It is the time of the year when we all try to work on improving our lives regardless of the circumstances. If 2020 has not been easy on you, and 2021 is already proving to challenge you in any shape or form, don’t be too disheartened. Instead, focus on what you can learn from it and how you can become resilient.
We too look at every challenge as an opportunity, and therefore, we compiled a list of tips and hacks that will hopefully help you get through the year like a champ and take control of making the most of the year ahead.
#1 Invest in self-education
Try and learn something new every day – it’s satisfying and probably useful too. You could learn a new approach to a work situation or a random trivia fact but set out to sit down at the end of each day and say: this is what I learned today. Attend summits, meetings and webinars. Join a community or group that shares your interests or work ambitions, or simply read a book. Don’t miss the opportunity to share and learn with your peers or experts in a field – it’s a fast-changing world and there is always new information to share, as well as old information just waiting to be learned. There are a lot of great platforms offering free training and courses from the likes of industry leaders to university professors. Check out the likes of edX or Coursera, or have a browse through the app store on your phone.
#2 Take time to recharge
You don’t have to be on call 24-hours-a-day. Chill out, set aside some me time and stick to it (you can also block it in your calendar). It’s OK to soak in a long, hot bath, binge on your favorite Netflix show, listen to a much-loved LP, or just treat yourself to a good night’s sleep with no distractions and no worrying about work or life. You’ll feel better for it, and you’ll be a more productive worker the next day too.
#3 Take notes
Our memories can be elusive and evasive, so keep track of your achievements, ideas and observations. You don’t have to try and be Samuel Pepys, but whether you prefer to keep a journal or just save bullet points on your phone, note them down and don’t forget your greatest thoughts or lose track of how you’re doing at achieving your goals. This time next year, it’ll also help you reflect on the past, and allow you to see the progress you are making towards your dreams.
#4 Declutter your life
Clear out your office drawers, your contact list, and your cupboards at home. The end of the year is a good time to say goodbye to things and ideas that do not serve you anymore. That also includes friendships. If your physical surroundings are filled with clutter, your mind is likely to be cluttered too, so don’t be scared to take a deep breath and ask yourself if you really need that pair of jeans with the holes in them or that work colleague who hasn’t returned a call since 2005.
#5 Set goals that matter to you
It is a common practice to set goals for the year in January and it is also common to fail within the first few weeks. That is because the goals become overwhelming and oftentimes, difficult to meet. Therefore, make sure that not only are your goals realistic, but they are also goals that you actually want to achieve. If you set goals that you feel you should achieve, but that don’t really matter to you, you’re more likely to get disillusioned and give up on the goals that do matter to you too. Your goals could be anything – career goals, personal ambitions, just as long as they are what you want, not what you feel pressured to want by society.
#6 Travel and explore
Now, we know you might think – Hey, it’s a global pandemic, how am I to travel?! But remember,
there are so many amazing places around you that you surely have not seen. From the treks in high mountains in Ras al Khaimah to the mangroves in Umm Al Quwain, to stunning beaches in Khorfakkan or off the beaten track roads in Sharjah. Not to mention other countries that are slowly opening to accepting tourists. Travelling to a new place can help improve your confidence, open you up to new cultures, ideas and experiences, and take you out of your comfort zone, which is something that does us all good every now and then.
#7 Spend less time on social media
Most of us spend many, many hours on social media every week, but do we really need to? Between Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter you can easily waste your entire day just scrolling through your newsfeed and feeding yourself with fake news, disinformation, and unrealistic expectations. If you find that you are spending too much time on social media or that it’s negatively impacting you, set yourself some boundaries.
- Switch off notifications
- Suspend the accounts you’re spending too much time on for a while
- Set yourself time limits (there are apps to help you with that)
You might be surprised how much you can achieve in the new time you have for yourself.
#8 Find ways to save more
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how unpredictable life can be. And having the funds to support yourself in these unpredictable times become a necessity. Review your spending habits and see where and how you can save. Could you make your morning coffee at the office rather than buying it downstairs? Do you really need to spend so much on your TV subscription? How about staying in every so often and cooking instead of browsing through menus on Deliveroo? You will be surprised by how much you can save by making small amendments to your daily routine. We at Bankiom are aiming to help you make more of the money you have and become a true pro at managing your finances. Sign up to our waiting list to be the first to benefit from it.
#9 Master investing money
Money does not grow on trees, but it grows when it is invested in the right places. If you have spare change and you don’t know how to best use it, consider investing it. Sarwa, home-grown service dedicated to making investing easy is a great place to start.
#10 Improve your time management game
Time is perhaps the most precious resource we have, but how much of it do we waste? As we work on improving our more marketable skills, it can be easy to overlook developing the simple skill of managing the time we have available to us. Living more productively can be key to boosting your career, personal goals and financial well-being in 2021. Make the most of the simple life hacks that modern technology makes available to you – there really is an app for everything. From online calendars and personal organisation tools to manage your contact lists, and of course your finances with Bankiom, technology is your friend, so let it be a good one.
#11 Learn to priorities
Sometimes, we can be so busy being busy that we forget to ask ourselves whether the thing we’re busy with is actually important. It’s perfectly possible to be successful and productive, and still have time for family, friends, and fun. If you have a set of tasks to achieve, step back, take a look, ask which is most important, and focus on that. If you’re writing a report, just write it – don’t spend an hour trying out different fonts. We spend too much time doing things that don’t matter as a way of avoiding the things that do, so cut it out! If you need help, there are apps for that.
#12 Take time to restore your inner calm
If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, you should consider trying meditation. Even a few minutes’ meditations can restore your calm and inner peace, and anyone can do it. It’s simple and inexpensive and doesn’t require any special equipment, and you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting. Studies have also suggested that meditation can help with physical and mental problems, so why not try it now? Again, in the digital age, there are a lot of apps that can help you with that. Our personal favourites include Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer.
Bonus: Don’t forget to have fun and look out for the best in people and situations. And life will get a whole lot easier, we promise you that!