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5 Steps for A Better 2021

  1. Focus on My Environment
  2. Stengthen My Daily Planning
  3. Balance Focused Work with Recovery
  4. Purposefully Delegate
  5. Hold Myself Accountable

Happy New Year!

Yes! 2020 is in the rear-view mirror, and 2021 is a wide-open express lane to achieving our personal and professional goals.

When Christmas Eve arrived, I recognized how mentally and emotionally drained I was from the ZOOM-filled and the “accelerator to the floor-board” pace that so many of us kept up for nine months.

During the holidays, I read daily and journaled to shake off the intensity and unpredictability of 2020. The outcome was five steps (not resolutions) I’ll be taking for a more fulfilling and prosperous 2021 that I think will help every sales and marketing leader. 

My five steps for a more fulfilling and prosperous 2021:

 

5 Steps for a Better 2021

1. Focus on My Environment

Spending most of my working day sitting on video meetings is not conducive to productivity, keeping my energy high, and being at my best when engaged with my clients and team.

I rearranged my office space, decluttered my surroundings, improved lighting, bought two plants, and added a standing desk attachment. I’ll also move around to different areas (sofa instead of a desk chair) to change my posture throughout the day.

Not everyone has flexibility for material changes to the home office environment, but even small changes can improve productivity and maintain energy.

2. Strengthen My Daily Planning

I’m relatively consistent at daily planning. However, as the year progressed, my daily planning suffered as I found myself working till the last minute, and by then, I was too tired to plan for the next day. 

I’ve recommitted to blocking the last 30 minutes of the workday for planning and prioritizing the next day. 

My weekly planning also suffered in 2021. When I plan my week (Friday is best, but sometimes it’s Sunday), I better prioritize and focus my time and energy by a factor of 2X.

3. Balance Focused Work with Recovery

Science shows that mental fatigue can make brain-based activities more difficult and also complicate physical activity. 

It turns out that mental fatigue can negatively impact endurance due to a shift in our perception of exertion; because if we’re mentally exhausted, the physical task at hand appears more difficult, which reduces our ability to perform it. 

Well, that explains why exercising at the end of the day is tough when you’ve not had any breaks.

This one is tough for me. Who has time for a 15-30 minute break that has nothing to do with work in the middle of the day? And I can’t remember the last time I went out to lunch without catching up on email between bites.

I’m not going to fight science. I’m going to plan lunches without email or work and force myself to take two additional breaks during the day.

4. Purposefully Delegate

Guilty – I’m a perfectionist, and I struggle to delegate.

Delegation is problematic because it requires trusting others, and it’s hard to build trust when I’m overloaded. It’s not just trust—delegation requires practice! To that end, I’m challenging myself to delegate at least one activity/task daily and track my delegation progress.

I clearly can’t delegate everything, but there is more than enough activity on my plate that I can ask my team for help. Tracking is going to be the key for me. If I don’t measure, I can’t improve.

5. Hold Myself Accountable

The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95 percent when they schedule ongoing meetings with their partners to check in on their progress.

There are two options I’ve deployed in the past to successfully hold myself accountable to goals, a coach, or an accountability partner. In my experience, a weekly check-in for a month or so gets things off to a good start, and then you can shift to-bi-weekly check-in.

I’m going the coaching route this year, but an accountability partner is an ideal approach too. The key is to identify a trusted peer that needs accountability support as much as you.

You may have your steps for a more rewarding and prosperous 2021. I hope that sharing mine helps get you started.   

I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy 2021!   

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