My father, changed his career in his thirties, moving from a clerk of the court to train as a lawyer. He had a full working day, four children under seven and a requirement to take seven exams which had to be passed each year.  Failing one exam meant a resit of all seven. As he only had the opportunity to study in the evenings and at weekends, my father had to undergo a rigorous study timetable which he then introduced to me when I began to study

study for my university entrance exams. He took me aside and told me how he managed to study effectively.  He said the sweet spot for being productive was to work in a series of 1.5-hour / 2-hour blocks of time, free of interruption where you can concentrate on a key task, a Stephen Covey ”rock”.  Ensuring that you have a 10 to 20-minute break between.

I have applied this technique during my exams and my working life and have found it to be most beneficial.

Looking at the typical working day it would make sense to start the day off with two of these blocks; hence moving meetings to the afternoon. More of this later.

If you have projects, reports to write and research to read then do not expect any major progress unless you achieve this benchmark every day.



This is an extract from a book called ‘Don’t say I never told you’.

The past has great lessons to offer. Whilst technology and the evolving pace of change may lead millennials to thinking that what is ahead of them is unique. In fact, it has all happened before. I am a father in my 60s who has gathered many lessons from the past, and I set them out here for my daughters in the vain hope that they will be a guiding light long after I am physically gone. Some of the suggestions may seem ridiculous at first, but I ask you to chew the crud and make an informed decision later. For a list of topics covered see here.