Did 2020 really rewire my brain?
2021 will be a test to see whether I really did manage a mental transformation
It would have been so easy to imbibe the doom-laden news feeds, curl up in a ball and refuse to tackle the challenges. From very early on, having been in a state of shock by March, I made the decision to adopt a positive approach. Yes, I know it’s easy to say this and sometimes people just don’t want to hear how well someone else has done. But I think, that with a brand-new year in waiting it really is an opportunity to reappraise just how we are all going to tackle the next phase of these ‘unprecedented times’ and emerge positively.
Communication has been pivotal
Photo: Quino Al
I suppose the main learning I will carry with me is how important communication and business relationships have been over the past nine months or so. It’s one thing trying to remain buoyant when you work in solitude but it’s a whole lot better when there are others with whom you can share the ups and downs. I kept in touch with everyone. I didn’t want to be forgotten and I knew that once things began to improve, I had a shot at being considered for a project if I’d maintained communication channels.
Never be afraid to make a phone call and say, ’I was just calling to see how you are doing.
Quite often you can discover all kinds of interesting facts, ideas, pain points and needs that can be extraordinarily useful alongside sharing thoughts and generally being personable. Email is never the same, therefore in 2021 schedule in time to make social business calls but be real, thoughtful and compassionate.
Proactivity makes a difference
Photo: Brett Jordan
Having watched how the pandemic has been handled during 2020 I know one of the key things I have learned is the importance of not always being reactive. When there’s a panic or crisis we all have the tendency to fire fight. We stop looking at the bigger picture and also learn lessons from what has happened. I had a colleague that used to work on a building site in the office. She said it was frustrating to listen to people stand and moan in the office about the same mistakes. Every week electricians had messed up the plumbing, or plasterers had covered over key cabling etc. It seemed clear that actually writing down the moans and complaints and using them to a) keep a journal and b) develop strategies to stop unhelpful behaviours would transform working practices. It would also save time and money while also improving productivity and even job satisfaction. Keeping a journal is something that makes a huge difference to how we all manage our businesses. Why don't you try it in 2021?
Some time back I made the decision to visualise
Photo: Austin Chan
In addition, I also journal write as part of my working day. In fact, I don’t start a day without spending time doing both of these things. Keeping a journal allows me to get the negativity out of my system. I write with no audience in mind. I don’t correct my work I just let my pen empty itself of ink and see where it takes me. This morning journaling has allowed me to explore ideas, overcome difficulties and find solutions. It has eradicated my tendency to be negative and every day I really feel like I have a tangible plan and am ready to start my day. Before I began, I thought it might well be yet another task that I wouldn’t find time to do. However, I find it actually saves me time as I have a clear plan and I am not bogged down by the minutiae as I’ve left my gripes and moans on the page.
If we survived 2020 then surely we’ll be prepared for whatever 2021 might throw our way!
Yes, it’s been a really trying year, trying to home school, cope with being locked down and also fears of economic meltdown. It has not been easy but by developing strategies to cope then things have been better than they might have been. During this down time between Christmas and New Year it’s worth considering what tactics you might employ to improve performance in the coming year.
Have a happy and healthy 2021 and do join me for a chat; by collaborating we can be stronger and more effective than ever before. Cheers!