The Brilliant Time Management Blog is Moving

When I started writing my second book, I thought how great it would be to do a blog associated with each one.  Since then, I have been maintaining blogs, linked to:

  • The Management Models Pocketbook
  • The Handling Resistance Pocketbook
  • Brilliant Influence
  • Brilliant Time Management
  • Brilliant Stress Management

This is proving too complex, so I have decided to consolidate these into one blog, on my principal website at

To read blogs linked to the Brilliant Time Management, please go here.

Action, please

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How to conquer procrastination

Dilly-dallying. Frittering time away. Idling. Loafing. Loitering.
Procrastination takes many forms, each eating away at your time and dulling your edge. Battle procrastination and take action with Dr Mike Clayton’s seven ways to get started when you’d rather stay still.

Here’s an article I posted on

We have all had one of those days. Sometimes a little too often. We have plenty of time, but nothing gets done. Yes, we find plenty to do, but it seems to be anything but the things we were supposed to be doing.

Some of us even 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, significantly, involves the possibility of failure.

Hedgehog by Daniel WehnerSo, rather like a hedgehog, it is 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.

The first step to conquering procrastination is to own up to it. Once you do that, you may find you can get on with the job at hand. If not, here is a sample of seven ways to conquer procrastination and get things done.

… read the rest here.

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Special Time

Too many time management tips focus on time saving and getting things done.  So, in this blog, 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

Prime TimeSchedule 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

Golden HourFor 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

Creative TimeSet 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

Next BendTake 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

Focus TimeFifteen 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”.

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Get Your OATS

The Brilliant method for Managing your Time is a website full of resources for anyone who wants to start up a small business.

I was asked to write them a short article on practical time management and decided to go to the heart of the issue: the OATS method.  The short article I wrote summarises a very important process, at the core of Brilliant Time Management.  You can read the article by clicking on “How to successfully manage your time via the OATS method”.

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Time Orientation and the Future of Society

I opened Brilliant Time Management, in Chapter 1, with an introduction to Philip Zimbardo’s research into “time orientation”.  In his book, The Time Paradox, he identifies six time perspectives:

  1. Past Negative
  2. Past Positive
  3. Present Hedonistic
  4. Present Fatalistic
  5. Future
  6. Transcendental Future

Philip ZimbardoFor a fabulous introduction to Zimbardo’s thinking, you can do no better than this wonderful ten-minute video made by the RSA.  If you haven’t seen their videos before, beware! You may get hooked and want to bookmark the RSAnimate YouTube Channel.

Here is Zimbardo talking about time orientations, cultural differences, and the future of society.  Enjoy!

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The whole gamut of time management tips

Mike Clayton on Photo Night Live, talking about Time ManagementI thoroughly enjoyed recording my first web TV show, and it went live at 7am UK time yesterday.

You can see it here.

So much to do but so little time

The show was called “So much to do but so little time” and it is on the Photo Night Live website, run by presenter Ross Dean.  Photo Night Live is the UK’s first web TV show about photography, but this edition will certainly appeal to non-photographers.  Ross, and his other guest, Claudia Carter of Carter Imaging, quizzed me on using time effectively – especially for someone who is setting up a new business in their spare time, as Claudia is.

During the show, it felt like we covered the whole gamut of time management tips.  You will hear about:

  • The OATS method for scheduling your day
  • How do deal with To Do lists
  • How to prioritise
  • The impact of hand-held technology
  • Overcoming procrastination
  • And why photographers might like coloured filing systems

Generous with their praise

I was knocked back by how generous Ross and Claudia were with their praise for Brilliant Time Management; it seems it really hit the mark with them both.

Brilliant Time Management - by Claudia Carter I was also tickled by this picture on Claudia’s new website, under the heading “These are a few of my favourite things”.  Click on the thumbnail to see this and all the other pictures on Claudia’s blog.


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You now have less time

According to NASA, the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan on 11 March may have shifted the Earth on its axis and also shortened the length of our days.  As if we weren’t under enough time pressure already!

Don’t worry; you won’t notice the difference.

Richard Gross of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California has calculated that the change in the distribution of the Earth’s mass should have caused Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of our days by about 1.8 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second).  This is a preliminary calculation, so the figure may change as more data becomes available for scientists to analyse.

Yes, tomorrow is 1 April

… but this is not a spoof: it’s a genuine observation with a real message.

If all you are worried about is how to get everything done today, then take a moment to think about other people who have something rally serious to worry about.

Getting your troubles into perspective is also an essential part of time management.


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