Success strategies to make the most of your time

In school, in an organised and structured environment, you can get lots done in a day. What happens when you are on your own? Do you optimise your study time? Do you feel a sense of achievement at the end of your study? If you are a student who is always busy but gets little done, it is worthwhile learning some productivity hacks, that can make a transformational change to your days and your student life.

Samson Leong confesses that he is always busy, studying or completing assignments or projects. In a typical day, he has a long list of things to do. He spends all day “doing” things and suddenly it’s 11 pm and when he looks at his list, he merely completed 2 tasks. This leaves him feeing exasperated. ‘Where did all the time go?’ He had at least 10 different tasks to do and yet none of them got checked.

“Stand out from the rest by applying these success strategies gathered from high performing achievers.”

How did that happen? Was time management simply the matter? Would drawing up a timetable help? Working faster? Spending less time on breaks?

The answer is yes and no. Though the above refers to actions, the underlying determinant is more about the mindset. And quite contrary to common belief, it is  not an attitude issue.

Your mindset is the state of your active mind. Your mind collates all your “things-to-do”s, runs a priority algorithm and makes decisions on what to do by sorting what’s important, urgent and “can-do-later”, and mostly the parameters are based on “deadlines”. After a while, this sub-conscious process becomes a habit.

Your mindset is the game-changer in the success equation. It forms the foundation of all your achievements in your life. And your achievements start with your “Things-to-do” lists.

What you need is to develop the right mindset. And if you want to reach achieve higher goals, you must develop a “getting-things-done” mindset.

Getting things done does not mean a collection of actions which keep you busy. If you develop the right mindset, you must have clear goals and be focused on using all resources – time and energy – in a purposeful way. You must have a plan, which helps you come up with specific tasks (that lead to the goal) and execute them in an organised way.


Come up with a long-term goal and create short term milestones that lead up to the big goal. If you have clear ideas on where you are heading, it would be easier to do a work plan and your daily productivity targets would be based on these priorities rather than timelines. Stay aligned to your long term vision and it would  be easier to sort your daily tasks into urgent and important.


Coming up with goals when you have an inspiration moment is one things and sticking to it is another. Motivation can come in large doses and can dissipate over time. If there is one important correlation to success, it is staying motivated. Much research has been conducted on achievement and motivation and it has enduring effects in your academic journey.

How does one stay motivated? What drives them? Begin by asking yourself why you chose your goals and why it is important for you to achieve them. Are your reasons driven by fleeting moments of inspiration or are you determined to achieve them? If you feel your goals are worthy and paramount to you, staying motivated is easier. Experts suggest re-visiting your goals regularly. It could be a daily practice of reminding yourself of why your productivity lists exist.


Do you give up when the going gets tough or do you soldier on til you reach your destination? This differentiates the victors from the passengers in the long road to the top. Develop the perseverance to weather struggles and plough through when faced with challenges. Not just in academics, this attitude will serve you well in life too.


Do not multi-task. Focus on one thing at a time. Those who hone specialist skills share that it is their razor sharp focus on a single goal, or mission that helped them achieve great things at high standards. It also leads to a positive cycle where single-tasking helps you achieve things faster and better, which leads to a feeling of accomplishment, which makes you feel motivated to go for the next goal.


Great achievers always plan and execute. What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done. Divide your list of tasks into 3 most important things(MITs), Urgent and Important. Make sure these are in line with your goals. These should not include events and errands. Then draw up your schedule and fill in the events and errands first. Pencil in your MITs, urgent and important tasks into the empty time slots. You can schedule breaks to ensure you do not burn out and have adequate rests through the day.