SMARTen up. 

I’m pretty sure it was only yesterday that 2015 began. It’s been a good one both personally and in my studies and work… I turned 21, got a new job, worked in 2 different PR agencies, moved in with my boyfriend, started final year of uni, contributed to PR Stack, passed all my assessments… And that’s just to name a few highlights! 

But with the final deadlines of university approaching, I really need to ensure I make the most of what time I have left here in the new year. 

So, rather than simply writing a to-do list, I’ve been making my tasks SMART. Theorists Morris and Goldsworthy created the acronym to ensure that objectives set are the best they can be – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. Doing this for my assignments and other commitments means I know that I will get them done on time. 

To make your task list SMART, firstly think of the task you need to do and then narrow it down to its most basic form. So you might start with ‘complete my university degree‘ and narrow this down to ‘hand in my dissertation by X date‘. Ask yourself, are these realistic?

Then identify how and when you will do this. It’s best to be slightly more generous here and give yourself more time than you really think. If it takes that long then you’ve designated enough time. If you get it done quicker, there’s time left to relax. Always have a final deadline to work to.

You need to also make sure you’ll actually know when you’ve completed your task – Is it measurable? Whether that’s an assignment handed in or a section in your exam revision complete, you need to know when you’ve finished.

Using my tips above, I’ve devised a few objectives for the new year. Starting in January, I will:

  1. Complete my final university PR projects by 25th April 2016, working on them for 12 hours per week, following the ‘POSTAR’ campaign structure.
  2. Continue to post weekly on my blog, writing on a Saturday or Sunday and posting each Monday.
  3. Complete my French learning portfolio by completing set tasks on a Monday afternoon, after the timetabled class.
  4. Search and apply for graduate jobs, aiming to complete 5 applications per week.

What are your objectives for the new year? And have you found my tips useful? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time… 


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