by Guest Blogger – Michelle Tran

1. Start with your target

Before taking any action, it is critical to identify your target – what you want to achieve. If you don’t know the destination, how can you align the right direction? With well-identified goals in mind, you can reduce distractions and focus on the most important things that contribute to achieving your targets.

2. Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise

This word is repeated over and over again when it comes to Time Management. There’s no point in having a task list without priorities. Once you know what you should do first, you just need to devote your current time on it and leave the less urgent tasks for later.

3. Restrain from checking your email/social media

With the advent of smartphones, social media and emails follow us everywhere we go. However, constantly checking on your emails, Facebook or Twitter causes great harm to your productivity. Set specific times during the day to check your emails and social media, after these times, turn off notifications and focus on your work.

4. Take regular breaks

You may have heard about the death of a banking intern in London who died this year after working for 3 nights in a row without sleeping. This is an extreme case of working too hard without breaks. We may never find ourselves in such a situation; however, it should be stressed that breaks are indispensable from your daily routine. Make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day to refresh and re-energize yourself so that you can work more productively.

5. Learn to say “no” 

It is impossible to please everyone. By saying “Yes” to everything others ask you to do, you will lose focus on your priorities, your own life and end up being unhappy. It’s totally fine to say “No” appropriately so that you won’t waste your time at the expense of your work.

6. Get an accountability buddy

Having someone to check on your tasks is a great way to remind you and keep you accountable for achieving your goals. You will become more responsible for what you have planned, at least not to look unorganized in your buddy’s eyes. Try and see how fantastic this works!

7. Slice tasks into smaller bits

The first thing to do when face with a task is not to start doing it immediately, but to break it down into pieces. It is just similar to when you eat salami, it is so much easier to cut it into thin slices. Without breaking down the tasks, you may feel overwhelmed and procrastinate doing things.