Thoughtscape: Thoughts and Tips from Mike Clayton


Issue 3

  Special Time
    News and views


  Dear %1
Too many time management tips focus on time saving and getting things done.  So, in this Thoughtscape newsletter, we'll look at the joy of doing things at the "right time".

For all of us, there are special times of the day when we can be especially productive, innovative or enjoy our work best.  Here are five.

1. Prime Time
Schedule your weeks and your days to suit the work and recreation patterns that suit you and the things you need to achieve.  Ensure that the most demanding and important things are scheduled into your "Prime Time" - those times of the day and week when you are at your best and really able to concentrate on delivering true value.  Leave the little tasks to the times of day when your energy dips.

2. Golden Hour
For many of us, there is a particular time of the day - maybe not every day - when we are at absolute best.  Your mind is sharp and you have a lot of energy.  Just as photographers will get up early for that special dawn light to get the perfect shot, or wait for the magical light of dusk, so you will create, achieve, enjoy more in your "Golden Hour".

3. Creative Time
Set aside a time in your week when you can go somewhere special to really stimulate your creativity and foster your most innovative thinking.  Make sure you are equipped with a notepad and pen to capture your ideas, and arrange some time shortly after so you can harness your ideas and create some action.

4. Next Bend
Take time out regularly to sit and think.  Use your "Thinking Time" to review what is happening and what is new, so you can start to anticipate what is coming around the next bend.  For some people, a quiet half hour on your own is not work.  But really, it is the most valuable work you can do.  "Important but not Urgent" in its purest form.

5. Focus Time
Fifteen minutes to kill before your meeting?  Go into a cafe and clear some paperwork.  A half hour train journey?  Think through a structure and key points for your forthcoming presentation.  Fill the gaps when you have nothing to do with truly valuable work or creative thinking, and you will be amazed what you can achieve in these "Magic Minutes".

For more information
Brilliant Time Management published by Prentice Hall, and the Brilliant Time Management blog.


Tour Dates
I have just agreed 24 tour dates for 2011, for four different seminars:

  • Practical Project Management

  • Control Risk and Avoid Failure in Organisational Projects

  • Brilliant Time Management

  • The Three-hour MBA

You can see all of the dates on my blog and book by calling 01234 481148.

Risk Happens!
My forthcoming book on managing project risk will no longer be titled "Shift Happens!"  Instead, we are going to call it "Risk Happens!"  Take a look at my Shift Happens! blog to get the whole story behind the name change.

Amazon sold a lot of copies of Brilliant Influence when it was Brilliant Book of the Month, so they have kept the price remarkably low: 5.07.  Buy your copy.

... and more Brilliant!
With Risk Happens! in editorial, my next book,  Brilliant Stress Control went off to my publisher this week and I am now ready for a well-earned holiday at the end of March.  When I get home, I'll be building Brilliant Stress Control its own website in anticipation of the launch in September.

Also when I get back from holiday, I will start work on Brilliant Project Leadership.  This is a book I am especially looking forward to writing.

So much to do, so little time
Ross Dean has booked me to do Photo Night Live - the UK's first weekly web TV show focused on professional photographers.  The topic - how to make time to start a business while working hard at your current job - may well appeal to a wider audience.  Find out more, on my blog.

Handling Resistance
As I reported last month, I will be presenting at the CIPD conference and Exhibition.  This session is called "How to Understand Resistance and Handle It Effectively".  It is at 10am on 6 April at Olympia and admission to the Exhibition (and my talk) is free.

I have made a short trailer video and you can get a copy of the Handling Resistance Pocketbook from Amazon.

My focus this year ...
... is on writing, responding to press enquiries, and new speaking engagements.  If you know a conference organiser who is looking for an engaging speaker with great testimonials, please do send them to my website:  If you need a speaker now, just contact me using the links below, or the contact form on my website.  You can download my speaker pack here.

Best regards


I recognise you get a lot of email and I don't want to add unwanted inbox clutter.  I intend to give useful tips and thoughts, but if you don't wish to get any more, I will understand, so just click the "no more emails" link and send me a message.

Many thanks

    Please contact me ...
... Tel: 08456 441349
... on Twitter @mikeclayton01
no more emails 
Mike Clayton 2011