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Getting to know...Graham Allcott

Armed with a mission to transform stuffy time management training courses into something more practical, human and fun, Graham founded Think Productive in April 2009. The company has since grown to spread my message of playful productivity across the UK and increasingly worldwide. He is the best-selling author of “How to be a Productivity Ninja”, his second book, “Introducing Productivity” was released in August 2014 and was followed by his third book, How to be a Knowledge Ninja in March 2015.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE AS A CHILD?
I wanted to be a footballer but I was always close to last to be picked!

ADVICE TO YOUR TEENAGE SELF?
I still am my teenage self in many ways..! I guess it would have been to figure out how to be organised, which I was rubbish at during my schools years. It would have saved a lot of stress. But other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.

KARAOKE TUNE OF CHOICE?
Spandau Ballet - Gold

CAREER PLAN B?
Charity CEO. That was plan A, actually, until I fell into this productivity stuff and fell in love with it

WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE OF YOUR LIFE?
Michael Sheen - that guy played Brian Clough and Tony Blair, so he'd handle playing me pretty easily I think.

SECRET TO A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP?
1. Don't take yourself too seriously.
2. Give each other the space to still be yourselves, not just somebody else's partner,
3. Never finish the good wine on your own.

CAT OR DOG?
Cat - much lower maintenance

STYLE ICON?
Paul Weller. I'm a mod at heart.

YOUR COFFEE ORDER?
A normal tea. I don't drink coffee anymore - it makes me hyper and irrational

NUMBER ONE ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Probably to watch a World Cup Final live

SECRET SKILL?
I can juggle. Except last time I went to demonstrate this, it was with my friends' apples after too much wine. It didn't end well.

DREAM DINNER DATE?
Probably Bjork. I had a crush on her for years but more importantly she's got a fascinating creative mind.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIG BREAK?
It was running a couple of workshops for a charity I was working with. After the workshops, I went back and helped people with their productivity and organisational stuff at their desks. That at-desk coaching became a core part of my company's offering, but it came about really by accident. But more importantly, watching the lightbulb moments happening for people was what have me the drive to turn it into a business.

WHERE IS HOME?
Brighton, where I live now. I grew up in a small town in the midlands and spent many years in East London, but Brighton's the first place that's truly felt like somewhere I belong

FAVOURITE VILLAIN?
Paul McGrath. That's a football reference - I'm a huge Aston Villa fan!

BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Two spring to mind: Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom". Truly the most humbling and inspiring thing I've ever read, and I've tried to live my life as ethically and consciously as possible since reading that. And "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. It was that book that really turned me on to productivity and helped me sort out my own lack of organisation

FIRST EVER RECORD?
Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants. Still a good tune.

WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR YOU SEE....?
Usually me

ON A NIGHT OFF WE WOULD FIND YOU...?
Pottering around in the garden, tending to the veg patch, then listening to some music with a glass of wine or a beer.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
Veggie Curry. I spend a lot of time in India, so this is quite lucky!

SIGNATURE DANCE MOVE?
Propping up the bar and avoiding dancing...!

WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY?
I don't really believe in the whole superhero/guru thing. My heroes are anyone who acts with integrity and who listens and connects in the present moment

MOTTO YOU LIVE BY?
Treat people as you want to be treated. Never be afraid or embarrassed to create a positive reality. And of course, never read the comments.