There was so much excitement for 2020. The year marked a new dawn for many. People chanted in merriment, rejoiced, prayed, made resolutions in anticipation for the next decade to come. But who knew that 2020 was to be met with unusual catchphrases and experiences, such as social distancing, quarantines, contact tracing, physical distancing, lockdown, hand-sanitizing, panic buying, elbow-bump greetings, school closure, mask-wearing, working from home, and Zoom funerals?  It is no doubt that the year 2020 will be remembered for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and words that have now formed part of our daily vocabulary.


Over 1.5 Million people have lost their lives in the fight to survive the pandemic. As the world continues its battle to contain the virus, many have been hard-hit by the resultant effects. Individuals have not only lost their incomes, but other facets of global economies remain strained.


It is hard to remember a time before COVID-19 when social distancing was not top of mind, where you could visit, travel, and socialise without fear of transmission. Even though this year is comparable to a rollercoaster ride, there has been a sense of community building and comradery, moments that constantly remind us to count our blessings.


While some people wish for the virus to vanish so we can get back to regular life, others are already adjusting to the new normal at work, in public places, and other spheres of life.


Here are 10 habits that will help your increase your productivity this year.


1. Stay Healthy and Boost Your Immune System

As much as you can, keep a healthy lifestyle and boost your Immune system. Sage scientist Sir Mark Walport said: “This is a virus that will be with us forever in some form or another, and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations”. Good health is central to human happiness and well-being, contributing significantly to prosperity, wealth, and economic progress. A healthy lifestyle also helps your productivity in the workplace. It is important to find a balance between your work and other important activities. A work-life balance supports employee engagement and leads to improved productivity.  For a healthy life cycle, you need a healthy diet and good hygiene habits. You will also have to participate in physical activities, weight management, and stress management activities. A healthy population is more productive, save more and live longer.


2. Spend Wisely, Develop A Saving Habit

Countries, especially those developing, are going through an economic recession. Many companies are struggling to recover from revenue losses due to the pandemic and lockdown. It is essential to manage your income, particularly by making only necessary purchases.  The road to financial freedom is a rocky one, but it is manageable with a bit of planning and self-restraint. Savings has a lot of benefits but developing the habit requires commitment. These few steps can help you develop a habit of savings; write your goal, have a record detailing your cash flow, document your expenditure plan, live within your means, automate your saving, be content with what you have and evaluate your progress.


3. Spread Kindness

We have each had our own experiences during this period, but one thing we can all aim to accomplish is to spread kindness. You may not know what someone else has experienced during the pandemic. They may have lost their job or have a loved one affected by the ailment, fighting for their lives in the hospital.


Studies show that when we do, receive or witness an act of kindness, our bodies release a hormone that helps lower our blood pressure, reduce inflammation and free radicals in our cardiovascular system (that cause tissue damage and ageing). Pay compliments, show an interest in people’s lives, and express concern and offer help when possible. The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing. Barbara De Angelis says,Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless the giver.”


4. Learn A Skill

Most governments around the world decided to have temporarily closed learning institutions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As of 30 September 2020, approximately 1.077 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic, impacting about 61.6 per cent of the world’s student population. Therefore, instead of waiting for school resumption, direct your time and energy into learning marketable skills.  There are several training and courses one can take to improve their skills and become more employable. If you are struggling to know where to begin, we have trainings to guide you, and we partner with Skillsoft Percipo, a learning platform designed to make learning easier, more accessible and more effective.


5. Do Not Get Left Behind – Embrace Technology

Over the years, technology has revolutionised our world and daily lives. Technology has created unique tools and resources and brought useful information to our fingertips. Advances in software development have led to changes in the digital environment that have redefined how we create value. For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacts the future and has acted as the main driver for emerging technologies like big data, robotics, and IoT. There’s virtually no major industry that has not embraced modern AI; Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation, Education, Customer Service, Media, and the list goes on.


But even with the positive impact of technology, the issue of privacy exists. Cybersecurity is a vital topic that organisations need to discuss. Many firms need to do a cybersecurity assessment to access their websites and other hosting platforms and ensure that an extra layer of security is added to the current one available.


We suggest you read our article on Cybersecurity Checklists for Remote Working to learn more.


6. Balance Work and Family

Lockdown has made it more glaring how valuable family is. Make balance a priority; talk, eat and spend time with your family; establish boundaries between work and family; enjoy the bedtime routine; build transitions into and out of work and ensure time management. If you do this effectively, this habit will increase your productivity.


7. Exercise Regularly

Exercise offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health. Regular physical activity can increase the production of hormones that make you feel healthier. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. It can also lower your risk of early death, relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality, and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.


8. A failure only becomes a failure if you let it become a failure

Do not give up just because you fail once; it does not mean you will fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always believe in yourself. Do not wait to be inspired to start your dream. Start your dream to grow inspired. What the victim calls luck, the hero and achievers call relentlessness.


Be optimistic; Make each fresh day of this new year a little better than yesterday. Daily optimisations will lead to exponential improvements.


9. Professional Development

Professional Development allows you to further your knowledge in a subject area and allows for mentorship and the opportunity to learn new teaching techniques. It can help business owners and managers attract and retain the top candidates, identify future leaders and ultimately boost the bottom line. Professional development will increase your team’s collective knowledge, boost employees’ job satisfaction, make succession planning easier, and Increase workplace engagement.


To double your income, triple your investment in your professional education and your personal development. Aim your blows wisely to achieve the desired result with determination.


10. Expand your Network

Active networking is vital to career growth. Building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time strengthen the business for sustainability. Effective networking requires seeking out authentic connections to build mutually beneficial business relationships. Note that successful business relationships are mutual concessions. You should look at networking events not only as an opportunity to get something you need from someone but to give something back.


In these unprecedented times, you need to count your blessings and focus on the positive notes by keeping candlelit.


Written by:

Ambrose Adebayo

Assistant Consultant

Oreoluwa Ilori

Senior Analyst