Nothing Stays the Same Forever – Last Year’s Predictions Posted at: December 17, 2020 Posted in: All December 2019 seems a world away when I look back to writing Interesting Times? Just Get it Done! in the immediate aftermath of the General Election. My theme then was that the only constant of recent times would seem to be uncertainty. I mused that whilst economic uncertainty was undoubtedly a threat to business, it didn’t necessarily follow that business could not turn the environment to its own advantage. Whilst I’m delighted to have foreseen and emphasised the need to plan for uncertainty, I certainly wouldn’t claim to know how immediately the pandemic would follow! Since then the whole world has moved from striving and thriving to focus on surviving. Thankfully, nothing stays static for very long. As I write, a significant portion of the news coverage is taken up with the roll-out of vaccines that will hopefully consign this global pandemic to history. So I think it’s time to consider what we’re looking forward to (and some things we’re looking forward to seeing the back of. We’re looking forward to: Never hearing the words ‘social distancing’ or ‘bubble’ ever again, at least the last one in a non bathroom context anywayBrexit being the main point of debate – which is an indicator of how poor things wereNot feeling obliged to watch the news…Sitting down (at the same table) and having a pint with someone outside your householdNot having to interpret, remember and keep-up with rule changesBeing jet lagged We can’t wait to see the back of: Those “will the technology work” momentsThose “freeze moments” on video callsSocial awkwardness caused by different friends having different levels of compliance with the RulesMaking plans then realising the Rules won’t allow themTrying to communicate to strangers, in a very British way (i.e. not saying it out loud) that they’re standing too close/not wearing a mask etc. Reflecting on what we’ve all had to do during lockdown, many things will have changed for the long-term. I hope that we keep some of the “good habits” from lockdown…valuing key workers & home makers, avoiding unnecessary travel, appreciating nature, home cooking, bread making, reading, walking. As JMCL consultant Malcolm Smith says about developing more productive working habits: “My takeaway from 2020 into 2021 will be to give myself more thinking time and opportunity to be more creative. I find that my working day is most productive if I start at around 07.00hrs and have a break for my training session on the bike around midday for two hour and then being at the desk again from 14.00hs until 18.00hrs. The time of day when I start to drift a little on quality thinking / productivity is that time when I now go out on the bike and I feel re-energised when I get back. Before 2020 I’d leave my training until the evening when often my energy levels were dropping, and I had had a less productive spell between 12.00hr and 14.00hrs. This will be my big change into 2021 and one which would not have happened without having had the issues of this last year to deal with.” Malcolm Smith making the most of his midday training session There will undoubtedly be other positive benefits. Did we ever really spend whole days driving 2+ hours each way for a speculative 90-minute meeting? I can’t see that returning quickly – and that can only be a good thing. Repeating my conclusion from last year, it’s time for us all to take the positives and just get on with it. Entrepreneurs have thrived on the opportunities presented by change and uncertainty throughout time. Let’s Get it Done!