Baking Has Taught Me To Never Say Never

The first celebration cake I baked was for my daughter’s fourth birthday. It was a disaster. Bless her heart, she thought it was the best cake ever and still does. I look at that and think what the heck is that????? If I showed you that cake and said I wanted to start a cake business, chances are that you would laugh me out of your presence. Never mind any dreams of having a café, I just didn’t have the talent.

I baked this cake in September 2012

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Six months later
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A year later

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And this one in December 2013
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In 15 months of practice (not even regularly) and no formal training, I have begun to turn out better looking cakes. There have been days when I’ve been so down on myself and thought there is no chance on earth or in heaven that I could ever ever do this. Who would want a cake that looked like a mudslide? However, A little over a year, I am really proud of what I’ve done. Not because they are the best but simply because I have improved and some people actually want to pay for my cakes.

So I’ve developed some ‘never rules’ to always remember when I’m embarking on a new journey:

      Never judge a book by it’s cover, including yourself

 

      Never be afraid to learn something new

 

      Never stop learning

 

      Never say you can’t until you’ve tried

 

      Never give up because something is too hard for you

 

      Nerve judge your future by a moment of hardship

 

      Never compare yourself to someone else and decide you’ll never be good enough

 

      Never let tears (or disappointment) stop you from getting up the next day and trying again

 

      Never stop trying whilst you still have breath in you

 

      Never lose patience with yourself

 

      Never let imperfection stop you from presenting your work

 

      Never be in a hurry to be a master at what you do

 

    Never fail to assess where you are and determine a course of action to get you to where you want to be.

All this from baking you ask. What can I say? The kitchen is a jungle. 🙂

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Thought of the Day

Being busy does not equate to productivity. In actual fact it is laziness. It’s easier to be busy and going nowhere than to knuckle down and focus on a goal.

– RWW

The Limitations of Having a Vision

Last weekend I spent some time with a friend who talked about a dream of hers and how she was at the place where she was ready to go for it. It’s a very expensive dream to have so I can understand why it’s taken her a while to wrap her head around giving it a go. It’s also a dream that goes against the norm – not always easy to put your head above the parapet.

Having a vision means that you are boxed in. And as you get older, the more you junk stuff you are not interested in and so that vision continues to glare at you more and more.  And if like me you have a vision board on your wall, it stares at you before you go to bed and first thing when you wake up.

You can’t run away from who you are any more than you can can run away from the dreams gestating within you. You can put them on hold or dance around them, but they will always be alive within you waiting for an opportunity to flourish.

When we use the word dream, the tendency is for the mind to always go to some major adventure, project or accomplishment.  The tendency is to let other people’s accomplishments determine what we think a dream is.

A dream is whatsoever your heart desires. A better relationship with your spouse or a loved one, a peaceful home, a healthy diet, time for yourself in a busy world- a dream is whatever you imagine that is not yet a reality.

At some point you’ve got to admit to yourself that you are either not brave enough; hardworking enough; tough enough; committed enough; caring enough; whatever ……….. enough.  At some point you have to admit that just maybe, all along, you are the only one in the way of achieving your dream.

Death at the Starting Blocks

Most of us kill our dreams before they even leap from our minds into life.

I’m just not good enough.

It’s been done before.

What if I fail?

What if I succeed?

Who would believe me or buy from me?

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t have the skills.

So and so is better that me.

With so many people out there, I doubt that I would stand out.

What if, what if, what if, usually leads to I’m not going to bother doing it.

Don’t kill your dreams at the starting blocks. Give it a try. If you fail, you learn. If you succeed, wonderful!

The moment you start to plan out your dream and take little steps, you realise that it just might be possible. Then you put a little more effort into it and you start to doubt less and the what ifs dissipate and become when wills.

Redefining Wonder Woman Series Seven: Giving Back

This is the first Redefining Woman Woman post of 2015 and I am so excited to introduce my school friend, Ore Somolu-Lesi to you all. Nigeria has sadly had a lot of negative press lately and I’m happy to share one of the many things that gives me hope for my homeland.

Ore Somolu-Lesi

Ore Somolu-Lesi

Ore and I met at Queen’s College (secondary school) about thirty years ago. Although our parents were good friends, we were sort of flung into close proximity by virtue of our height. As tall girls, we often found ourselves together at the back of the line for assembly. At school, Ore was incredibly clever- she seemed to sail through exams effortlessly; serene, strong-willed and really quiet. Whilst life has taken us on very different paths, we’ve kept in touch through the years. Today,Ore is the founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) known as Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) which empowers girls and women through the use of information technology. I hope her story inspires and encourages you.

RWW: What did you want to be as a little girl?
Ore: I wanted to be so many things. Each week, I had a different ambition and they were all so different: one week I wanted to be an astronaut, the next an interior designer. I guess there was something about each one of these jobs appealed to a part of me or to one of my interests. And I had very many interests. I was fascinated by space and watched every programme that explored life outside of the Earth. I loved to organize things and people. I loved to learn about far-flung parts of the world.

The constants were that I loved reading and liked to write, so I assumed that whatever I ended up doing would involve a good deal of both.

RWW: Please tell us a little bit of your background
Ore: I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria as the eldest child of 3 children (with 1 brother and 1 sister). My parents were both engineers with strong entrepreneurial streaks. My first degree was in Economics at the University of Essex, U.K. and then I went on to study for a Masters of Science degree in Analysis, Design & Management of Information Systems at the London School of Economics & Political Science.

My Masters degree was an interdisciplinary programme that explored the development and management of information systems within organizations and countries. Information systems are made-up of technology, the users, the environment in which the technology will be deployed and any policies guiding the use of said technology. It was a very interesting programme, one in which we studied different theories on change, innovation and management.

Afterwards, I moved to the United States, to gain more practical technology skills and experience. I opted for a certificate programme on Applied Sciences at the Extension School of Harvard University, Boston. In the programme, I focused on programming, web development, multimedia and technical writing. I gained skills that led me to a variety of exciting volunteering opportunities such as helping a small non-profit design and manage their electronic newsletter. I also taught web design at a community technology centre.

My first real job was at a non-profit organisation called Education Development Centre (EDC) Inc., where I worked as a research assistant looking at the different ways men and women used the Internet for learning. I moved on to building the website and managing the technology resources for another department within the same organization. It was a time of incredible learning and stretching for me and I gradually came to realize that I could do so much more than I thought I could. However, it always meant taking myself out of my comfort zone.

RWW: Having lived away from home for so long, what motivated your move to Nigeria?
Ore: I lived abroad for eleven years (five and a half in the U.K and the U.S each). I knew ultimately that I wanted to move back home to Nigeria. From my work with community technology centres in the U.S, I had seen my students grow in confidence from learning how to use computers. I had also seen my former students go on to get jobs based on what they learnt in my classes. My work exploring the potential of using technology for change in the U.S encouraged me to see how women and girls in Nigeria could also learn how to use these tools for learning and empowerment.

RWW: Did you have a plan?
Ore: I got a job offer in an oil and gas consultancy firm. This was a very different industry from the one I had been working in. I wasn’t quite sure what I would be doing there, but it was a job and I had found that it wasn’t very easy getting a job from the U.S. However, I managed to get a job before moving home and was grateful for it. My immediate plan was to complete the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme as soon as I moved back home.

RWW: How did you go from an Economics degree to advocacy?
Ore: In my final year at Queens College, I had to pick the degree I wanted to study in university. I didn’t have a clue! I danced around from degree to degree.

The general thinking then was that the smart girls chose Medicine; the girls who can talk and argue go for Law; the business-minded girls chose business and commercial degrees like Banking & Finance, Accountancy and Business Administration. Then, everyone else gets in where they can fit in. I had no idea what I could do, but I thought “I’m quite smart, so I should pick medicine.”

This was a hilarious decision considering that, all my life, I had an aversion to blood. I closed my eyes during the gory parts of films. I also was not particularly enthused by physics and chemistry.

In the end, I didn’t get high enough grades in Physics and Chemistry to study Medicine. Although, it was such a humbling experience, it turned out to be such a blessing in disguise, because then I could give more thought to what I really wanted to do. I honestly still couldn’t figure it out, but opted to study Economics because I was very good in Economics and Maths. I decided that I would try many different things while at university and so hopefully, by the time I graduated, I would have figured things out a bit more.

RWW: And did you figure things out?
Ore: Before I started university, I went to a computer school to pass the time until I could start school again and learnt how to use a computer properly. A fascinating new world of knowledge was opened-up to me.

When I got to university, I started a business typing essays for other students. It was hugely empowering to make my own money with the skills I had. Then I started thinking about how other women could use technology in their lives for their own empowerment.

I decided to study Information Systems for my Masters degree to gain a better understanding of the role of technology in social and economic development. While I was doing my Masters, I got to learn about how few women were working in the technology space. This included creating technology, developing technology-related policy. Even in terms of access and usage – the figures for women were very low. I was intrigued to know why and to do something to help close that gap.

The idea that would eventually become W.TEC started to take shape. This was firmed-up when I moved to the United States and worked at EDC and my volunteering role at the community technology centres.

RWW: Explain what W.TEC is all about?
Ore: The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is a Nigerian non-governmental organization set-up in 2008 and which encourages Nigerian girls and women to learn how to use information and communication technology as a means of empowering themselves socially and economically. Our programmes include technology literacy workshops; skill-building projects; and research examining pivotal issues related to African women’s use of technology.

Our programmes are a combination of technology literacy classes, mentoring opportunities and research. We offer young girls a technology camp each year as well as after-school clubs which help to extend and deepen the initial learning they receive from the camp.

Through a mix of classes, workshops, presentations, excursions and leadership exercises, we endeavour to build strong, intelligent and focused young women, well-prepared for living and working in an increasingly technology-driven world. Our girls learn how to program, create applications for mobile devices, build websites, make short films, etc. They also participate in career talks led by women working in technology jobs or who use technology in interesting ways for their work.

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W.TEC in Action

RWW: And what do you offer women?
Ore: For women, we have the Entrepreneurship & Technology programme, which is designed to equip current & aspiring female entrepreneurs with relevant business & technology skills to build and manage a profitable and sustainable business.

RWW: Why girls and technology? Why not poverty, health or education in general?
Ore: W.TEC was set-up in January 2008 and conceived in response to research that showed that although ICTs significantly contribute to a nation’s development and growth, women – who make-up approximately half of Nigeria’s population – are severely lagging behind in their knowledge and use of technology.

Over the last two decades, Nigeria has experienced a rapid growth in information and communication technology (ICT) jobs, however women are less equipped to participate in this space. Available research shows that female enrolment in the technology and engineering courses of Nigerian higher institutions is lower than men’s (Punch Newspaper, January 5, 2010). This disparity continues in industry, with women accounting for less than 20% of ICT jobs in Nigeria and tending to occupy mostly junior or non-technical positions (Development Information Network, 2006). This means that women are not benefiting from technology’s economic and social advantages.

Research also indicates that in order to ensure that more women are working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers; it is important that the interest of girls in these subjects is kept and nurtured through secondary school. That is why we pay particular attention to working with girls aged 11 to 17 years.

RWW: Every career or cause has a humble beginning. What form did W.TEC take in the early days?
Ore: The precursor to W.TEC was a project I set-up in 2006 with a friend Sokari Ekine called Blogs for African Women (BAWo). This was a 6-week project that taught secondary school girls how to blog. In doing that, we helped them gain more confidence using computers. As a result, I gained the experience of running a project from the concept stage to the implementation , monitoring and evaluation stages.

A while after the project ended, I saw a Call for Proposals for a small grant that would support projects that helped to strengthen networks. I built on the BAWo project and submitted a proposal for what would become W.TEC’s first project: the Networking for Success project (http://www.w-teconline.org/nfsblog). The Networking for Success project would teach women how to use Web 2.0 tools (essentially social media) and other ICTs to effectively develop and advance their work. We shared a lot of the learning materials online and created a blog where the network of women would discuss their use of the various tools we were learning about.

Thankfully, we were selected to receive the grant in 2007 and at the end of the year, I resigned from my job to set-up W.TEC. In January 2008, I started work full-time on W.TEC. Looking back on it now, those were very exciting times.

Project coordinator, Toyin Ajao, our office assistant, Nkechi Nnamchi, and I we set-up the structure which was the foundation for what W.TEC is today. We implemented the Networking for Success project in May 2008.

RWW: What experience did you have at the time to run the organisation?
Ore: All I really had was a very little idea about what it took to run an organization, but I learnt as I went along. At the time, it was quite nerve-wracking and I always feared I would be ‘found out’ as someone who didn’t really know what she was doing. But, it seemed to others, that I looked like I did. I was very, very passionate about my work and I realise that definitely helped buoy me through the times where I was very uncertain about myself. I handled 90% of the training in those days and all our beneficiaries commented on how well I was able to teach and how much I seemed to love my work.

Over the years, we have grown in staff strength a little (we are now four with a sizeable team of volunteers). We have some more structure in place, but still flexible enough to make decisions fairly quickly and adapt to changing circumstances.

RWW: What challenges have you faced in terms of changing perceptions of women in IT, particularly in Nigeria?
Ore: When W.TEC started in 2008, there was very little knowledge about the gender digital divide in Nigeria – why it existed and why it was important to close it. W.TEC was one of the few organizations working in this area and we have engaged in a lot of awareness-raising over the years through training, speaking at conferences and other events, interviews in the media, and presenting the results and alumnae of our programmes as strategies to educate the wider public about the importance of gender equality in ICTs.

There were many people who did not understand why closing the gender digital divide was even important. They felt that if there were fewer women working in technology than men, then it must purely a matter of choice. There was no understanding of the role of female role models in technology. There was no understanding of the unique challenges that many women and girls have with respect to access to technology, having time for the study and practice required to learn the skills. There was no thought given to the factors that cause many women to drop put of technology jobs within the first 10 years of their careers.

Now there is more understanding about the benefits of closing the gender digital divide and more government agencies and companies are expressing interest in supporting initiatives to encourage more girls and women in ICT learning – it’s use and careers.

RWW: You’ve received several awards. Which has meant the most to you?

Ore: Maybe the very first one, which was the Change Agent award from the Anita Borg Institute. There is something extra-special about the first thing and so I will always remember this first award I received.

The Change Agent award is given to women who are supporting other women in computing. I was invited to the Grace Hopper Celebration, which is the largest gathering of women in computing anywhere in the world and is an annual conference organized by the Anita Borg Institute. I was given the award in a glamorous ceremony by the president and CEO of the ABI, Telle Whitney and Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Research, of Google at the time (and Board of Trustee Member of the Anita Borg Institute).

My sister Ayoola travelled with me for the conference and having her there made it so so special for me.

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RWW: What is your hope for Nigeria and young girls in particular?
Ore: I really want girls to be all that they want to be. They should have the ability, access to opportunities and education that can make this happen. I want Nigeria to be a place where girls and women have the support and encouragement they need to realise their dreams. Although my work is more focused on how girls and women use and engage with technology, I care about the total girl and the total woman.

The vision of W.TEC is a society where Nigerian women and girls are able to create and use information and communication technology for learning, activism, entrepreneurship, and professional activities effectively.

RWW: Thank you Ore.

You can learn more about W.TEC from their website at: www.w-teconline.org, YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/watchwtec and online album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wtec/sets/

One Step At a Time

When I started my new job, gosh almost nine months ago now, I was full of a lot of hope. And that hope spilled into other areas of my life, such as my health. My office is on the second floor and I thought hmmmm here is a good opportunity to get some additional exercise in my day – use the stairs instead of the lift. Did I say additional? Sorry I meant some exercise.

Apart from chasing my kids about the place, I don’t get much exercise. We do walk about a bit but I couldn’t quantify it. So I want to try and get fit-ter.

I bought a skipping rope cos I don’t do gyms and I’m sure I won’t last with an exercise video. But it’s still in the packaging one week after. *covers eyes* I’ll be very honest, exercise has never been my priority. I prefer eating healthily, I have the discipline to do that however, I recognise the need to be fit particularly as I’m not getting any younger.20150125-213314.jpg

So I plan – you can see I’m still struggling with commitment – It’s just that I know that there’s no point planning to do something you haven’t thought through.

Anyway, so my general excuse for not taking the stairs is that it’ll take too long. Even though I’ve often seen my collegues who opt for the stairs as I’m waiting for the lift get into the office before me. I’ve never been convinced that it would be quicker.

Yesterday, after convincing a colleague not to take the stairs – I’m bad aren’t I? – I guess the conversation got stuck in my mind. So this morning – wait for it – I took the stairs! Wooo hoo.  And guess what? I took them again on my way home too. I decided to time myself. Guess how long it took to take three flights of stairs? Under five minutes, probably three.

How pathetic is that? So it’s the stairs from now on. Logic tells me even if I’m running late, three minutes will not change the outcome much. I know it’s nowhere near the twenty minutes a day recommended by Cambridge University researchers recently but it’s seventeen minutes away from it plus the unquantified running around I mentioned earlier.

As you can see, I had fitness on my vision board, for posterity sakes. So perhaps this will take me a little bit closer. One step at a time.
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If I succeed – and right now it’s a huge IF- I might adopt the principle of a little change a month. After all, after my alternative stoptober, I’m no longer addicted to coffee. So I may just become a fit-ter in 2015.20150125-213304.jpg

Vision Boards

I like to think about the New Year way before it starts. Usually by mid-September, I’m scouring my mind and making way for thoughts of the New Year.

I’d heard of vision boards some years ago but never did one. I’m a visual person so I thought to try something different whilst I was feeling excited about the New Year.

I wanted to make sure I got it done last year so I emailed half a dozen friends to see if they were interested in a group activity. I got positive responses but in the end only three could make the date I had available. 50% is not bad eh?

I went onto google, as you do, to find out some information about creating Vision Boards and facilitating a group activity on them. Nothing major, I just skimmed through some articles and was ready to go.

Don’t be fooled by the terminology though. They are nothing more than mood boards for goals/ambitions. Interior and graphic designers have been employing them for years. I always marvel at how life coaches turn age-old wisdom into freshly developed pearls of wisdom but I digress. It is simply a pictorial view of something you want to achieve. Works particularly well for people who are quite visual.

I’m the sort a person that you would take to a dilapidated building site and would see nothing but rubble. I need to see designs, swatches, colours, walls and all for it to excite me. If you are that kind of person, this would work really well for you. However, at the end of the day, it’s just a tool.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if it would work, especially as I had other people with me on the journey but I’m always up for learning new things and pushing my boundaries. It’s not like we were going to the North Pole right? Just in case though I was ready with food, drink and good company.
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If you thinking of trying this out here’s what you need:

  1. Card: I went for A2 but I suppose you could stick together a few A4 cards to get the size you want.
  2. Scissors
  3. Glue
  4. Magazines: loads of different kinds. You can ask your GP or hair salon for copies they are throwing out as well.
  5. A quiet space to do it with some relaxing music helps

Step 1: Think about what you want to achieve. Could be what you want 2015 to bring, what you want the next ten years of your life to look like, a home renovation project – whatever. It’s whatever you want.

Step 2: Go through the magazines and without really thinking, pull out images or words that jump out at you. This could take about half an hour. Just keep pulling them out. Having a variety of different magazines helps as in our case I found out that having only two types was a bit limiting and it took more time to search through. So ensure you have a wide breadth of magazine choices
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Step 3: This is the fun part. Start cutting out images and sticking them on your card or board. You might find that you have some sort of theme running through your pictures and could arrange them according to that. Or there might be no common thread at all so just stick them wherever and however you want. Don’t fall into the trap of creating a board that people want to see. It’s your life, your board.

Step 4: Once you are done sticking, take a step back and look at your board and see if anything resonates with you. The key is to be open to whatever it may bring your way. One of my friends, discovered that whilst she was doing a lot of things and was mega busy, she had been spending time doing things that didn’t please her. The board helped her to realise this and I’ve already seen her make changes to her life.

Step 5: If the board worked for you i.e. it inspires, tells you something new about yourself, validates, etc. then stick it up on a wall where you can see it regularly as a reminder of what you want to achieve.

I’ll have to admit that one evening wasn’t enough for me. I ended up sticking my images and words by theme but I didn’t have enough pictures. However, once my themes were in place and I realised these were the things I wanted to accomplish in the next phase of my life, I went back to the magazines looking for images that matched my vision.

I’ve also gone a step further and done a vision board with my children which I’ll blog about soon. That was quite enlightening.

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After the vision board comes action without which this is just a pretty picture on your wall. However, I do get a boost each morning by looking at it so in that sense it brought clarity to me as well as motivation.

Enough of the 2015 Drivel – Less Talk, More Action

Someone tweeted this the other day and I had to laugh because I totally understood where she was coming from. As the end of one year draws nigh and the dawn of the new year rises, there is an inordinate amount of ‘motivational’ spiel all over cyberspace.

During the first couple of months of the year, I tend to avoid social media because undoubtedly, every friend, follower and his aunty will be posting motivational quotes,quips, sentences, memes – whatever you want to call them. And If I am honest, even humble-improve-yourself-me finds it a bit annoying.

Don’t get me wrong. I usually love such quotes and I believe 100% in personal development but at this time of the year you just want to yell SHUT UP and do something instead of talking about it or in this case, writing about it.

Lest we epitomise that old adage, ’empty vessels make the most noise’, lets make some clear and realistic choices and steadily get on with it. No one ever achieved anything by talking, wishing or dreaming – you knuckle down and get it done. (is that a quote???? 🙂 I might just get away with that one)

And so like the true, and smug, worshippers in the temple of the gym, we await the demise of fledgling resolutionaires and look forward to getting on with it in 2015.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what those in my life achieve this year and hope to feature some in the Redefining Wonder Woman series for 2015.  Can’t wait!

I’m Listening

Three years ago I went on a retreat or a getaway I should say on my own. My husband had the children whilst I spent fours days in Southampton just to clear my head.

While I was there I got a idea which I wrote down. So excited was I by the idea that I couldn’t wait to get home I called my husband as soon as I could to talk about it. He was quite encouraging which if you know my husband at all, is high praise. He’s just one of those guys who is never overly enthused about anything. If something is good he says OK. If it’s fantastic he says it’s alright. If it’s super fantastic he says good. This day I got a good which was in itself an encouragement.

In between writing down that idea and now, life has just literally taken over. I’ve changed jobs, moved to a new city, changed schools for my children, changed careers, moved house, got out of one business, started a new business – a lot has gone on. Slowly and surely I forgot that idea.

Restlessness is a sure sign that something needs changing or a great reminder of something you already knew. I’ve been restless over the last six months or so, particularly the last three. And I have been soul searching again. Two years ago I would have gone on another retreat but I couldn’t do it this time. So I decided to use the opportunity of Advent to prepare myself for next year and kind of listen out for what next.

Best laid plans! It’s three weeks since I decided to do that and life seems to have suddenly gotten even busier if that’s possible. Although I couldn’t take the time to be still, I’ve been thinking a lot about it- just going through questions in my head. So last night I couldn’t sleep and I found myself tossing and turning an hour after I got to bed so I thought I might as well start my advent journey, 20 plus days later. I picked up the journal from twos year ago and read through it. I couldn’t believe the amount of detail I had then. Maybe it was too much to process at the time or I wasn’t convinced or I was scared and kind of put it off. Who knows? Two years later, the same idea is still reverberating in my head. I’ve come full circle.

It think it’s safe to say you should never say you don’t know what to do, it’s more like we aren’t listening. Or perhaps we are not in the frame of mind to listen and do something about it.

The universe is always saying something, in my case I believe God is always guiding us, but we are way too busy to listen. Sometimes we miss it but sometimes, out of share grace, we get a second chance and we hear it again.

One of the many things life has taught me is that, the ‘universe’ will not keep speaking forever if we do not jump in
when the waters are stirred. If you are restless at the moment or want your life to take a new shape or direction in the New Year. Take some time out to listen. At the very least you confirm what you already knew deep down.

Listening is a lot harder than talking. It takes time, patience and determination but yields better results all the time.

Turn Off the Emails

I generally get lots of emails a day at work. My daily agenda usually incorporates going though my emails first thing in the morning and then working through priorities and any actions that come out of them. This usually works for me but my line manager is on holiday (lucky lucky her – no I’m not jealous. Why would you think that?) and I am getting my usual emails plus emails that would have gone to her. And my my my, it’s like someone opened up a vortex of emails that just will not calm down.

Naturally I want to go through them immediately also because there is the added pressure that I’m standing in for her in that regard. However, it’s just impossible. They don’t stop and there’s always a need that requires replying and action. Meanwhile, I’m not getting my work done.

So after spending four days in this email whirlwind, I had a efficiency tip moment. I decided I wouldn’t let my emails dictate my daily agenda. I was going to get my work done first – irrespective of the number of pings I heard. And I closed down Outlook to make sure that happened. Then I put my instant messaging on DND (Do Not Disturb) that way all messages went straight to email which was presently on lock down.  Lastly, I set myself of a deadline of 12:30 to get my work done and then respond to the emails. And it’s been amazing. It worked.

I read something yesterday on working from home. It recommended leaving your phone in another room whilst working. I will have to try that another time.

Until next time,

Efficiently yours.