1. What are my goals? Every Monday morning, decide on your weekly goals and actions. Do this religiously. Once you’ve decided, write a “to do” list for the week.
2. Prioritization. Prioritise actions on your to do list and draw a line across the middle of your list so you concentrate on the top half first. Actively seek out absolute deadlines on actions to help you decide what’s more important. If many actions have the same deadline, place your favourite or more inspiring task first to get you motivated.
3. Deadlines. Once the actions have been prioritized, start assigning days and times by which to complete these.
4. Optimise your time. At the start of each day look at what actions you have assigned yourself and those which need input from someone else to complete, i.e. do you need a particular person to approve that budget or edit a piece of work? By doing this you decrease waiting time and as a result optimise your time.
5. Ask for help. Sometimes certain tasks can be held back or go uncompleted because you don’t want to ask someone for help. Don’t see this as a weakness in yourself, in fact it’s a strength. The more you learn from others, the more skills and knowledge you add to your own repertoire making your life run more smoothly in the future.
6. Know yourself. Be clever about when you work best. If you’re a morning person for example tackle a harder task then rather than when you’re normally feeling sleepy or lacking in motivation.
7. Delegate. Ask yourself – “do I really need to be doing this myself? “Why shouldn’t I trust someone else with this task?” Knowing how to let go of control is important for you to get back control. Knowing how to delegate well is great for your career development as it frees you up to think about what you need to learn next. Think delegation is career development.
8. Just say no. Learn how to say “no” to things. People will appreciate your honesty and admire your maturity at knowing your limits rather than saying yes and then missing the deadline. It also shows that you have respect for yourself in that you won’t overload your working time.
9. Think ahead. As well as getting on top of your daily actions make sure you start adding goals and actions beneath these that are going to help you move up to the next level in your career. Sometimes we can get so bogged down on the everyday tasks that we forget about what comes next for us.
10. Relax. Take regular breaks. Appreciate your time and work out strategies that help you keep going through the day. For example, would it be more productive to go to the gym at lunchtime rather than sit at your desk with a sandwich?
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