It has indeed been a while since I’ve last posted up something on my blog here, since the end of April 2020, in fact. Being into the new year by just about a month, I’ve figured I’d set some time aside and talk a little bit about 2020 and recap how the year went and what my 2021 goals are. Going forward, I’d like to try to do this every year to reflect, learn, and share.

Working From Home Actually Became More Stressful

Without needing to recap everything that has happened in 2020 globally and country-wide, the year was crazy nonetheless, and it forever changed what working from home was like. If you haven’t already, my last blog post, “Has 2020 Changed What It’s Like To Work From Home?” talked about this a little bit.

Seeing friends and family transition from a physical workspace to a work-from-home environment was very interesting and filled with different emotions and experiences.

For some, hearing them say, “working home wasn’t as easy as I thought it was,” was very satisfying. Only because these were the same people who kept thinking my job was easy. Whereas with others, it just clicked and worked very well because their job just happened to be a perfect balance, and I am truly happy for them.

So where did it all go wrong?

With so many businesses bringing their work home with them, their regular 9 to 5 job all of a sudden became more convenient to work around the clock, regardless of if its flexible work hours or a full-blown 8+ hour cycle, the emails, slack message, notifications, they all came in at random burst and in multiple directions.

So instead of most agencies closing down at around, let’s say, your typical banker’s hours, it just kept going, and it never. Once. Stopped.

With more time on their hands, many client projects that would take months for approval all went through, and the work just slowly began to pile. I’ve seen this at a few of the agencies I freelance for. Specifically, the agencies that live in the digital space.

I Got an Office Space

Yup. You’ve read that header correctly. While mostly everyone transitioned to working from home, I’ve transitioned to getting an office space. For quite a couple years now, actually, getting an office space was something I’ve wanted to do. To have a room where I could meet my clients and work with my team was always the end goal. You know, except I can’t really meet clients and work with a room full of people right now, but it’s a start!

Having the option to work at the office or work from home is such a breath of fresh air. Working from home actually feels like a treat now, and no longer does my bedroom feel like a workspace!

I Am One of the Crain’s Rising Stars In Tech

I didn’t share this as much as I would have liked, but the holiday season was upon us, and my goal was to survive the holiday rush. But at long last, I am happy to say that I am one of the selected people for Crain’s Rising Stars in Tech here in Chicago! You can see my photo here on the site that also links to a nice little bio: Quite a fantastic achievement if I do say so myself.

2020 Was All About Work

I have to say, I’m pretty sure there is more I can take out of 2020 that can be thought dumped into this blog post, but I think the three headers above are the most memorable ones. This past year has felt like nothing but work, and because there was nowhere to go and nothing to really do besides staying indoors, that’s all it really was for me.

A lot of the bad work-from-home habits that I had broken all came back, and overall I can say 2020 was an unhealthy work year for me both mentally and physically. This just wasn’t something any one of us could have predicted. I can say, though, I catch myself making these bad habits a lot earlier on now to stop. As long as I can stay aware of this, I can somewhat bring back that healthy work style I’ve set up for myself. It will definitely take some time adjusting to the new circumstance again, but we’ll get there.

What’s In Store for 2021?

The quick answer is I don’t know, but the long answer is a lot. Quite the exciting response, isn’t it? There are a lot of things I have planned, which I will announce as they happen but the most significant overall goal for me this year is three things:

1. Create a better, healthier, and more realistic work style.

2. Personal growth.

3. Share what I learn along the way.

Those are my three main goals for this year, and I look forward to sharing more of this with everyone along the way.

To finish off this blog post, for anyone reading this, if you feel obliged, I would love to hear what your experience was in 2020 with work and what your goals are for this new year.


My name is Tony, and I’m an Experience Designer with 8+ years of experience in design and development. At heart, I am a developer first and a designer second. I enjoy creating interactive experiences, but I also enjoy designing and learning about the user’s experiences.

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