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How I beat procrastination

Here’s the deal about procrastination – usually, there are promises you make that seem pretty easy to keep but also easy to overlook; or life changing promises you make to conquer certain habits that plague you but seem difficult to beat. Procrastination also holds people hostage and also sends you on guilt trip

that equally hold you hostage.

From experience, I was unable to keep to promises because I was distracted and had my brain so cluttered that I didn’t even remember that I had made any promise at all. I realized that overcoming procrastination had nothing to do with me being weak but rather, had everything to do with my being disorganized and having too much to deal with, including helping other people and running errands I had no business doing in the first place.

So I took charge of my life and the first step I took was simplifying my life.

Clutter, lack of organization and lack of purpose all contribute to keeping you enslaved by procrastination so here are the simple things I did to over come it.

STEPS TO OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION:

1. De-clutter your life and get organizing:

How do you start your week? Are you so scattered that you have no clue what your week would be like? Start organizing your life by planning the week ahead. To start with, plan your clothing, the food you would eat and chores in a weekly schedule or timetable. I started by creating a good time table that way I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the week and realize that I didn’t have certain foods at home and then be forced to run grocery errands more than once a week which means vital time being wasted doing just one chore that could be done just once rather than multiple times. You save time, you save energy, you are less exhausted, you have room to plan and succeed.

I also started keeping a weekly planner of all my activities for each day of the week. So I have a weekly planner for my business and another for my personal life. I became very organized and purposeful that I had no room for wastefulness or lack of purpose. You know how the week ends and you ask yourself what you’ve achieved so far and you realize you can’t pin-point anything? That’s what happens when you don’t plan your activities.

2. Create a hierarchy of duties and stick to it: You know how workers are advised to stay off social media until mid-day to stay productive? well, same applies to every aspect of our lives to stay productive and beat procrastination. Choose to start your day doing all the important stuffs and let your day wind down to the much simpler, less important ones. Know when to access social media because it is a huge distraction – DO NOT START YOUR DAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA – rather, focus on your duties, one at a time, giving room for reflecting time, winding down time & trivial time. Try to keep things in perspective.

3. You can’t help everyone: Do you know that the time spent running errands for other people and making other people’s business your business may cost you a lot? I realized that there are certain things I did for my friends, which I didn’t have to do because they should be doing it themselves. Besides, you are choked up already so while helping is good, make it essential and besides, you are not the only friend they have. Remember too that friends tend to take one for granted when you bend too backwards? So try to balance things between how much time you spend doing your own stuffs and the time you spend doing other people’s stuffs.

4. Create room for yourself to relax, reflect and recharge: When you organize your activities, you should fix time too for relaxation, meditation or reflection which helps you to recharge and stay positive. I have “ME” times during different days of the week which I guard jealously. Sometimes, I go tech-detox and turn off my phone, unplug from social media and disconnect completely to keep me focused and on track. Know when to unplug distractions.

Truth is, I have spent the past years being less organized and being less purposeful but I chose to change things at the start of 2017 and created new resolutions that were life changing including giving me business success. I have been able to achieve more than ninety percent of what I set out to achieve this year because I got organizing and began a purposeful life that changed everything. Don’t live like paper tossed about by the wind; rather, be purposeful and deliberate.

Cheers!

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Friends from College binge watch

Netflix show

Talk about binge watching on Netflix. So I started watching Friends from College today and couldn’t leave my seat! I was so hooked! So I finished all eight episodes all at once 😀

This show is funny, it is so real and brilliantly written. It just shows how life really is. The show started with enthusiastic  and happy old college friends wrapped up in their college past and simply happy to relieve the past in the present. I like the way the story unravels to depict the realities surrounding the characters and how life brought them to different unpleasant junctures. 

The cast was fantastic and the chemistry was so real. Am actually looking forward to subsequent season.

If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It’s great for a pleasant lazy day cozying up on the sofa to a glass of Chardonnay 😉

Cheers 🍻 

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Looking beyond the problem

Today was pretty much a tough day for me because it began with thunderous rain, which started to fall in the early hours of the morning which meant that by the time I got my kids ready for school, every where was flooded with large pools of water. Flooding is very peculiar to Lagos State where I live so usually when it rains non-stop like it has been doing over the past couple of days, it meant it could ground activities to a halt. In setting a good example for my kids to never quit or use weather conditions as excuses to not get things done, we braved the rain and the flood and went to school.

On my way out of the estate in which my kids’ school resided, I hit a sharp object in the water and immediately I could sense that I had burst my tyre as I saw a gush of air escape through the water. I managed to wade through the water and got to the express way only to find no help at all. Though I kept my cool, I was worried as I had left my nine-month-old baby asleep in the house with my husband who was meant to be getting prepared to leave for work. so in my can-do spirit, I decided that I would change my tyre by myself in the rain. By the time I got my tools out of the car, I realized that I had no idea how to release the spare tyre which was suspended underneath the SUV. Still not panicking, I resort to praying because I needed to go home. I prayed to God to send me helpers because I needed help that badly.

I wasn’t on my own for too long until two men braved the rain to help me with the tyre. I was so relieved. And as I drove home, I couldn’t help but say ‘Thank you God’ for the experience because my faith in humanity was renewed. I guess when you hear bad news in the media about stranded people getting mugged and all that nasty and scary news, you begin to think that everyone you meet is an assailant just waiting for an opportunity to pounce on you. It is scary, I must say but my faith in humanity was renewed today that two completely strange men who didn’t even know each other chose to help a stranger like me. It was an awesome experience.

I also was optimistic about my experience because in all honesty, I didn’t know how to change my car tyre and I kept nagging myself and asking myself what I would have done if this had happened in a deserted place. This experience gave me the opportunity to learn about the tools that I had in the car because those two patient gentlemen showed me what the tools were meant for and of course, what I had to do to release my suspended spare tyre from underneath the car. The experience also strengthen my faith in God as well because I was so helpless.

I guess for me, I have learnt to look beyond my problems and challenges; to see the blessings and the opportunity. I am annoyingly optimistic, I must say but I guess that has helped me over the years to stay positive and never to be panicky or to take things for granted. You know, after my experience, I realized that I could help others so I quickly sent messages to the parents and teachers in our Whatsapp group to be cautious in the water as they navigated their vehicles to and fro school.

I know that challenges can be frustrating but they are there to teach us lessons, to make us wiser and to improve the quality of our decision making. Rather than dwelling on the problem and its frustrations, try to keep a cool head and dwell rather on the gains [I know it is tough].

 

cheers!

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Burnt out? How to overcome it

I haven’t published a post in a long time because I was completely burnt out, fatigued and unable to do just about anything. Being a full time mum slash business woman who runs her businesses from home, I experienced complete and total short down and was unable to run my business or my household. It felt as though my brain had fried! I couldn’t use my brain and neither could I use my muscles. My head ached from a migraine that had taken up space in my brain and swallowed the creativity and fire that my brain possessed. I was so weak that I collapsed. As I lay in bed for days – finally getting the sleep that I deserved – I visualized all the business activities that I was meant to be engaged in and all the household chores and responsibilities that needed to be taken care of – but alas – it was mere visuals because I couldn’t even lift my arm to support myself.

Image courtesy:https://www.illustrationsource.com

I knew that I had over exerted myself. And this is true of so many people who over-work themselves and even having to bend backwards to please other people. You must know when to hit the PAUSE button before you collapse.

Based on my experience, here are a few TIPS TO OVERCOMING BURN-OUT

1. Take time to rest. Rest is very important because when our body is relaxed, positive juices flow out of us so we are healthy mentally and physically. This is why sleep is very important. Remember that the body rejuvenates itself while we are asleep so giving ourselves the much needed sleep goes a long way to help us physically and mentally. I now make conscious efforts to go to bed just as soon as my kids go to bed at 8pm. That way, I wake up refreshed and strong in the morning.

2. Learn to say “NO” or Delegate: We all know our breaking point but we disregard that all the time by trying to please other people or doing too much. Ask yourself: Are there better ways of doing this job or chore? Is there any way I could make my life simpler? Is there anyone I could share my tasks with? Is it worth sacrificing my mental and physical state for others? Realize you can’t do it all and draw a limit. 

3. Check your lifestyle: Poor nutrition, lack of exercise and even lack of social engagements can affect you. Good nutrition, exercise and socializing improve our moods and general well being. So if you’ve been all work and no play, then it is time to change all of that. I decided to make Wednesdays a “ME” day which means Wednesdays are all about me – I will spend it going to the cinema, eating at a restaurant, reading a book or watching TV – it’s my mid-week downtime to keep me refreshed, energized and positive.

4. Go on a social media detox: information overload, unregulated chats all add up to take away valuable time. Sometimes you find that just by “peeping” into Facebook alone, you get drawn into the posts and updates that your five minutes “peep” turns into an hour long poking, likes and emojis. Do not start your day on social media – rather, make use of your most productive hours of the day – which is the mornings to noon and capitalize on that by doing what is important. Let social media come at your downtown towards evening. Sometimes you need to unplug to focus on what is important.

Which brings me to my next tip – Get Organizing: Make sure you plan your day with agenda the night ahead. You can plan your entire week in a planner to keep you organized and focused. The key is to remain focused so whatever it is that causes distraction, get rid of it.

Last words: take things easy. 
Cheers!

Ene

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Can cheating stop?

I just watched a pleasant and interesting Nigerian movie, Mrs & Mrs Johnson released in 2015. The movie tells the story of two women who inadvertently found out that they shared a mutual relationship – a husband after either was summoned to the hospital by a clueless nurse who had unwittingly dialed either phone numbers based on the contact names on the injured husband’s phone. The events that followed unraveled the dynamics of the relationship that either woman or wife shared with the husband under-going surgery from a gun-shot atttack.

It got me thinking because while it was easy to excuse the man’s double-dealing or cheating by blaming it on his older wife’s inability to have children and her sheer lack of amiable character or manners,  I do not think that it is a good enough reason for a man to cheat on his wife, build two homes and hop in between two wives like a yo-yo. 

There are many reasons why people cheat: inability for a couple to procreate, unresolved mutual differences, distance between a couple and of course, temptation. 

I have heard women advise their friends with cheating husbands to try and make their homes more welcoming and cozy; and that of course, such women should try and look good, look sexy or attractive all of the time. I have also heard and seen extreme situations where women or men try to alter their natural physical appearance to please their partner just so he or she wouldn’t cheat anymore.

But guess what?

They are people in relationships or marriages where they are unable to have kids or in situations where a partner might not care about his or her physical appearance; and they are people in tempting situations but do not cheat. So what does that mean? That cheating is in the character of the person cheating. Do you know that some people are more prone to cheat because of their personality? People who are less conscientious may find it easier to cheat because they can’t be bothered. And same goes for self-centered, egoistic people. Perhaps one should consider people’s personalities before embarking on a relationship with them. Perhaps it could help reduce one’s risk of infidelity?

So, am not interested in making excuses for anyone who cheats because people cheat because it is in their character!

So, tell me, what do you think?

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To leave… or to stay…?

Just my musing…

Dwelling on a sad, little child…

Women remain in marriages or relationships for different reasons and one of them being because of their children. They trade their happiness and freedom for ‘stability’ that does not exist. So they unwittingly expose their kids to the dysfunction, the abuse and the psychological degradation that leaves their children scarred for life.

Ask yourself this: have you done worse to your children for staying back? Don’t you think those innocent kids would have stood the chance of a healthy upbringing if you had left?

Broken marriages… broken relationships… doesn’t mean you are broken.

Women, stop breaking your kids.

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DIY Wood wax polish

I used wood polish sprays in the past but ever since I began making things on my own and living organically, I no longer head out to the store to buy things without asking myself, “can I make it?” If yes, then I would definitely make it. At the moment, besides owning my organic skincare line, I make my own detergents, floor cleaner, toilet cleaner and fragrance. So the decision to make my own wood polish with wax came pretty easy. So I asked myself – what does a wax polish need? Lubricant and wax of course! So that was how I started my own wood polish wax that can also be used as a neutral shoe polish. 

You only need three ingredients to make your own DIY wood wax polish/shoe polish:

1. Bleached palm oil 

2. Beeswax

3. Essential oil for Fragrance (optional)

Here are the very simple steps to making your own wood wax polish/shoe polish at home:

1. Bleach the palm oil. Palm oil is bright red and stains so by bleaching it, you are sort of “de-dying” (😀) it. Palm oil is heavy and greasy thus perfect lubricant.

Bleached palm oil

To bleach palm oil, heat it in a sauce pan over medium heat until it turns golden color and resembles peanut oil. You will notice the palm oil changes from a dense texture to a lighter one.

2. Add beeswax to the bleached palm oil and allow to melt and dissolve completely .

Beeswax in bleached palm oil

Once the beeswax is completely dissolved, take the mix off heat and allow to cool. You will find the oil and wax combo harden as it cools.

3. Once completely cool to room temperature, whisk with a mixer and add a few drops of organic fragrance and mix until creamy like a body butter.

Wood wax polish

You can store in a cool dry place to use when needed to polish wood furniture or shoes. As seen in the picture, the wood furniture is polished and remains dust free for days. The natural lubricant keeps furniture durable and long lasting and prevents cracks caused by water residue or harsh weather.

To use, apply the polish on a dry cloth before polishing.

Last word:

Water is bad for wood furniture as it causes wood to swell and crack. It causes it to build mould too. So waxing is best.

Do share some of your DIY tips with us! Happy to hear from you.

Cheers!

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Confessions of a modern wife: It is ok to be you

Do you know any of those couples who you certainly cannot see one without the other? You know, those couples who go everywhere together, do everything – and I mean, everything together, including trying to look like peas of same pod by wearing similar colors or clothing? I know some and believe me, I never in my wildest dreams wanted to be like that!

Not that there is something wrong with that; my problem is that I grew up hearing about couples who were so similar and inseparable that they were starting to look alike! Oh yes! 😀 But seriously though, I think that by my nature and upbringing, I am one of those people who make good team players but also enjoy being apart from the team. I was raised a very self-aware, only child for twenty-eight years until my twin siblings arrived seven years ago. I was so self-aware that it was extremely hard for me to be influenced by people because I had such a strong sense of rationale and “good sense” to know who I was, who I wanted to be and where I wanted to be and with whom I wanted to be. When you have this individualistic personality, you don’t want a partner that is overbearing, clinging and too dependent on you. So, that is the kind of person I am. And guess what? I married someone like that!

My husband and I more than sixty percent, have two separate social lifestyles. I married a party animal while I am the more reserved, creative writer who values her solitary more than anything else. I love a good TV show too so I would rather sit at home than be out partying. For the past nine years that I have been married, I have never called my husband on a Friday night to ask where he would be at or what club he and his friends would be rocking at. I don’t  try to come between he and his friends because they all have been together since childhood and teenage years. I do not judge his friends; in fact, they are great guys and I have learnt to respect my husband’s lifestyle because I want my solitude respected as well. I do not come in between his sports as well – never!

What I have come to learn in marriage – and especially from our friends’ experiences is that no adult whether male or female, wants to be closed-marked so to say by “spy-like” spouses wanting to know everything you do and try to control you. 

Seriously, if you want to be happy in a relationship, let there be allowance of freedom and less control.

Over the years, my husband tried to draw me into his night life but I couldn’t fit in. At that time, I couldn’t handle the loud music because I wasn’t much of a drinker! Oh yes! I think you need a good amount of alcohol in your system to enjoy loud music! And now that I can handle my liquor – yeah me! 😀 I can handle any party you throw at me.

Still, I would rather stay at home.

I don’t think anyone wants to stay in a cagey relationship; they are unhealthy. If you are the sort who is defined by your spouse, then you would have a hard time living with an independent, self-aware partner.

Differences are great; they make life more interesting. The key is for the couple not to be too individualistic in the relationship that they forget to spend time together. I love wining, dining, visiting museums, going to the theaters and learning new cultures; my husband loves what is familiar. Still, we have to compromise to celebrate what the other person enjoys.

It is ok to be independent and different; but do remember to create “we” times that is special to you two alone.

Tell me what you think. Please leave a comment.

Cheers!

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CONFESSIONS OF A MODERN WIFE: HIS FAMILY MATTERS

Hi guys, welcome to my newest addition to my blog – confessions of a modern wife. As my marriage turns nine years next month, I realized that there are lessons that I have learnt over these past years and though I am not an expert in relationships, my experiences are worth sharing, hopefully, someone might benefit from them.

I have learnt a lot and I have come to respect the important role that family plays in marriages. Hence, my first lesson is on that.

LESSON 1: HIS (HER) FAMILY MATTERS

In Nigeria, we have an old saying that when you marry a man or woman, you marry his or her family because our culture is one in which an individual can almost not exist exclusively without his family. In fact, in my country, the success or failure of a marriage is embedded in the roles that family members play as regards to the depth or otherwise of their involvement in such a marriage. The marriage process in my culture is deeply rooted in our family customs and is so cumbersome that it entails a lot of patience and perseverance to accomplish getting hitched. This is because in traditional Nigeria, the couple involved go through scrutiny from family members and elders in the family clan who extend beyond the immediate family members to include a long list of uncles, aunties, relatives and a host of other people whose consents you must seek when seeking for a girl’s hand in marriage. During our traditional rites, the couples are reminded of the large numbers of people (from both families) who have been brought together to approve and witness such unions and are therefore reminded that divorce (which is frowned at) can only happen if such group of persons are brought together again to give their consent (of course, this is only a scare tactic but when divorce becomes imminent, a couple cannot dissolve their union without family members exhausting all resources to keep them together).

In my culture, it is not strange at all to have married couples living with their family members but thanks to civilization and with high rates of marital problems caused by meddling family members, couples are learning to “cut off the umbilical cords” so to speak. Notwithstanding, this does not necessary mean that married couples are free from family interference or that they can totally severe their ties to their family.

It is not common that an average Nigerian would estrange himself/herself from family members.    

Having this in mind, it would be foolish for any man or woman to ignore the nature of family of which an intending partner originates. When you take an intending partner home to see your family, the first question that they ask is “what sort of family is she[he] from?”, “what are his parents like?”, “what is the nature of his[her] family dynamics?”, etcetera. Loved ones would always ask these questions because they know the powerful role that the family plays in contributing to the success or failure of marriages in Nigeria.

Personally, I made a promise to myself while still single that I would never marry a man whose family could not love me enough to accept me as their daughter. The reason for this was because I was raised in a loving, close-knit family as such, I wanted same for myself and I knew that if I could find a man who was raised in an equally loving family, then my dreams would be a reality. Being a non-confrontational person, I knew I could not handle family dramas from confrontational or antagonistic in-laws so I chose to wait patiently until I met my husband, who happened to be the son of my parents’ friends, who lived just a few houses down the street from my house and with whom we attended the same church!

It looked perfect but at that time, I was concerned that our friendship would stand in the way of a solid relationship but I never forgot my mother’s advice; she would say, look at his family – they are awesome people. They love you already; don’t miss out on that wonderful family. So, in the end, I married my husband to be a part of his family! And so, in the course of our nine years marriage, his family and mine have pulled through for us, even when we thought we would disintegrate. I can say that my biggest lesson was in realizing the important role both our families have played in sustaining our marriage by giving us the necessary support, love and prayers without laying blames. I think it is important that family members do not lay all blames at the feet of their child’s spouse but to steer such couple in the right direction with sincerity, honesty and love.

Last words: 

Every marriage is different; just as every family is different. While some families are more willing to lovingly accept their in-laws into their families, others see them as competitors or threats. In cases of the latter, it can be quite detrimental to the successes of marriages. It is vital that you know what you are getting yourself into and be prepared.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and join the conversation.

Cheers!