My Year in Review: 2021

"The difference between good and great is often an extra round of revision." – James Clear

Year 2021 feels like going very fast. Here we are already in the last day of the year and this is my annual blog post about what happened in my life in 2021, what went well, and what went wrong. I hope we can learn something from this.


I was still in Bali, enjoying my long stay there and re-setting my lifestyle. I spent new year's eve by going to bed early like what I usually did while I was there. In the first day of the year, I woke up early and went to Sanur to see the first sunrise of the year and then did running for 5K. It wasn't that far because I wasn't into running at that time.

I started eating consciously, no diet anymore but everything is well-considered. I started sleeping in scheduled time, going bed early, and waking up early. I started exercising regularly, especially cycling and running. I rode my bike around 973 km while I was staying in Bali.

Lesson learned: I believe new year's resolutions don't work. Habits and systems can. So I focus building good habits and supporting systems, so I can achieve goals. It's not only about work, but also about my physical and mental health.

Tetap Tangguh, Terus Bertumbuh

Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan ke-76! Hari ini kita memperingati hari kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia yang ke-76. Pesan Presiden di tahun ini sangat menarik, yaitu "Indonesia Tangguh, Indonesia Tumbuh". Berikut ini kutipan dari naskah lengkap pidato Presiden di sidang tahunan MPR 2021.

Indonesia Tangguh, Indonesia Tumbuh, yang menjadi semboyan Bulan Kemerdekaan pada tahun ini, hanya bisa diraih dengan sikap terbuka dan siap berubah menghadapi dunia yang penuh disrupsi.

Indonesia Tangguh, Indonesia Tumbuh, hanya bisa dicapai jika kita semua bahu-membahu dan saling bergandeng tangan dalam satu tujuan.

Kita harus tangguh dalam menghadapi pandemi dan berbagai ujian yang akan kita hadapi dan kita harus terus tumbuh dalam menggapai cita-cita bangsa.

Dari pesan Presiden di atas saya belajar ada dua hal yang harus kita miliki di masa-masa seperti sekarang ini, yaitu resilience dan growth mindset.


Tahun lalu, tiga bulan setelah pandemi resmi dinyatakan terjadi di Indonesia, saya menulis artikel tentang tiga fase yang akan kita hadapi di masa pandemi (serta bagaimana kita sebaiknya bersikap), yaitu: Reaction, Resilience, Recovery.

  • Pada fase Reaction, yaitu dalam menghadapi krisis kesehatan, kita harus fokus pada sumber daya manusia supaya tetap sehat dan produktif.
  • Pada fase Resilience, yaitu dalam menghadapi perlambatan ekonomi, kita harus fokus pada ketangguhan dan kontinuitas bisnis.
  • Lalu pada fase Recovery, yaitu dalam menghadapi pemulihan ekonomi dan kesehatan, kita harus fokus pada strategi proaktif.

Resilience, dalam bahasa Indonesia, artinya ketangguhan. Menurut KBBI, "tangguh" berarti sukar dikalahkan; kuat; andal. Sementara itu, dalam bahasa Inggris, "resilience" berarti kemampuan untuk menjadi bahagia / sukses kembali setelah suatu hal yang sulit / buruk terjadi.

Resilience ini erat kaitannya dengan passion dan persistence. Dalam bahasa Inggris, "passion" (semangat / gairah) berarti ketertarikan / perasaan yang sangat kuat. Sementara itu, "persistence" (kegigihan / ketekunan) berarti terus ada / eksis melampaui waktu yang biasa dan terus mengerjakan sesuatu meskipun menghadapi kesulitan.

How to Get the Right Things Done

Peter F. Drucker was the inventor of "management by objectives" and has been described as the founder of modern management. He wrote some management books that I considered as must-read classics for all managers who want to get the right things done.

This blog post is my summary from "The Effective Executive", which was originally published in 1966, but still relevant to date.

To be effective is the job of the executive.

The executive is expected to get the right things done. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.

Photo by Brooke Lark

There are five practices that have to be acquired to be an effective executive:

#1 - Manage Your Time

Know where your time goes.

Do work systematically at managing the little of your time that can be brought under your control.

Start with finding out where your time actually goes.

Cut back unproductive demands on your time. Consolidate your discretionary time into the largest possible continuing units. Time is the limiting factor. The output limits of any process are set by the scarcest resource.

Identify and eliminate the things that need not be done at all.

Those are usually caused by lack of system (recurrent crisis), overstaffing, malorganization (excess of meetings), or malfunctioning information. Delegate activities that could be done by somebody else just as well, if not better. Eliminate the things that waste other people's time.

Control your time management perpetually.

Not only keep a continuing log and analyze it periodically, you should also set deadlines for the important activities, based on your judgment of your discretionary time.