We are now one week into a brand new year. However, it is yet again a very different start to the year – likely one that involves remote working, communicating almost entirely through phone and video chats and balancing home and family life in a way that seemed unfeasible just 12 months ago.
2021, a year that shows the promise of improvement in the summer months, is currently as stressful and challenging as any period in the previous year. However, whilst every working day may feel reminiscent of Groundhog Day, there’s no reason why you can’t start your year with a few key changes.
It’s time to accept that this year is a marathon, not a sprint and that your mental and physical health are more important than any work deadline – so with that in mind, here are five of the most essential mistakes you must avoid if you plan on making it through the year as healthy and happy as possible.
Discounting COVID’s effects
Regardless of your seniority, it’s time to accept that simply powering through and throwing yourself into your work regardless of coronavirus is unsustainable. According to data released by Monster, 69% of employees have experienced some level of burnout whilst working remotely in 2020. Rather than pushing yourself to your limits, give yourself room to breathe and digest. This may mean that your output is lower, but all businesses must accept that the normal rules no longer apply. If you’re going to make it through 2021, accepting this is a must.
Not building a support network
Whether it be a partner, a loved one, a friend or a boss, every professional needs someone to talk to about their struggles. In these times of isolation, maintaining deep and regular contact with a support network not only allows you to vent, but also aides in adding outside perspective. It may be that the one project that has been causing you so much grief has a solution that you just haven’t seen – and in discussing this with someone else, a feasible solution can be found.
Never finding time away from work
It can be easy to maintain a cycle of eating, sleeping and working – however just because outside activities are not currently feasible, this doesn’t mean that you should spend your conscious hours working. In fact, this is counterproductive and only leads to burnout. Even if your relaxation time is spent watching films, carving out this allotted space each day to do something that settles your mind or prevents you from thinking about work is essential. There are plenty of hobbies that you can do from the comfort of your own home – in fact, a recent Metro poll found that the number one most popular hobby for many has been learning a new language in lockdown.
Not considering others
One of the few positives that has come from coronavirus is the way in which we’ve been forced to see others not just as professionals, but as complex people with challenges of their own. It is now considered totally normal for a working parent to be sabotaged in a group call by an indignant toddler, a stroppy teenager or an energetic pet. Just as you yourself face struggles, remember that everyone around you is fighting to survive in the pandemic, and is worried about those around them. Currently, one in 50 people within the UK have coronavirus according to the ONS. That’s a lot of professionals and loved ones suffering, which is guaranteed to have an impact on their working life.
Being too serious
This one sounds ridiculous, but it’s a poignant point that we cannot go through life with a frown on our faces. Yes, times are hard but finding joy, and spreading it to others, is absolutely essential to wellbeing. If you’re a manager, ensuring that you maintain a positive attitude and building some joviality and conversation into your daily meetings helps everyone feel better and could well be the boost that your people need. With casual office chit chat now a thing of the past, replicating this positive time for people to connect and spread some warmth and contact is irreplicable. For your own sake and the sake of your colleagues, don’t be too serious.
Source : Kieran Howells, Executive Grapevine