivity.

Some of us lose most of our time, because we fritter it away, doing nothing very much. This is easier than doing something important, which takes concentration and involves the possibility of failure.

So, rather like a hedgehog, it is, perhaps, easier to curl up into a little ball of inaction: it feels safe. Of course, most of us feel uncomfortable with total inaction, so we replace meaningful activity with meaningless “displacement” activities. This is procrastination; putting off what we know we need to do.

Here is a sample of six ways to beat procrastination and get things done.

Procrastination is comfortable
So remove the cosy feeling by focusing on what will go wrong if you continue to do nothing.

Start small
Start with a small part of the task or project. This is easy, so it won’t disrupt the cosiness. Once you get started, momentum will kick in.

Work in small chunks
Don’t try and do the whole job at once. Divide it up and give yourself a break between each chunk.

Celebrate success
Each time you complete a chunk, make a point of congratulating and rewarding yourself. Nothing motivates us like success.

Create pressure
It’s easy to procrastinate when there are no consequences. Make a promise to someone, which you know you have to keep.

Choose your moment
Some of you work best with a coffee, others first thing in the morning, some at the end of the day, some in a café. Know your preference and use it.

For more information
There are twelve ways to conquer procrastination in Brilliant Time Management - each described in more detail.


Hi, I'm Mike Clayton, thank you for reading my newsletter.

2010 was a great year for me, professionally, with three new books published: Handling Resistance, Brilliant Influence, and Brilliant Time Management.  I am especially pleased with Handling Resistance as I am unaware of any other book that competes with it, although, in the change management area, Rick Maurer's fabulous "Beyond the Wall of Resistance" is into its second edition.

You can buy all of my books - and Rick's, from Amazon.

... and three more coming!

My next book will be called Shift Happens! Managing Risk and Avoiding Failure in Business Projects.  It is very nearly finished and goes off to my publisher at the end of the month.

I have already started working on Brilliant Stress Control and have set myself the challenge of acting on what I write!  As Richard Bach said:

"You teach best what
you most need to learn"

And, breaking news, just before Christmas, I got the green light for my fourth book in Pearson's Brilliant series, Brilliant Project Leadership.  This is a book I am especially looking forward to writing.

My focus this year ...

This year, I will be focusing on my writing, responding to press enquiries, and building up my speaking career.  Last year, I gave 16 keynote talks and conference seminars.  I am hoping to double that to 30+ this year. 

If you know a conference organiser who is looking for an engaging speaker with great testimonials, please do send them to my website at  And if you need a speaker now, just contact me using the special form on my website.

All that remains is to wish you a very happy New Year, and to hope that you will enjoy reading my regular newsletters.

Best regards


This is my first newsletter, and you have received it because you have either: done business with me at some time, or worked with me in the past.  I recognise you get an awful lot of email and I don't want to add unwanted inbox clutter.  I do intend to give useful tips and thoughts, but if you don't wish to get any more, I will understand, so just click the unsubscribe link and send me a message.

Many thanks

    Please contact me ...
... Tel: 08456 441349
... on Twitter @mikeclayton01
© Mike Clayton 2011