8 Ways To Make 2018 Your Most Productive Year Yet
The New Year has well and truly kicked off, but are you making the most of it?
It's easy for us to let twelve months slip away to unfulfilled promises and problems for 'future you' to deal with. But what if a few simple tips and tricks could open up the possibilities for your most productive year yet?
With the start of a year comes high expectations and measuring up to them can be overwhelming to say the least. Trust us, we feel you.
But instead of letting our 'To Do' lists get the better of us, MTV Jobs teamed up with REST Industry Super to prove if you clear your mind, set attainable goals and stick with it, you can make the most of 2018 and be productive in your chosen field...
1. make a budget
Finalising a budget can be the most daunting task to take on - so why not knock it out first on your list. Often people overcomplicate their finances, but to put it simply you are looking at incoming versus outgoing funds.
So list these in two columns side-by-side and see which one is longer. Start with regular costs like rent, household bills (internet, electricity, water), groceries and phone bill. You may also have credit card or car payments, so add them too. Next, depending on the person, look at how much you're spending on public transport (include Ubers...you'll be surprised how much they rack up), the gym and finally, socialising. Needless to say, eating out, wardrobe shopping and alcohol are expensive!
So now your outgoings are sorted, line the total amount up to your equivalent pay period. So if you get paid weekly, look at your weekly expenses (fortnightly, monthly and so on). Most importantly, make sure you're not in the red and overspending above what you earn - in other words, put down the credit card. Next, look at what you can live without or downsize your social budget - this is all very dependent on the individual and their savings goals (see below), but across the board it is important to remain realistic so as not to be too hard on yourself if some months are a bit tighter.
2. create a portfolio
Cracking into the media industry, like any profession, can be hard at entry level. But the trick is gathering all your experience into one cohesive package, and a great way to do that is a portfolio.
Depending on your sector and industry this will include specific examples of your work, contacts, an up-to-date resume and it really depends on your own personal flare how it is presented. This could be in a digital format, video presentation or simply in a folder. Remember to show your personality and for a more detailed guide on how to build your experience, head here.
3. consolidate your super
How long has this been on your 'To Do' list but always lost out to a Netflix marathon? Well now's the time and it's one of the quickest and most simple tasks to tick off.
Get your Tax File Number handy and combine all your accounts into one you plan to stick with - especially if you're planning your long term career. Plus, who wants to pay more fees then you have to? Head here for more info.
4. get organised
Gone are the days of gigantic filing cabinets - everything's online right? Well don't be too quick to assume that, because we're pretty confident you probably have stray bank statements not to mention your original birth certifcate jammed between old birthday cards in a box, underneath another box, covered by clothes - were we close?
Unless you're moving house in the near future those documents aren't going to get sorted any time soon, so put aside an hour, two tops, and dump every piece of stray paper onto your floor and sort them into two piles: 'Scan' or 'Toss'. (Don't worry if you don't have a scanner, there are free camera apps for that!) Then make sure to safely discard (being careful not to give away any secure info) and recycle the 'Toss' pile.
Not only are you going to have more space, but you will immediately feel a physical weight lift from you.
5. start saving
We talked a little bit about this in 'make a budget' but saving does deserve its own point. First you must set up a high interest savings account that will work for you even after you've deposited your earnings. Next, work to putting aside 15% of your wage and then build from there once you get more comfortable with your budget.
There's no point in putting half of your salary into savings only to dip into it the next week - mentally you will think like you're 'failing' at saving, which is not the truth! Start small and work your way up to a manageable savings goal each month and adjust your outgoing expenses as need be to meet that goal.
6. set attainable goals
What are your goals? Write them all down; from career, to personal, to fitness and everything in between. Once you've written them down, decide which goals are actually attainable before December 31, 2018.
Often people put long term goals into too tight a turnaround period and then get disappointed if they aren't reached. The trick is to stay realistic and refine your long term list into a few succinct dot points. For example, instead of saying you will publish a book this year, say you will finish the first draft. Instead of saying you will lose all your excess weight as quick as possible, work month to month readjusting your diet and exercise to lose the kgs slowly and healthily.
You have your whole life ahead of you and those long term goals will be achieved if you start with some smaller steps in the short term. Remember goals can always be reassessed and adjusted as you go so we recommend taking note in a diary planner or tracker to keep yourself accountable.
7. debt be gone
Credit card debt - or any debt of that matter - should be dealt with before it gets out of hand.
There are plenty of solutions including interest-free balance transfers so you don't accrue more costs and can immediately start chipping away at your debt. This is also majorly intertwined with our saving and budget points, so make sure to add an achievable credit card payment to your outgoing expenses and adjust your savings goals accordingly. Saving is so much sweeter when debt isn't in the way.
8. visualise your future
Buzzwords like 'manifestation' have been floating around for a while now. But a visual representation of where you want to be can be a fantatsic motivating force in actually navigating your way there.
Of course this can be done on many scales; if you're creative and hands on, why not build a moodboard or feature in your home? If you're more digital-focused, sites like Pinterest can fulfil the same purpose. Some people are more pragmatic and prefer lists. The trick is to keep positive and visualise the future you want, and then put that inspiration into physical actions that will move you closer and closer to your final goal.
Take these small steps and 2018 won't know what hit it.