Top 10 Reads of 2020

This year’s list is a little different than previous years. It’s 2020 – what else would you expect?

My reading got off to a slow start this year when I started my MBA and was finding my new rhythm in getting through all the reading and research for that (which I haven’t included here – no-one is interested in adding ‘Contemporary Accounting: A Strategic Approach’ to their 2021 reading list!).

Then Covid happened and I basically stopped reading all together, apart from study and anything that would help me lead through the unfolding crisis. It was like my brain had no more free space for processing.

I finally found my way back into reading by digging up some childhood reads from primary school (thanks Timothy Zahn!), and then by taking a leaf out of Jon Acuff’s book and recalibrating what ‘counted’ as my reads. Audiobook of a one man play? Counts! Children’s book? Counts! I also found a whole bunch of shorter reads to get me back into a flow. ‘Short’ was my friend in 2020, making this year’s list a little different than other years.

What hasn’t changed, it’s important to note, is that when I share my own personal Top 10 from the year, it doesn’t mean they are the most ‘worthy’ picks from a literary perspective. They are simply the ones that I personally found most significant, impacting or enjoyable. I’m obviously not here to tell you that Paddington (which made my top 10) is an objectively better book than The Odyssey (which did not). Rather, only that the former was more of a highlight for me than the latter in 2020 – a year when simple joys became newly important for so many of us.

How are you sleeping these days?

If you’re not sleeping well lately, you’re not alone. Insomnia, broken sleep and weird dreams have all surged during recent months, according to both scientists and a spike in google searches.

I’ve been interested in sleep for a few years now because up until COVID I was hopscotching timezones every few weeks due to work travel, and it took its toll on my body clock. Then, like so many, my sleep quality took a hit after lockdown, so, as a completely non-medical, non-scientific layman, I began circling back to what I’d already learnt and exploring even more of the science and advice around how to nurture sleep. 

If you’ve struggled with sleep in recent days, here’s why you should treat it as more than a little annoyance, and what you can do about. 

How You And Your Team Can Avoid the Wellbeing Pitfalls of the New Workplace Normal

COVID-19 is reshaping the workplace. McCrindle research recently released a report showing that Australians are very positive about a shift to remote working. They found that not only do 78% of people believe it will become the new normal, but three-quarters are excited about it and consider it important to their future employer choice. This echoes similar findings by Gallup in the USA.

 

At the same time, we know there are very real challenges that come hand in hand with this ‘new normal’ of the workplace, and they’re challenges that neither employers nor employees can afford to ignore.

Book Spotlight: ‘Transitions’ by William Bridges

What does it look like when the entire world is in transition?

That’s rhetorical, of course – it looks like life in 2020.

A couple of years ago a mentor recommended this book to me when I was going through a life transition, and I found it very helpful. The other day I suddenly realised that it was newly relevant – to pretty much everyone in the world.

Book

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes

by William Bridges

Released 2004 (this edition)

70 days In

Seventy days. That’s how long it’s been since this strange new season began.

 

That feels like a significant marker. 70 days into a crisis unprecedented in our lifetime. It feels like a moment to remind ourselves of some things as we navigate the still-shifting sands of our new normal –