2020 Learnings

Naveed Ramzan
10 min readDec 30, 2020

The year 2020 is marked by crisis, disease, pandemic, fear, uncertainty, and life-threatening situations. To stay positive, take the time to get used to the new normal. To have the same productivity as before, take the time you need and possibly speak with your mentors.

Self-Organizing Skills

The days can be very busy: work, children, shopping, household maintenance, administration, in short, among all of its activities, it is sometimes difficult to organize oneself to succeed in managing everything on time. And it is even more difficult to know how to say stop to start afresh with whole new self-organization that works for the whole family.

If you are in a situation of overwork or are feeling overwhelmed and overwhelmed by the situation, it may be time to review your organization for your well-being.

Take a Step Back to put things back on Track

When you are concerned 100% of the time with the organization of your work, your home, your family, etc., you forget to pause for a moment to think about what is not working, and how you could better orchestrate everything. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the time and put off making a new plan.

There is no good time to take a step back and analyze the situation. Are you currently having trouble getting to bed before a certain time or doing all of your household chores or work? If you are experiencing difficulty in your daily life, take a moment to think about everything that is causing problems in your organization today.

Define your Objectives to Prioritize your Actions

As we said before, time is not extendable. And unless you’re superhuman, it’s perfectly okay not to be able to accomplish 1000 things at once. So start by relieving yourself of the guilt and accepting that you don’t have to be the problem. On the other hand, you can define your priority objectives to guide your actions and your organization.

These are the things that you want or need to achieve as a priority in a given time. You can write down these goals by setting their completion date to check them off as you reach them. In order not to get discouraged, it is better to move forward little by little and not to put pressure on yourself with dozens of overly ambitious goals, you risk having the feeling of not having accomplished anything when you can do things bit by bit.

Organize a Plan of Work as a Family

If you have the option of delegating certain tasks to family members, do so! Whether with your spouse or your children, taking the time to reorganize the chores of the house can be a stimulating challenge in the family and a moment of cohesion that can strengthen the bonds.

Your kids don’t want to participate in chores? Let them know that by getting their hands dirty, they allow you to free up more time than you can spend with them. Moreover, the moment of cooking can also be transformed into a family activity where everyone enjoys participating.

Make a Monthly Calendar to Organize Everything

The races, the lessons, the parent-teacher meeting, the doctor’s appointment, and the important meetings, all of these things make for busy weeks that are best anticipated. Free family planning can be an excellent solution to organize the daily life of the whole family.

Whether it’s a monthly calendar hanging on the fridge or a diary in the kitchen, ask everyone to write down important appointments, for example using a color code. You can then consult it regularly to anticipate as many things as possible without having to think about it.

Use a Paper or Digital Planner

In addition to a schedule for the family, you can very well use a personal diary to jot down your appointments. The diary remains a particularly effective and simple tool to use daily to free you from the entire mental load and not to risk forgetting things.

It’s a habit to get used to and you can test several solutions to define what suits you best: the paper diary always available in the handbag, the smartphone application, the planner on the desk, etc. On the other hand, take care to keep only one support so as not to multiply the notes.

Find a Routine that Works

The word routine is often seen as negative, yet there is nothing wrong with establishing a daily routine to feel more organized. This is what can allow you to complete all the daily tasks without having to think about it.

For example, to establish a morning routine, think about everything you need to do, and give each task its allotted time to compartmentalize your morning. You can even anticipate the night before by preparing some things that will save you time on your routine.

Listen to your Body and Mind

Having a precise organization is good, but listening to your body and your sanity is even better. Your body and brain sometimes go through periods of fatigue and this is completely normal. Overwork, a change of season, a need to rest. Also give yourself moments of a break to take care of yourself when you feel the need, even if it means delegating certain tasks or postponing them if they are not urgent.

Work from Home and Work at Home

Working from home is not an option, but a necessity now. Teleworking has its advantages: no travel, no dress code. It is however important to establish boundaries between work and family life and to set solid rules to keep you motivated. Writers, designers, and other web professionals know that one of the pleasures in life is being able to work from home. No way of getting stuck in traffic or a nine-to-five office drinking bad coffee, sitting in an uncomfortable chair. Instead, we work from home at our pace and on terms that work for us — some don’t even take off their pajamas.

However, work at home also means being subject to a lot of distractions. Lots of distractions! As dedicated as they are to their work, people encounter many obstacles when confined within the four walls of their home. At the top of the temptations, you will have to thwart are household chores.

Whether you have a desk or a small work table, make sure this area is reserved for your business activities. It will be much easier to quit work at the end of the day and not let it interfere with your family life. Choose a spot away from the hustle and bustle of the home, or consider setting up a quiet corner in your garage or basement that only serves as an office. And, no, your sofa or bed doesn’t matter.

When you telecommute, you won’t often see your boss or coworkers, so it’s important to contact them frequently. Send an email to confirm receipt of a shipment, call a colleague to discuss a project, and make it clear that you can be reached and that you are available all day.

Take a few minutes during the day to relax. Go out for dinner, order something to eat, or heat some leftovers from the night before. Take the time to recharge your batteries before you head back to work — the rest of the day will go much better. It is not always easy, but necessary. These short breaks are essential to keep your ideas clear.

Resist the temptation to tidy up or take on big home projects when working from home. Stick to your regular cleaning schedule. So you don’t have to do the housework during the week and stay focused on your job, do these chores on the weekends. It’s not a good idea to skip dressing in the morning or skipping breakfast or relaxing in the evening.

Things should stay as they were when you went to the office. Do it for the sake of your mind and efficient telecommuting. Just because your office is at home doesn’t mean you don’t have to obey a dress code and can walk around in your pajamas all day! If you are dressed and neat, you will adopt a much more professional attitude when you call people. And you will get better results. Don’t fall into the trap of being overly relaxed when communicating with others just because you are wearing casual dress.

Technology can be your Ally

Especially when you work at home. To work more productively, you’ll need a reliable computer, a headset for hands-free note-taking, some software to manage your schedule and your clients, a printer, and a fast and reliable internet connection. Without these simple technologies, you doom yourself to failure.

Managing Spouse’s Requirements

For a relationship to function, the two partners must agree on a notion of a life project in common. Indeed, Love is no longer enough because it is mainly based on the dream set up in the first moments of the relationship or on a great physical attraction that will tend to decline over the years for a majority of relationships. So if you don’t have a common thread to your common project but a simple physical and/or intellectual attraction, you will have a hard time building a strong relationship over time, no matter what relationship you currently have. So the first step in managing your life partner’s requirements.

Most of the relationships crumble, not because of the simple difference in the relationships between men and women but indeed for broader reasons which make me say that their life project was not previously defined or then badly determined, or even that one of the two has put a knife in the contract. The relationship between man and woman must follow an implacable logic and as soon as one of them does not respect his commitments everything can be called into question.

The goal is not to make things worse or to look for a winner but rather to find the best solutions without having to come up with threats or ultimatums in the couple. It is important to use communication when you are in a relationship and not to jump right away. On the other hand, you will never be able to understand your partner if you continue to rely solely on your perceptions and what is important to you. You have to show empathy to forget yourself a little and be able to put yourself in the other’s shoes. It is also necessary to understand but also to accept that all will not be rosy in the life of two.

Managing Time

Time is money. If you organize yourself poorly, if you spend too much time on certain tasks, you lose productivity. This has consequences for your turnover. When you plan your schedule well, these loose days are much less likely to occur. And clearly, it affects our self-esteem. You feel more productive, and that is much more rewarding. By managing your schedule well, you anticipate deadlines. You do not realize at the last moment that a large order is to be delivered on a very short deadline. You anticipate, and it takes a lot of stress away from you.

In the morning, we are more available for certain tasks than for others. For example, you can concentrate and think better, you spend less time on certain issues, and you procrastinate less. You can therefore choose to reserve a time slot every morning for the most difficult tasks, those that you least like to do and which require more effort: writing well-argued documents, making high-stakes phone calls, etc. By the end of the afternoon, you are probably tired. To save this time for low-cost cognitive tasks, like answering emails.

Take about 5 minutes to break every hour, and sometimes longer breaks. Don’t choose them based on the time of day, but rather on how you feel: when you get stuck on something. Do your clients very often set deadlines for you, more or less tight? Don’t just rely on this deadline for your planning. Divide the project into several phases and set objectives and sub-objectives for each mission and each day. It will help you meet deadlines and have more confidence in yourself, while also seeing things move forward.

There is a great temptation to want to complete a project fairly quickly. With experience, however, we know that we always have to allow double the time for each project. By doing so, we are not in the red in the event of unforeseen events in my schedules: illness, another more urgent mission which is added, mission more complex than expected, absences for personal reasons, etc. Do you generally need 1 hour a day to manage your emails? On your planner, allow 2 hours. If you put in less time, you will always find something else to do!

Stop Multitasking

You are often tempted to do a lot of things at the same time: manage emails,
send texts, work on a website, write something, etc.? Prioritize: Setting daily goals is great.

However, it is also necessary to define their distribution during the day: those which are the hardest to accomplish rather in the morning. Finally, they must be prioritized: some are perhaps more urgent than others. And if some tasks are just as high priority, code them in the same way, for example by writing the same number or the same symbol in front. Try to stick to the planned order. However, in case of lack of motivation, allow yourself, of course, sometimes, to reverse the planned order, as long as this remains exceptional.

Avoid Overloading Yourself

We are quickly tempted to accept all the tasks that we are willing to entrust to us, even if they accumulate a little too much. Except that there is a limit to the overload. By being too overloaded, we are more tempted to switch to multitasking. The mental load is important: we think more about what we have to do next than what we are doing.


Don’t take too many projects in parallel. Write down your ideas: Often during the day, you have ideas that come up suddenly. These could be things you could do to improve your productivity or find more customers. Take a paper or digital notepad to jot down these ideas.

Stay Positive

Research shows that it takes three positive thoughts to counteract one negative thought. The stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic means that many people do not have the taste to laugh or smile these days. One can try to improve this situation by seeking and cultivating positive moments and thoughts.

We must therefore be vigilant and be careful of what we let into our minds and be ready for an exciting new year.



Naveed Ramzan

Empowering People | HealthCare | Strategist | Scrum Master | Technical Project Manager | Agile Coach | Organizational Catalyst | Training | Digitalization