5 Productivity Tips for Maximizing the COVID-19 Lockdown

5 Productivity Tips for Maximizing the COVID-19 Lockdown

5 Productivity Tips for Maximizing the COVID-19 Lockdown

05

APRIL, 2020

Samuel Osho

It’s Spring, but our roads are eerily quiet. Deserted streets flanked by closed shops. As we attempt to flatten a curve cresting beyond our control, we are told to self-isolate and stay at home. Social animals detest isolation, it’s like cutting water supplies to a city amid a desert.

A house bursting at its seams with panic is the last place to find logical thinking. Panic and fear are siblings, but different in their operations — the crippling effect of the former makes it a deadlier assassin. It shuts everything down. Yes, it’s like turning off the power grid that feeds the White House. It’s scary, I know. But that’s how many people feel right now.
 
But how can we turn this crisis on its head? How can we make the best use of this time?

 

5 Productivity Tips

1. Revive your relationships

Life moves so fast. You work diligently to pay the bills at the price of missing out on the warmth of relationships. This is the time to revive your vertical and horizontal relationships. Connect with friends and family.

Parents have ample opportunity to revamp weakened connections with their children.

As a couple, it’s a chance to find the romantic spark again. Your inner circle is your support system, invest more time to strengthen your bonds.

2. Redeem Lost Time

Time is a nonrenewable resource. Time cannot be created, but it can be redeemed.
This is catch-up time to complete a list of unfinished business around the house. Those abandoned house projects deserve closure. Plunge into these projects and use this extra time productively.
 
If you have a side business, take advantage of the compulsory holiday to finish outstanding tasks. Use this period to prepare for the overflowing demand that might occur after the quarantine.
Smart people replenish their knowledge bank regularly. When you are up against a busy schedule, it’s hard to keep up with books and professional courses. It’s time to finish those books and complete the online courses. Find ways of adding value to yourself with the extra time in your hands — check out study guides for professional certifications that can advance your career pursuits.

 

“Nothing can disturb your peace of mind unless you allow it to.” – Roy T. Bennett.

3. Reassure your employer

There is no better time to show your employer that you are made of gold. As you work remotely, go above and beyond. Show grit and diligence in your daily duties.

Amplify your productivity, let your employer know that working from home is not an excuse to slack. During the lock-down, gain the confidence of your boss in a way that remote work becomes a viable option for you after the pandemic.

Document your productivity metrics during the quarantine. This will come in handy when you start a conversation about working from home on one or two weekdays after the lock-down.

4. Reflect on your life

Block out time on your calendar for meetings with yourself. You need time alone. A quiet moment of meditation. Before the busy life kicks again, reflect on your life. Review your core values, beliefs, principles – do they still drive your critical decisions? Take stock of your life and highlight areas for improvement. Find your true north and stay on track with your life goals.

5. Relax your nerves

For many, this is a down-time. What do you do during downtimes? You refuel, you recharge and breathe.

Your mental health is vital at this time, more than anything. Watch after yourself, remember to eat healthily and get loads of rest. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you can binge on movies and treat yourself to bouts of refreshing sleep.

Conclusion

In a crisis, many things are out of your control, but you must remember that the way to survive is to focus on the things you can control – your attitude, your thoughts and your life.
If you have some other tips that you think will be of great help to anyone during the lockdown, kindly drop them in the comment section below. Gracias!

Beta Life Series – What’s Your Definition of Success?

Beta Life Series – What’s Your Definition of Success?

Beta Life Series

What’s Your Definition of Success?

Samuel Osho

“We fail the minute we let someone else define success for us.” – Brene Brown

It’s a bad omen when all your drives are externally motivated. You squeeze yourself into boxes made for you by others. You wear over-sized garments so you can fit into a particular clique. The summary of your life is living to prove a point to others – parents, friends, rude bosses and petty neighbours. That’s no life at all. It’s a disservice to your being. 

Without your definition of success, success will appear elusive. In split seconds, the accomplishments of others will pull you in a million directions. That’s how distractions morph into confusion. A confused person lacks clarity to achieve goals. In fact, you switch your goals and aspirations every other day. Today, you are heading to Honolulu because Heidi is hitting it big there. Tomorrow, you are running to Rabat because Rasaq secured a job with a Moroccan firm. You have to be frank: what’s your definition of success?

Your definition of success must come from within. It must reflect who you are, what you want, what gives you peace, and what brings you joy. Your interpretation of success is derived from a merger of your beliefs, principles, and values. No one can define it for you. It’s your responsibility — an escape ticket from the chaotic cycle of exhaustion and resentment. No need for it to be glamorous or aesthetic. It’s for you, and it’s your true north. Your life revolves around it. What an excellent opportunity to celebrate your uniqueness and authenticity.

 

To remain unperturbed in a noisy world, your inner energy must outweigh external forces. That’s how to insulate yourself from drifting. Let everyone rant all they want, staying on track with your success goals is all that matters the most to you.

Congrats! You just read the shortest brief on how to live a life of legacy. 

Beta Life Series – Taking Risks

Beta Life Series – Taking Risks

Beta Life Series

Taking Risks

Samuel Osho

When was the last time you took a step, and you felt like the hinges holding your world were about to snap?

Former heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, insisted, “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

What could be more exciting than taking a risk?

 

What’s more fulfilling than a leap of faith that was handsomely rewarded?

I imagine it’s like cranking the ignition of the first automobile engine, and it roared to life.

It’s like sailing across the Atlantic for the first time from Europe and finding a new land called America.

It’s like pressing the shutter of the first Polaroid camera, and an image was captured. 

What’s more exhilarating than rocking in a new orbit after a quantum leap that took your breath away?

Risk takers are the ones who deserve a place on the extraordinary lane.

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, sums it up well when he said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that [is] changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

You won that contract because someone was willing to take a risk on your competence.

 

When was the last time you took a risk? Your capacity will always remain the same if you refuse to increase your appetite for risk. Your dreams may not morph to reality until you are willing to take bold risks.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a system and culture that vehemently hates taking risks. So, a normal life often mimics the trails of an animal in a circus show.

But it’s not the fault of the system; you have a responsibility to break out of the normalcy. Not many people dare to do this, so the few that break out are often the rebels scaling into new heights of excellence.

 

Well, the most important thing is to get into the act – make a move and take a risk.

And for young people, there is no better time to take risks than now. Now is the time to take risks, make mistakes and learn.

You may win some and lose some, but one thing is for sure, you will never be the same again.

Emotional Intelligence 101 – Who Are You?

Emotional Intelligence 101 – Who Are You?

Beta Life Series

Emotional Intelligence 101 – Who Are You?

Samuel Osho

After being brutally beaten and robbed, a man was left unconscious on the roadside. A psychiatrist was passing by, he paused, looked at the man and exclaimed: “My God, whoever did this, really needs help!”

What’s the difference between a psychologist and a magician? A magician pulls rabbits out of hats whereas a psychologist pulls habits out of rats. 

Long before the field of psychology received significant attention, there was little or no importance placed on the value of emotional intelligence. But recent studies have convincingly proven that to succeed in today’s world, high intelligence quotient (IQ) is not enough. For guaranteed success in leadership positions, you need an excellent blend of IQ and emotional intelligence. 

You must have heard people say that managing people is a tough job. That’s why leadership and management will be a hard nut to crack for anyone that fails to intentionally understand people and why they act the way they do. But how can you understand others if you are not fully aware of who you are? 

It’s easy to manage robots – no mood swings, no sick days, no anger feats, and all sorts. But when your job requires managing a team of four to six people, a headache pops up and then you are about to explode. 

It’s clear that it’s impossible to separate human beings and their emotions. Your typical day can best be described as a rollercoaster of diverse feelings and emotions – angry, happy, sad, ashamed, afraid, anxious and we have some emotions that are without names.  

It’s a huge challenge to effectively deal with emotions because our brains are wired to always give emotional reactions an upper hand. When you receive signals from your sensory organs – sight, smell, hearing and touch; the signals pass through the spinal cord at the base of your brain to its destination (the frontal lobe – the back of your forehead). But before the signal reaches the frontal lobe, it has to pass through the limbic system. The limbic system is the seat of emotions while the frontal lobe is the seat of rational thinking and logic. So, the signals get tampered with and evoke some emotions before they reach the center of logical thinking. That’s the popular emotional hijacking! 

 

In the book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, Emotional Intelligence was divided into four core areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. 

The first two – self-awareness and self-management drive your personal competence because they have to do with the understanding and management of your personal emotions. 

The last two – social awareness and relationship management controls your social competence because they involve comprehending the emotions of people around you and effectively manage your interactions with them. 

In conclusion, low emotional intelligence is not the end of the world. Not when you are determined to see it grow and improve. But the foundation of all the four core areas is self-awareness – it sets the pace for the development of other areas. The journey to increasing your emotional intelligence starts with YOU – it does not start by pointing fingers, it starts by going inside out.

For further reading on Emotional Intelligence, you can check the following books: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

Lessons from 2019

Lessons from 2019

Lessons from 2019

31

DECEMBER 2019

Samuel Osho

Wow! 2019, what a year! A year that taught me many lessons and shaped my character in ways unimaginable. I am not here to tell you “to inspire and aspire your desire even when you perspire …” Wait a minute, what’s that? Stop those rhymes in 2019 and let’s be serious in 2020. It’s a new year.  

Here are some lessons I learnt in 2019: 

 

5 Lessons from 2019

1. No one owes you anything

Yes, you heard that right, no one owes you anything. You can effortlessly find yourself in the web of entitlement where you tie your needs and progress to people. A place where you think A and Y owe you X and Z.

Whatever you are doing for people, do it as unto the Lord and not with the intention of reciprocity.

If you are the type that helps people and broadcast it everywhere, it’s a terrible way to live life. If you help others and think they owe you an obligation to reciprocate the favour, you may eventually find yourself in frustration. Human beings will always be human beings, but if you look up to God for help, you can be sure that your expectation will not be cut short.

2. Learning to quit so that you can win

Over the years, we have learnt that success requires persistence, hard work, resilience, dedication and commitment, but there is more. Not all ventures or causes deserve your devotion, commitment and dedication; you have to quit some projects or causes so that you can win in others. Sometimes, we embark on journeys that are nothing but dead ends, but we lack the honesty to tell ourselves it is time to quit and reroute. 

In 2019, I learnt how to quit so that I can win. It could be very hard, especially when you are emotionally invested in a project or you are worried about what people are going to say. But this is a new angle to living a successful life – you will make tough decisions that require intuition, discernment and tactfulness. 

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

3. Appreciate what you have

If you have a talent, a friend, a skill or an opportunity that you don’t appreciate, you are on the verge of losing it. Whatever you appreciate enjoys a free flow of affection and attention from you; hence it grows. If it is a seed, it germinates and sprouts. If it is a flower, it blossoms and sparkles in the hues of nature. If it is a tree, it buds and bears fruits. 

 In contrast, if you neglect what you have and don’t pay attention to it, it will wither and die. One of the primary causes of belittling what you have is envy. It stems from focusing on what others have and forgetting to appreciate and nurture what you have.  

In 2019, I learnt that what I have is enough if I am willing to commit my resources to its growth and expansion. Keep showing up every day with more water and nutrients and these tiny seeds will become mighty trees. 

4. Don’t settle until you get what you are looking for

If the goal is to see the mouth of a river, don’t row your boat to the middle of the river and give up. No, that’s not the way to win! Don’t settle along the road until you reach the destination. 

You are the only one with a perfect vision of what you are looking for, don’t let the sermons of lazy people make you settle for what contradicts what’s on your vision board. Keep moving until you find the coordinates of where you are destined to be. Keep shooting until you hit the target. 

5. Strip yourself of vulnerability, and you’ll become a robot

This past decade has seen lots of super-hero movies that we always deceive ourselves that we are superhumans. See, you are not a superman; neither are you a superwoman. You are living your life to show that you are flawless, and void of weaknesses is nothing but lies. You are human; you make mistakes, you make errors, some moments will break you, and some moments make you cry. Don’t be ashamed to present yourself as a broken vessel, even broken vessels birth beautiful flowers. 

As a leader, I learnt that being vulnerable is one sure way of connecting with empathy and leading better. This idea of an infallible man that never cries and a leader that knows all things is incredulous. Be human; that’s the way to live life to the fullest. 

Conclusion

In 2020, there will be lots of abundant opportunities to expand your territories, grow new skills and enlarge your capacities. Be bold, be confident, take risks and chase after your goals like never before. Live a balanced life full of gratitude. As you grow and become bigger, remember to be humble and show love to others. God bless you! 
Happy New Year in Advance! 
My 5 Best Reads of 2019

My 5 Best Reads of 2019

My 5 Best Reads of 2019

28

DECEMBER 2019

Samuel Osho

Asides my love for writing, I am a voracious reader that devours books both for relaxation and education. Reading helps to relax tense mental muscles and amplify imagination, it’s also an avenue to gather information on a new subject. 

In 2019, I read more books than I have done in previous years, and I am excited to share some of my best reads with you. I hope you find these books inspiring. The books on my list were necessary not published in 2019; in fact, some are quite old, but they are still relevant in their respective fields. 

5 Best Reads of 2019

1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott’s compendium of instructions on writing is a superb blessing for any passionate writer. The book uncovered some nuggets via personal stories blended with humour. 

Lamott insists that to become a superb writer, you have to write more and don’t judge your competence based on your first drafts. You will have terrible first drafts. The earlier you know that, the better for you. For storytellers, Lamott’s advice is to keep writing until you unravel the hidden gems – the profiles of your characters, the dialogue forms, the setting and many more. The book offered tasks you can do to warm your writing engines before embarking on the “big” writing project. 

To finish a story, if you need the help of experts on unfamiliar subjects, don’t hesitate to reach out. Get those conversations going, and the perfect words might just come to you. Lamott also emphasized the essence of joining writing groups and seeking constructive criticism from editors or writers that believe in you.

2. The Dip by Seth Godin

Success requires lots of dedication, hard work and resilience. Everyone knows that, but Godin introduces a new angle, which is knowing when to quit a project, a company, a relationship so that you can win in other things.

Godin describes those tough times before success as either a dip or a cul-de-sac. In a cul-de-sac, you recite the mantra of resilience and perseverance, but it’s a ploy to drain your energy and resources – it’s a dead end. While a dip mirrors the same climatic conditions you face in a cul-de-sac, except that it’s going to lead you to a bright side – things get better if you push hard enough. 

A dip is a shortcut to success and weeds out your competitors. Still, it takes intuition, wisdom and sometimes, data to know the difference between a cul-de-sac and a dip. If you spot a cul-de-sac early in your journey, quit the race, save your energy and resources for better ventures. That’s how you quit to win.

“What a blessing it is to love books.” – Elizabeth von Arnim

3. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

This is a must-read for anyone interested in today’s style of entrepreneurship and start-up business. Peter Thiel is a highly intelligent founder and entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience in pioneering innovative technologies. The book makes a case for the true meaning of technology and demonizes the word “globalization” as copying what others are doing.

Thiel goes deep into business secrets that every entrepreneur needs to explore before making entry into new and existing markets. The book contains logical arguments fit for discourse in our ever-evolving world. Although the book tilts towards collaboration between businesses and paints unhealthy competition as idiotic, it has answers for entrepreneurs in both monopoly and competitive terrains.

What takes any business from zero to one is doing what others are not doing – creating new solutions and not merely repackaging what others are doing. I love the part that delved into how to set up a mafia team for a start-up, how to distribute and sell a new product, how to build a company with a robust culture. 

4. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi’s expert advice on personal finance is a brilliant place to start if you are bent on living a life of financial freedom. Management of personal finances requires one to take charge; don’t be reactive but be proactive. The book propels you to take necessary actions towards your long-term financial goals. You will learn the rules of optimizing my credit card(s) and how to enjoy the perks that come with it. 

The book shows practical ways to supercharge your negotiation skills and avoid unnecessary bank charges. It went deeper into practical strategies for investing and how to start immediately. Ramit shows how to create a conscious spending plan after looking closely at your monthly spending behaviour. And then the exciting part kicks in with using automation as a smart way of saving more money. 

 In the end, I enjoyed the comments on saving for a wedding, getting a prenup, buying a house and buying a car. I am more confident about my finances and equipped with the information to make better decisions.

5. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry

Greaves and Bradberry teamed up to create an instant supercharger for Emotional Intelligence. The book is a robust tool for anyone interested in learning about Emotional Intelligence and seeking practical ways of improving their Emotional Intelligence Quotient.

The introduction gives an eye-opener on how the emotional part of the brain continually overrides the rational part of the brain. It explains why the default response of human beings is usually a gust of emotions and not a series of logical and thoughtful reasoning. The scheme of emotional hijacking as many call it. 

The book further emphasizes the impact of High Emotional Intelligence on personal and professional pursuits. I learnt that Emotional Intelligence could be seen through four lenses: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management. Asides painting what it looks like being in the top or bottom percentile of each category, there were several daily practices you could start immediately to increase your emotional intelligence.

Conclusion

For a list of my favourite books, you can find them here

 

It’s your turn, please share with me in the comments section – what are the best books you read in 2019?

Do you have an idea that you would like to share with me?

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