5 Things To Do Before the New Work Year

Take the long New Year weekend to reflect on the past year and prepare for the year ahead.

Take some time to reflect on 2020 before entering 2021 with new goals and aspirations.

As 2020 has shown, it’s not possible to plan for everything. Curveballs aside, it’s still important to look ahead, set personal and professional goals, and plan for annual leave dates, crunch times at work, volunteer leave and more.

Reflect on the past year

Before you charge ahead with big plans, take some time to reflect on the past year. Year Compass is a free resource to help you look back thoroughly on 2020 and also dream big with goals for the new year.

It comes in a printable format as well as a digital PDF booklet. The 2020 version has a special pandemic supplement for you to mark this unusual year.

Once you’re done with this exercise, remember to express gratitude to your friends, family and colleagues for the adventures and trials you survived in 2020.

Broaden your horizons by charting your career path in 2021.

Chart out your career path

Challenge has a wealth of career-planning tips and advice directly from a range of public officers who have tread the Public Service path.

In Take Ownership Of Your Employability, Chief Human Resource Officer Low Peck Kem shares five tips to take charge of your career. Is your resumé up to date? Do you know what your strengths are and where you can make improvements?

If you’re floundering at work, or simply looking for a change, get tips from veteran social service worker Ang Bee Lian on how to find and stay true to your work’s purpose.

Or take the New Year’s Eve weekend to sit back with a cuppa and peruse the leadership lessons from senior management, including how to avoid burnout.

From January 2021, Our Core Competencies will be used for appraisal and development in the Civil Service. Plan ahead and find out more about the competencies at ourcorecompetencies.gov.sg (WOG intranet only).

Start the New Year by clearing any digital clutter, including unused apps and old emails.

Clear out digital clutter

Some work tasks from 2020 might overflow to 2021, but there’s no reason why old browser tabs and unused apps from past years should still take up space.

On your mobile phone, clear any lingering SafeEntry tabs, log out of multiple social media sessions and organise any useful articles for safekeeping into bookmarks or screenshot clips so you can discard old tabs. On your computers, both for work and personal use, sort out your folders and old files to free up space.

Review your email inboxes to see what e-newsletter subscriptions and marketing emails can be removed for greater peace of mind. Tap free services such as Mailstrom to do a sweep of unwanted mailing lists. (Then consider subscribing to Challenge’s newsletter for periodic updates on useful work-related articles.)

A digital declutter, along with clearing your mind, can help boost your work resilience and productivity.

Sort out your finances

The festive year-end period is a great time for making purchases with discounts. This includes subscriptions, which may roll on past renewal dates after outliving their trial periods or usefulness.

Review all your subscriptions to see if they are worth continuing, from entertainment (e.g., Netflix, Spotify) to news outlets, software services, apps for learning and gym memberships – can you work out from home or outdoors instead?

Besides eliminating unnecessary expenses, it’s never too early to plan for retirement. Whether you’re a total newbie or have some funds already, use the Central Provident Fund Board’s CPF Planner to see how much you’ll need to save up and the steps you can take to get there. Completing all three tasks of the CPF Planner earns you a $5 e-voucher, so you’re getting paid to plan ahead.

If eating healthy is your New Year’s resolution, then consider getting the Singapore Noodles 2021 planner.
The Singapore Noodles 2021 Planner – in the colours Blue Pea, Jade, Pandan and Peony – has ample space for monthly and weekly planning. PHOTOS: Singapore Noodles

Plan ahead with pretty stationery

Paper planners by local designers abound, but if your New Year's resolution is to have better meals for a healthier you, check out the Singapore Noodles 2021 planner.

Available in four different colours, this paper planner comes with dates and fun facts for cultural holidays beyond the official public holidays, such as the Mid-autumn Festival. It also offers 12 heritage food recipes from Singapore’s various ethnic cultures, a monthly meal planner and a weekly grocery checklist.

Besides meal plans, how will you use your SingapoRediscover vouchers, if you haven’t already? And with your SkillsFuture credits, what personal learning journey can you embark on? Map out all your interests and free time, and see how they can be matched.

And if you’re reading this in 2021, remember that the calendar date is just a number ­– you can reflect on and reset your life any time.

    Dec 31, 2020
    Singapore Noodles
    Ryan Ong
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