Finding your rhythm in 2021 and beyond
Now that most of us are back in the office after the break, it’s a good time to reflect on 2020. Without making a considered effort to change things in 2021, you may find yourself coming up against the same old frustrations and roadblocks as in 2020. We must accept what is out of our control and understand that 2021 will have some similarities to 2020. That said, this year is also sure to be different and contain its fair share of surprises to be as prepared for as possible.
Before you are overwhelmed and drowning in your ‘to do’ list after the break, take the time to answer the following questions:
What worked for you in 2020?
What didn’t work for you?
Speaking of that to do list, people don’t often work on their ‘don’t do anymore’ list. I’ve always wondered why. For me, this list is just as important as my to do list as it’s filled with tasks that I don’t have to be doing. The kind of tasks that may only seem to take 10 or 15 minutes here and there but collectively, eat away at the day. These tasks can be delegated easily but we’re all guilty of thinking, it’s easier if I just do it myself.
When I look back at my own reflections from year-to-year, there is always one constant: learning. Regardless of what position you hold or if you are self-employed or an employee, we all need to continue learning. If you’re a regular reader of these articles, you would have heard me talk about ‘career currency’ often. Career currency refers to all of the skills, both soft and hard skills, that make you a valuable asset in the workplace. Continuing to learn and engage in training as needed, is crucial to your career currency and to future-proofing yourself in the modern workplace.
Here’s another question for you to consider in 2021: what will your rhythm look like? More importantly, what would you like your rhythm to look like?
Prioritise and schedule in the things that will support you in making 2021 a successful year. What does a successful 2021 look like for you? Of course, this will differ from person-to-person but you need to know what you value. Don’t take self-care for granted. If you are looking to exercise more regularly (or begin exercising), learn something new or to strengthen your existing connections with family or friends, prioritise doing things that will turn these things into a reality. Schedule self-care in and treat that time like a meeting. For example, if you want to walk for 30 minutes at the end of each work day, schedule your walk in for 5pm (or whatever time your working day ends) and come that time, leave the office or your desk, regardless of what else is going on around you. Sure, at times, this may not be possible but don’t put these ‘little things’ off regularly… that’s how we reach burnout. Doing small things regularly that keep you grounded and happy each day will make you more resilient and prepare you for whatever 2021 may send your way.
A word about working from home
Many people may continue working from home this year or at the very least, be working more from home because doing so better suits their circumstances. If you’re in this position, set your boundaries and stick to them! Yes, the lines between work and home have blurred and this will mean different things to different people. Set your work hours and outside of these times, don’t look at your emails or check your work phone unless doing so is absolute necessary. Take the time to look within and understand how to best manage your energy. Are you a morning person or more of a night owl? Can you shift your work hours to suit when and how you work best?
If you find yourself out of work
Sadly, many people are starting the year out of a job. If I’m speaking to you, be proactive and set yourself up for success. Understand the key areas you should be focusing on and have a solid understanding of:
- What kind of job you’re looking for. Or maybe this is the perfect time to start a business or study something new.
- Your elevator pitch.
- Your strengths and how to best explain them to people.
- How to network effectively.
- How to apply for jobs.
Putting in the time to do all of the above will mean that you’re ready when that perfect opportunity presents itself. Most importantly, remain positive about your future!
In my experience, successful years ‘don’t just happen.’ They come as a result of preparation and focusing your attention in the right areas for you. And remember, if you’re struggling in a certain area, reach out for help before a minor problem spirals into a bigger issue.
Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader and a Career Strategist. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose.