Now that 2021 is officially over, it is a good time to reflect on the past year. The pandemic years have an opposite character in how they feel. They both feel slow and fast. On the one hand, it feels like it is only a few months ago the pandemic started and I was forced to work from home. On the other hand, it feels like the days are passing along in a rapid succession of each other. Days and workweeks are starting to blend together, and before you know the year is already over. Let’s take a look at some of my learnings in 2021!

Books

As some of you might know from my 2020 reading list, I like reading books. In 2021 I expanded in reading more literature. I enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express, and made a good start on The count of Monte Cristo, with a whopping 1500 pages.

Besides works of literature, I also read some books that help me in my personal development. One of my personal development goals is to become a better writer. And maybe even try some other forms of writing. On writing well contains some excellent tips on how to improve your writing. Now I just have to put them into practice.

If you are considering creating content but are hesitant, I recommend checking the books of Austin Kleon. He has written some great books on the process and taught me some good lessons. My favorite book from Austin so far is Show your work.

Professional

In my professional life, 2021 was the first full year where I was the Scrum master of two teams. Having to divide my attention between two teams has taught me some valuable lessons on the role of the Scrum master. Since I can no longer attend all meetings and be involved in every decision I needed to take a different approach. Two teams have learned to make sure the teams understand the WHY better. If the team understands the why better, they no longer need a strict Scrum master, which leads to having more time available to distribute between the teams. These learnings tie into the 4 stages of group development by Bruce Tuckman.

The idea between the differences in group development is in a team’s journey to become performing, they will go through different stages. As a result, each stage requires a different stance as a Scrum master.

Blogging

In terms of numbers, 2021 was my best year in blogging. I wrote more blog posts than ever, 18 to be precise. This is 7 more than 2020 in which I started blogging. On the metrics of writing blog posts, I wrote a blog post about blogging. Comparing metrics on page views, traffic sources, and earnings. While this seems like a nice improvement, I am still not completely satisfied.

If you take a look at the periods between blog posts, sometimes there are 2+ months between a post, some other times there are 3 days. I would like to work more on my consistency in writing blog posts.

I could definitely use a planner to write more consistently

One of my favorite blog posts of 2021 is the research of whether recruiters are worth it in the tech world. I had lots of fun gathering data, making charts, and confirming my suspicions. In conclusion of this blog post, I changed my outlook on recruiters and learned how to filter nonsense recruiters.

Personal

In my personal life, some noteworthy events passed as well. We had the first full year in our new house. As a result, I had a lot of fun with my vegetable garden, doing DIY improvements around the house, and getting to know my new neighborhood.

With DIY-related things, I always thought I was not very good at them. If I reflect on the year I noticed I did a lot of things I did not know I could. Laying floors, removing wallpaper, painting, gluing, some basic woodworking. As a result, I should adjust my self-image of being a clumsy dude, to someone who actually can do some DIY-related things. Feels good man!

We also traded in our Ford Fiesta and managed to get a nice upgrade to a newer Ford Focus. As a result no more stress about a car that won’t start, and room to transport all those DIY materials.

In terms of Covid 2021 was okay-ish. I got two Pfizer shots, (and my booster at the start of 2022). My girlfriend and I are lucky we did not contract covid yet. While new variants keep spawning, I still believe we can tackle this pandemic, and go back to some of the things we did pre Covid.

How was your 2021? Any ups or downs you would like to share? Let us know in the comments down below!