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What is one habit every worker should aim to pick up in 2021?
Focus on the principles of self-awareness. These include keeping an open mind, being mindful of your strengths and weaknesses, staying focused, setting boundaries, knowing your emotional triggers, embracing your intuition and practising self-discipline. This is nothing new nor is it a momentary fad. It is universally accepted as a common quality of the successful contemporary professional and something that employers often look for above and beyond simply technical ability. In an ever increasingly competitive job market, having a high level of self-awareness may potentially set you apart from your competition and help to make you a better professional.
With our always-on society, being more present in the here and now is one habit every worker should aim to pick up in 2021. This means not checking mobile phones constantly or responding to emails every second of the day. To do this, workers might need to set some boundaries or manage internal and external expectations. On the other hand, this also means not expecting an instant response to communications all the time. With more workers building the habits to focus on their current task or be fully present in meetings, businesses might even see an increase in productivity.
Head of Organisational Psychology Consulting,
Stillwell Management Consultants
Redefining and reinforcing work/life boundaries in self and others is critical given that 2020 saw many of these boundaries blur with the move to work from home (WFH), meaning that essential rest for optimal performance was not necessarily occurring. Similarly, regularly reviewing core needs (sleep, exercise, healthy diet) and developing some microhabits or incremental changes (for example, going to bed even 10 minutes earlier than you have been) will be helpful toward achieving bigger goals.
One good habit is to set weekly goals for yourself. In 2020, many people put their plans on hold. Whether those plans involved career advancement, a career change, starting a side hustle or improving work/life balance, to name a few, they were forced to press pause as priorities shifted. As we start 2021, I’ve heard a lot of grand New Year’s resolutions. But as we all know, these can be difficult to achieve. That’s why my advice is to get into the habit of breaking any large goal down into smaller, achievable weekly tasks. For example, every Monday morning think of one task you can accomplish that week. Make sure it will help you work towards your ultimate goal. Then time-block enough minutes or hours in your calendar that week to realistically achieve it. Having said this, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t complete a particular task one week. Luckily, every Monday provides a clean slate to start working towards your goal again.
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