If we look back on 2020 retrospectively, with everything we have learned, is there anything you would change about how you have done things and take it forward into 2021?

What are people looking to do differently in 2021?

I have learned so much during this past year.  What is really important and what is less important.  

My Staff have been incredible how they have adapted to the ‘new normal’.  They have embraced their work and their responsibilities.  I must admit that they have been absolute heroes in how they have taken ownership of their own lives.  I hope they realise how proud I am of each and every one of them.  I am also grateful to have such incredible business partners, amazing wife and super-star kids too, who pick me up whenever I have fallen down – thank you to all of you that make my life complete.

Below are the areas that I have worked on and changed in 2020:

From a working perspective:

ROUTINE – I have created a routine.  I wake up at the same time every day, make myself and my wife a coffee, open the tablet and read the news on Business Day and then start my day.

REGULAR BREAKS – I try to take breaks to catch up on calls or admin between zoom meetings.  (and sometimes just to take a breather).

COMMUNICATION – So NB that you are always in touch with what is happening.  Constant communication is key to success with my clients, business partners and staff.  

WFH – Working from home actually increased productivity for most of my staff.  It also had no off switch, which became a problem for a lot of people.  I allowed (and ensured) flexible working hours as well as unlimited leave.  If you are hitting your targets and your KPI’s, why should it matter how much time you are sitting at your desk?  This has really helped everyone to manage their own time a lot more effectively.  Be responsible for your own work and life.  This also allows extra time to be more creative in your personal life with hobbies, interests, studies, and family time.  Also, the time that we would normally spend travelling on the road to the office and back is now being utilized for other activities.

From a personal perspective:

HEALTH FIRST – walking at least 10,000 steps a day or indoor running on the treadmill or indoor biking on the exercise bike.  Eating smaller and more balanced portions of food more regularly has allowed me to shed the extra kilos too.

STRESS – By the end of 2020, I was forgetful, burnt out, tired, grumpy.  It makes one realise how important those regular getaways are for you and your family throughout the year if you are able to.  In the latter half of the year, I started taking Friday afternoons off to be with the kids and without the phone or any form of electronics.  To be present with them and some quality family time.  I continued my piano lessons with my daughter – one is never too old to learn new tricks.

THE KITCHEN: Being creative in the kitchen is also a new desire for 2021.  This past year I have tried to create “theatre on a plate” – go above and beyond with the taste buds.  I have tried to eat more quality, home-cooked meals.  Also by including the kids, it becomes a fun activity and we have improved our culinary skills tenfold. 

SOUTH AFRICA:  People are looking to travel more, however more locally within South Africa, and not to the usual spots like Cape Town, Durban and the Kruger. People want to explore other cities and beaches, places they never even knew existed… There are so many hidden gems and so much natural beauty in SA.  Try it in your own country – one doesn’t always need to travel abroad to experience greatness – most of us have it right on our own doorsteps.  

Overall, a really difficult year, seeing the Covid Pandemic taking people’s lives and really making one realise that we are not as bullet-proof as we once thought.  I have never worked harder in my life (and for less reward).  I am hoping that all the learnings from this past year will really make a difference in how we treat 2021.

Wishing you all the best for the year ahead and as always, thank you for reading and following “You’ve been Rob’d”

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