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!

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?

Beta Life Series – What Are you Investing in?

Beta Life Series – What Are you Investing in?

Beta Life Series

What Are You Investing in? 

Samuel Osho

When American statesman Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, he left a sum of $4400 USD as a gift to each of two cities, Boston and Philadelphia. The money had to be loaned out to young married couples at five percent interest. Unfortunately, the cities couldn’t have full access until 1990.

Two hundred years later, Franklin’s $8800 donation had grown to more than $6.5 million between two cities! 

 

Now, that’s a true story! 
 
Well, this is not about investments in brokerage accounts. 
 
It’s about a deliberate investment in yourself – mind, brain, skills, and relationships. 
It’s been a tradition for so many to struggle with reading three or five books a year. What if you can stay consistent with finishing ten or twenty pages per day, you will be amazed at how many books you would have completed by the end of the year. 
 
Set a goal for yourself and go for it. 
 
If you decide to read at least 20 pages of a book per day, you would have finished 12 books (200-page each) in four months. 
If you could write 250 words every day towards the completion of your book, you would have compiled a 120-page (30,000-word) first draft in about four months. 
 
If you devote one hour to learning a new skill every day, imagine how much competence you would have amassed in three months. 
 
There is tremendous power in the act of consistently investing in yourself. 

 

If you are currently experiencing a burnout or knowledge drought, don’t you think this is the best time for you to create a plan that will see you plunge into books, online courses and much more. 

You are your most valuable asset – your life, your mind, your brain, your body, your spirit, and your skills. If you can focus on making intentional investments in yourself, you will discover that there are no limits to what you can become. 

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It!

06

FEBRUARY 2019

Samuel Osho
Nike’s iconic slogan – “Just do it” is a powerful tag line that creates an atmosphere of urgency needed for taking action. It has morphed from a famous motto to an axiom that embodies the criterion for success in life. Life naturally rewards those who take action. Yes, the doers and not necessarily the over-thinkers.

 

No one cares how much you know about writing until you begin to write. It may be hard for people to believe that you are a superb chef until you start cooking meals. In a nutshell, excellent knowledge about a subject matter is insufficient in the school of success, you must take action in the right direction with what you know.

 

When you are on the verge of executing a project, have you noticed how easy it is to be bogged down in the strategy room with volumes of data? You love to stay in the spheres of planning and analyzing because it gives you a false belief that you are making progress.

Often, a movement is confused with progress. When you are moving in circles, you are engaged in an activity because of your mobility, but progress is halted. The hardest part of any project is the launch because it brings you face to face with your fears and doubts. How then do you get results or measure impact when you do everything else but take action?

Unfortunately, the world only celebrates those who get results. I believe that getting results is pivotal to your overall success in life. Results amplify your impact, and it’s a testament to the quality of the knowledge you have amassed.

What are you waiting for? It’s time for you to take action – join a speaking club, enroll in the course, start the business, write the book, do the assignment, call the coach, or start the music lessons.

To be honest, it’s time to take a break from “analysis paralysis” and learn the art of getting things done. High achievers master the art of ruthless execution.

Taking action triggers a chain of reactions that will lead you to your success. These are some of the things that will happen when you begin to take action despite your fears.

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action

1. People take you seriously

Imagine you have always introduced yourself to your community as a writer but no one has seen any of your literary works. You call yourself a writer, but you do everything else except writing.

People won’t take you seriously until they see you do things that resonate with your professed identity. That’s the way it works. If you want people to start paying attention to you and the things you care about, you have to take action – step out today.

2. You attract people with similar goals

What happens when you take the plunge and start your business as a Master of Ceremony for Corporate events? You draw the attention of all the key players on that turf – both the newcomers and the experts.

Taking action means taking your foot off the brake pedal and joining the race to the peak of flawless performance. In this new venture birthed by taking action, you will produce results which will attract others to you. Some of the people you draw will support and encourage you.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth president of the United States

3. You learn from experience

Nothing holds people back like fears, doubts, and uncertainties. You are probably afraid that you don’t have enough knowledge required as a baseline for starters. You will be surprised that folks out there with massive influence don’t even know as much as you know. The difference between both parties is execution – they take action.

Former British prime minister, William Gladstone once said, “No man ever became great or good except through many and great mistakes.” What’s the worst that can happen when you step out? Let’s assume you make a mistake, you fail, and everything crumbles. Well, that’s not the end, you have to learn from your “great mistakes” and keep moving. Brace up and keep learning from your unique experience. There are many things you will learn when you decide to take action and face your fears.

4. You begin to get feedback

As a writer, when you start a blog or publish a book, it’s more like putting yourself out there. Criticisms will come tumbling down – both destructive and constructive. You begin to get feedback about your work from your readers.
In their book, The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” When you take action, you open yourself to feedback which will stimulate your growth.

 

5. You gain clarity

No one has it all figured out, clarity comes when you immerse yourself in the journey of becoming. How do you know the prospect of a business idea you have not executed? How do you know if a book will sell when you have not published it? How do you know you will be a superb public speaker when you are yet to give your first speech? Taking action is all you need to sift the tares from the wheat. You will be equipped with insight to know what works and what does not work for you.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you have nothing to lose when you take action. Execution propels you on the paths of excellence and clothes you in the regalia of success.

 

What are the five things that will make you happy and drive you towards your overall goals if you can get them done before the week runs out?
Go for them!
Just do it!

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

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

28

JANUARY, 2019

Samuel Osho

It’s the last week of the first month of the year and you may be lost in mixed feelings. Do you deserve a sharp reprimand for missing your goals or a pat on the back for a job well done? In this self-reflection class, you have to own up and be true to yourself. As 2019 strolls by, are you making every day count? A fabulous year can end in an ordinary way if you lack the energy and enthusiasm to ace your daily goals. 

To be honest, I know how it feels when you have a list of daily goals with unchecked boxes staring at you. If you pride yourself as one, who is a pro in getting things done, missing your goals could be worrisome. To make matters worse, the pace at which your days disappear, you silently wish that you can have more than 24 hours in a day. 

Time is one of the equally distributed resources – everyone has access to the same 24 hours in a day. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and you all have the same 24 hours but how come they seem to be getting more out of their day. Perhaps there is something they do, but you ignore. 

If 2019 will be different for you regarding results, then you have to be intentional about how to excel at your daily goals. Here are some tips that work:

 

7 Tips That Work

1. Create a list of your daily goals

The rule is if anything is important to you, then you have to write it down. Writing your goals gives you an opportunity to think things through and put these tasks in the front burner of your brain.

A list of daily goals serves as a reminder when you are lost in the pool of daily activities. In fact, research has shown that people who write down their goals on a regular basis are more likely to achieve them when compared to those who just have it in their heads.

I have a friend who has a daily ritual of writing his life goals in a journal every day. He described this habit as a powerful motivator and a superb drive for amplifying his productivity. 

What do you want to accomplish today? Do you have it on a list?

2. Do one thing at a time

The power of focus cannot be underestimated when it comes to productivity and execution. I have found doing one thing at a time extremely powerful and magical.

When you don’t narrow down on a single task at a time, you spread yourself too thin and become less effective. You can’t boil an ocean but can boil a jug of water – focus on one thing at a time, finish it and move to the next task. The Focusbooster app can be of great assistance in this regard. 

In the next thirty minutes, which task are you going to give undivided attention? Just focus and get it done. 

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein

3. Start with the big tasks

It usually happens that when you have a long list of daily goals, you unconsciously start with the easy ones first and end up not doing the hard ones. Often, you are unable to finish the difficult tasks when you follow this sequence because you are usually exhausted even before you start them.

Start your day with the execution of significant and challenging tasks. Expend your fresh energy on the tough assignments and finish them before moving to the easy and simple ones. Interestingly, when you muster the strength to complete an arduous task, you get the motivation to keep moving.

On your list of goals for today, which one is the hardest? Let it be the first task you have to face. Go for it! 

4. Reward yourself

When you get the job done, learn to celebrate your small victories and reward yourself. You deserve some accolades for a job well done.

The Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo works based on the principle of rewarding yourself with a five minutes break after twenty-five minutes of uninterrupted work.

Surprisingly, this system works like magic. For example, you can say that you are only qualified to watch your favorite TV show if you score well above 90% in the execution of your daily goals. Watching the TV show is a reward for acing your goals.

The anticipation of relishing a pleasure you derive from your leisure time can be a driving force to complete your daily tasks on time.

After an hour of steady focus on completing a task, don’t you think you deserve a 10-minute break? 

5. Learn to say No

We are naturally wired to say yes to almost every offer. But to stay productive and effective, you must learn to say No. You just can’t accept every invitation to be of help to others.

If it clashes with your schedule, learn to say No or reschedule to what suits your priorities. If you say Yes to people and you don’t have the time to attend to their needs, they will eventually feel terrible when you let them down.

So, why don’t you just say No if it does not work for you rather than trying to please everyone?

Take a critical look at your commitments this week, maybe you need to say No to some of them to increase your productivity. 

6. Starve your distractions

In these days, you have more enemies of progress than you thought. In fact, your most prized gadget – your sleek smartphone can be an obstacle between you and achieving your goals.

Staying on your phone all day can rob you of the precious time that could have been invested in pursuing your goals. When you are set to get a lot of productive work done, you can put your phone in a “do not disturb” mode.

Another way of curbing distractions from social media is to have specific times of the day that you visit these apps on your phone.

Be sincere, do you really need to visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn every 20 minutes? Install these apps to block your access to social media accounts for a specific period of time – Freedom and Cold Turkey.

7. Get an accountability partner

If you know someone that believes in you and is passionately interested in your success. You can ask if they are willing to be your accountability partner.

Having someone to share the list of your daily goals with is priceless. At the end of the day, a five-minute chat can be used to evaluate how you fared and right there you will see the room for continuous improvement.

Draft a mail and send to two friends asking if they will be willing to be your accountability partners. You can stick to a daily or weekly review, whichever works for you is fine. 

Conclusion

Success does not come suddenly, but it builds up one day at a time when we imbibe the art of investing heavily in every passing moment. See each day as an avenue to bake a brick needed for building a monument of greatness.
I have listed only seven tips here and this is far from being exhaustive, please feel free to add more tips that can increase daily productivity in the comment box below. Thanks.

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