5 Behavioral Science Insights to help you make the most of 2020
TThis year doesn’t need to be a complete shit show. Most of us are not exactly happy with the way that 2020 is going, but there is some opportunity to make the most of it.
Before I dive into what I promised in the headline, I have to acknowledge the incredible amount of tragedy that has occurred this year. This message is for those of us who are lucky enough to be safe, healthy, and relatively secure in 2020.
The rest of the pandemic can be what you make of it, and you can build a path towards completing your goals — whatever that may mean for you and your current situation. The key to growth in any realm is setting yourself up for success. Most of us have had to adjust to change this year, whether you’re dealing with an apartment that’s now an office/gym/playground or dealing with some additional responsibilities thanks to a new WFH situation. Change can make progress seem unattainable, but there are not only ways to limit the negative impact of change but also to take advantage of these changes and use them on your journey to success.
That’s where these tips come in. I’ve gathered five pieces of advice based on behavioral science insights that can help you to make the most of this year. Keep reading if you’d like to set yourself up for success:
- Be wary of the availability bias’ impacts on your thoughts. Our media contains a multitude of traumatic stories that paint 2020 as an apocalyptic year. Try and look for some lighter events to clear out the negativity and make room for a positive mindset! Starting with a positive mindset can help you to visualize your goals, and can also keep you motivated when things get tough.
- Try reframing your current situation. Again a positive mindset is essential. Instead of focusing on all that you have missed out on this year, write down what you’re grateful you got to do in 2020 that might not have happened in an average year. From there, write down the goals you want to achieve during the remainder of the year as a reminder of how you’d like to make the most of your current situation.
- Optimize the 2020 new-normal ways of working (WFH policies, different hours, kids at home) by avoiding overoptimistic planning (the planning fallacy). Working from home is not as easy as one would think. While there will always be plenty of distractions, try your best to premeditate interruptions or other obstacles that will occur. From there, you can build a realistic plan and even take it one step further by blocking off certain hours of your day for specific tasks.
- Mitigate your attentional bias and build better distinctions between work and life. WFH this year can feel like“always work” or “always home.” This can make it hard to devote time to your goals. Avoid this by clearly separating “work time” from “kids time” and giving all your focus to whatever time it is.
- Create new routines and embrace the power of fresh starts. 2020 can and should be the year that you create new habits. This year has to be different than your previous ones, so choose to make this a landmark year by starting fresh with building new routines that will help you achieve your goals!