2020 made a lot of us think about our goals and lives in very different ways. You may have found yourself unemployed or working from home. You may have been taking care of loved ones who were either ill or also at home without network support. As December turns into the new year, how can you maintain your professional and personal goals this winter? If you’re looking for a new job, how do you stay motivated? Or how do you plan your career goals at your company with big changes in the way business will be handled moving forward? Here are some tips to get you started.
Manage Your Work and Time
In winter, we often have the opposite problem we have in the summertime. In the summer, we want to skip work and enjoy the warm weather. But in the winter, our instinct is to hibernate. As the days get shorter, we want to be at home wrapped up in a quilt drinking cocoa by a fire. But even though it’s dark when you start work and dark when you finish, it’s imperative to organize your time to ensure that critical work is getting done.
To do that, you need to establish boundaries. It’s okay to reinforce your boundaries during this time. That’s especially true with the stress of the holidays and the added challenges of the pandemic. Let people know that you’ll be available during work hours but will be focusing on personal time once the workday is done. Say no to additional projects that will add stress but no professional benefit for you.
Find Mentors or Accountability Partners
Humans are social by nature. And the pandemic has challenged us all to be much more solitary. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut interaction out altogether. One way to increase your productivity is to find a mentor or an accountability partner in virtual space. A mentor is someone who’d been where you are and can offer career advice and personal stories of their success as a form of encouragement. Accountability partners are peers who are also working toward goals, and you can encourage one another.
Express Don’t Expect
Here’s something difficult for a lot of us. We have certain expectations of things that need to be done at any given time. But we also think that other people should share those expectations and pitch in without being asked. But the problem is, not everyone experiences what you experience. So instead of expecting something, express it. Ask someone else to take on a task, so you don’t resent that the task is not getting done.
Take Time For Yourself
In a world where self-care has become a major buzz word, it’s still important to take that time for yourself. And self-care isn’t just taking a bubble bath or reading your favorite book. It can be anything from small personal gestures to seeking out therapy if you’re feeling stressed and anxious over the state of things. It also means taking vacation time, even if you’re working from home now and don’t feel as though you can. Not only can you, but it’s critical for your success and wellbeing.