Four Simple Ways to Effective Work

A couple weeks ago, I posted a on my personal Facebook Page. I meant to ask which of the topics below you’d like to hear from me:

1- Effective work, 2- Business Startups, 3- Leadership by example, 4- Social Activities, 5- Others

My Introductory Video about “Effective Work” Series of Clips

It turns out that some friends answered me in private that they prefer Topic number 1: Effective Work! If you need a shorter version of my elaboration, check out this series of clips on my Page! If you prefer a more insightful version, read this post on!

1- Set Your Goals to Achieve Your Work

I do mean “goals” to be plural because one goal per day might make us feel under-productive by the end of the day! This article on RescueTime advises we set 4 important tasks to complete every day. The rest should be considered “trivial” or less important. I personally suggest you set these daily goals the night before you sleep. Then, once awake, you already know what to hustle about!

2- Manage Your Time based on Priorities

Despite an overload of daily tasks, prioritize those in order of importance. Of course, you may adjust them to its urgency by its time slots. For better time management, I suggest you read my previous blog post here. As I keep believing, if you manage your time right, you can also manage your life wisely.

3- Take Some Breaks in Between

This is probably the latest “treat” I’ve just adopted, since I practice guided meditation. Some gurus may advise you to take a five-minute break between half-hour slots. In my case, my break routines are scheduled at 10:30 am for 10 minutes, 03:30 pm for 10 minutes, 05:30 pm for 2 hours. Of course, these days, I tend to go to sleep as early as 10:30 pm 🙂 As the old saying goes, early to bed, early to rise, for a wiser mind!

4- Review Your Work and Adjust

Hang on! Don’t go to sleep yet without checking on the tasks you’ve set to achieve throughout your day. If you miss one or two, ask yourself if you should or must complete it before you hit the sack. After all, you’ll never know what you miss might cause any regret later. Hint: review what matters to you most, in terms of your personal values. These could be your beloved family or a dear mission!

In conclusion, as work makes up the major part of our lives, we should not take its sub-tasks lightly. In fact, working with a goal in mind is more effective than spending your day aimlessly or upon others’ instructions!

5 Reasons Why Short Films Matter

Those of you who have known me personally, may be familiar with how “much” I have promoted short films so far. Some of you may be then wondering why. Below are my reasons, although I believe other filmmakers or producers may find more!

  1. Short Films Serve As Your Career Spring Boards

Believe it or not, before I got involved in the film industry, I thought I’d simply work on a 9-to-5 job. Thus, I can save up and use those savings to found my feature film production. As fate has it, only in 2009 did I meet Davy CHOU. Then, I realized all it took for me now was to make a short film with a passionate team. Two memorable results sprang from that venture: Twin Diamonds and the Golden Re-Awakening of Cambodian Cinema in the 1960s-70s Exhibition. Needless to say, the same year saw the foundation of film collective, Kon Khmer Koun Khmer. Ever since, I was elected to lead the team for several years.

 Front Poster
Twin Diamonds – short film series – poster
  1. Short Films Test Your Commitment and Passion

Over years of my film experience, I have seen and worked with many varied filmmakers. Of those wannabes, a few quit half-way, not because I stop seeing them. But no new work has ever been created or even publicized. As such, I’d say some would make short films only for instantaneous cash prizes. When they can’t win any (more), they switch to another job or hobby. Is it their fault? No, it’s just that time tries their commitment and passion through film-related “challenges”!

Are You Lost or Found?!
  1. Short Films Prepare You for Bigger Games

Have you watched this world’s acclaimed “Whiplash“? This is just one of the many valid examples of how a short filmmaker turns into a feature filmmaker over time. Some Hollywood cast also rise from their small roles in short films or TV series. After winning twice from Chaktomuk Short Film Festival, NETH Inrasothythep is now co-directing a feature horror movie for a leading local production. And some of our winners like LY POlen has built his momentum from his festival accolades to even bigger projects on the international stage!

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Thep, interviewed on set of the Tenant.
Image Source: WML+ Facebook Page
  1. Short Films Connects You with Like Minds

Outside of our festival, I managed to work with a few promising filmmakers like OUCH Makara. He showcased his debuts in our first two editions of our festival. Later, I (co-)produced with him, Koh Ker the Lost Wonder, The Lock, and currently, a series of documentaries for a Siem Reap-based organization. From my years with Kon Khmer Koun Khmer, KEO Kounila has been working with us on a couple of communication campaigns. The latest of which featured short film production and training, conducted near Prey Lang.

Polen probing his students near Preay Lang, about childhood stories
  1. Short Films Feed You!

Here comes the most practical part, you bet! I’m not saying you only make short films just for your craving. But you can always turn them into services, if not business. Let’s take two examples of our 2019 CSFF Finalists, CHAN Sinet and SENG Thy. They have respectively turned to short documentaries and educational videos, just through this uncertain time. Also, let’s say real estate remains the most profitable. So why not make short videos for property business? This way, you could both maintain your passion while earning income from another business. Truth is, I’m now incubating this kind of services with a few real estate experts!

A scence of a commercial short film I produced last year at DancingRains

Simply put, short films should NOT make you short-sighted! In contrast, these level you up, test your guts, profile you up, links you up, and, of course, finance your living. This latter can happen, only if you keep your personal agenda aside! So if you’re already making a new short film and reading this post, consider submitting it to CSFF this year. As you can see, your work can go beyond our own platform(s). And your career expectations may be met, if you have the courage to do it now!

PS: Do check out our submission trailer below, made by our Production Head, SAN Lynareach!

Three Major Mental Effects of this Pandemic and How to Counter Them!

By now, it should be a solid year Cambodia has declared the attack by the current pandemic. The first outbreak was detected in Siem Reap last year. For some reason, we survived a few outbreaks. Still, the new wave, dating February 20th, proves stronger than ever, taking a few Cambodian lives already. As a result, I had the time to reflect on the mental effects COVID-19 might have caused us, even non-patients. Brace yourself as the next paragraphs may transcend your realities!

1- Procrastination is Real

We have come to tolerate the tardiness of our work. When we reached a stable phase and looked back, we go, “Why shouldn’t this have been done earlier?” Oddly enough, we forgot we were the one to allow it to happen that late! Despite this unwanted procrastination, I’d say we need to update each other of our commitments, no matter how late they may be. Better still is to keep ourselves busy with online education, as mentioned in this previous post!

2- Moral Injury Affects us all

As elaborated in this article, moral jury would have rather affected war veterans, who could have other saved their fellows. In this modern time, due to fast infection, we couldn’t even stay by our loved ones in the last minute. Worse is our inability to bury the deceased, discomforting some religions. I believe if any measure is taken by our medical authorities, this rather means well to us, the living. This compliance will not only keep us alive, but also other lives safe – physically and morally.

3- The New Normal is More Virtual than Physical

This part feels unfamiliar to some, when one has been so used to face-to-face interactions. Although a previous post of mine addressed online interactions, until now, I realize these have not benefited my works that much. How many of you have gone on Zoom, disabling your video feature and acting as if you care about your colleague(s)?! I understand that muting yourself in such conversations may keep them from hearing unnecessary noise. Still, for an “empathic” compromise, I’d suggest the callers show their faces – if not videos – in the beginning and end of such e-meetings.

To sum up, we are still facing some uncertainty of this pandemic and its long-lasting trauma. As we are spiritual beings, virtuality does not seem that bad, especially when we still care about our causes: family and work 🙂 After all, let us bear in mind to not use COVID-19 as an excuse to stop moving forward in life.

PS: Sorry I have no bonus video for this post. But you may feel energized again after reading this article. It covers mindfulness at workplace shared with me by Narin from MastermindClub 🙂