Monday Motivation


“If you love your job and are passionate about what you’re doing, going in to work Monday morning is another opportunity to do what you love,” . “But if you’re feeling under-appreciated or unsatisfied with your job, it can be especially difficult to start another seemingly endless workweek.”

“The ‘Monday Blues’ describe a set of negative emotions that many people get at the beginning of the workweek if they’re not happy at work,” says Alexander Kjerulf, an international author and speaker on happiness at work. “It contains elements of depression, tiredness, hopelessness and a sense that work is unpleasant but unavoidable.”

The Monday Blues are so prevalent that they have become a cultural phenomenon, “and this makes it easy to laugh them off as ‘just the way things are,’” he says. “But they can be much more than just a passing tiredness; they are often a serious warning sign that something is not right at work. If you were happy, you’d be excited and energized on Mondays, not tired and depressed.

Here are 10 ways to beat (or avoid) the dreaded Monday Blues:

  1. Identify the problem. “The first thing to do is to ask yourself what’s wrong,” Kjerulf says. If you have the Monday Blues most weeks, then this is not something you should laugh off or just live with. It’s a significant sign that you are unhappy at work and you need to fix it or move on and find another job.

Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, suggests making a list of the things that are bringing you down in your job. “Maybe it’s a negative co-worker or a meeting with your boss first thing on Monday morning, or maybe it’s that you don’t feel challenged–or maybe it’s all of the above,” she says. “In either case, clarifying what is bothering you can help you try to be active in finding solutions. It’s a way of empowering you to take charge and try to improve the situation.”

  1. Prepare for Monday on Friday. “Mondays can be extra stressful from work that has potentially piled up from the previous week and, for many, can be challenging to jump right back in,” Kahn says.

To help combat that Monday morning anxiety, be sure to leave yourself as few dreadful tasks as possible on Friday afternoon, Friedman says. “By taking care of the things you least want to handle at the end of one work week, you’re making the start of the next that much better.”If you do have any unpleasant tasks awaiting your attention Monday morning, get them done as early as possible so that you don’t spend the rest of the day procrastinating or “feeling as if there’s a black cloud hanging over your head,” she says. “Make that uncomfortable phone call, resolve that outstanding issue, or clean up that mess that’s waiting for you. You’ll feel a lot better once it’s over.”

3. Make a list of the things you’re excited about. “We often look at the week ahead of us and think of all the tough stuff we have to do and the difficult tasks ahead of us,” Kjerulf says. “Turn that around. Sunday evening, make a list of three things you look forward to at work that week. This might put you in a more positive mood. If you can’t think of three things you look forward to, that might be an indication that you need to make some changes.”

  1. Unplug for the weekend. If possible, try to avoid checking work e-mail or voicemail over the weekend, especially if you’re not going to respond until Monday anyway, Friedman says. “It can be tempting to know what’s waiting for you, but drawing clearly defined boundaries between work and personal time can help keep things in check. When you leave the office on Friday, leave your office problems there and focus on enjoying your time off. Sometimes going back to work on Monday feels especially frustrating because you let it creep into your off-time, and so it never even feels like you had a weekend at all.”
  2. Get enough sleep and wake up early. Go to bed a little early on Sunday night and be sure to get enough sleep so that you wake up feeling well-rested, Friedman says. “If you’re only running on a couple of hours of sleep, it’s unlikely that you’re going to feel good about going anywhere when the alarm goes off Monday morning.”
  3. Dress for success. “Dress up, perk up and show up ready to be positive and help others be positive,” Shane says. “Be the light and energy that makes others have a better day. Show and share your spirit, charisma and vibe and make yourself magnetic.”
  4. Be positive. Start the week out with an “attitude of gratitude,” Kahn says. “Take time to recognize and appreciate the things that you enjoy about work.”

This starts before you even get to work. To pump yourself up on your way in to work, try listening to your favorite songs, Friedman says. “Think about the type of playlist you would create for a workout, and incorporate that same upbeat, high-energy music into your morning preparation or commute.”If you’re able to be a source of positivity in the workplace, not only will you make your day more enjoyable, but you’ll also make the work environment better for those around you, Kahn concludes.

  1. Make someone else happy. Make a vow to do something nice for someone else as soon as you get to work on Monday, Sutton Fell suggests. “Doing nice things for other people definitely can lift the spirits, and in this case, it could actually help shift the overall mood in your office,” she says. “Paying it forward can yield great results all around.”

Kjerulf agrees. He says we know from research in positive psychology that one of the best ways to cheer yourself up is to make someone else happy. “You might compliment a co-worker, do something nice for a customer, help out a stranger on the street or find some other way to make someone else’s day a little better.”

  1. Keep your Monday schedule light. Knowing that Mondays are traditionally busy days at the office, a good strategy is keep you Monday schedule as clear as possible, Kahn says. “When you’re planning meetings ahead, try to schedule them for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This will help you to come into Monday with more ease from the weekend.”

Instead of tackling the biggest and most complicated tasks early on Monday, take some time for easier, more routine stuff, Kjerulf says. “This might get you up and running and give you the energy for the hairier tasks.”

But beware: If you have too much free time—you’ll sit around “feeling blue,” Shane says.

  1. Have fun at work. Take it upon yourself to do things that you enjoy in the office on Monday, Kahn says. “Maybe bring donuts for your colleagues or take a quick break to catch up with friend in the office. Sharing stories about the weekend with co-workers can be fun and also is a great way to strengthen your interoffice network.”





 If you’re going to spend 1/3 of your life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

I know this because I’ve been there too. Years ago, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

  1. Discover the Root(s) of the Problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

  1. Practice Gratitude for an Instant Uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.


If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

  1. Take Meaningful Time for Yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!


Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

  1. Get Productive and Feel Accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The Bottom Line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

By: Kileen Robinson

Achieving personal goals feels great. However, failing to achieve them can deal a massive blow to our egos. After all, this failure is personal, and it often makes us question our own convictions. Of course, every life is filled with failures: some are not too severe, and some are valuable lessons, but failures make us feel weak, powerless, and demotivated.

When things don’t go as we planned, we start to experience this lack of control, and that is truly depressing. It affects how we behave; it prevents us from being happy, and we feel stressed out as a result of all the self-doubt we are experiencing. Luckily, these problems are not beyond solution, and you can conquer this weakness one step at a time.

  1. Learn to accept yourself and give yourself some more credit.

You need to know that every trait you possess can be viewed from both a negative and a positive perspective. If you consider yourself to be determined, and if you do not give up easily, other people might perceive this trait as stubbornness. If you are ambitious, others might call you greedy, whereas if you are humble, they might say that you lack ambition. Abandon the notion that you can become someone that everybody will admire, and focus on being someone you would admire. If you try to impress everyone, you’ll end up forsaking yourself and, as mentioned, these personal failures are far more disappointing. It’s a truth as old as humanity itself: we have our own vision of ourselves, while others have a different perception, and the truth is somewhere in between. In other words, do not take criticism too seriously, and do not be self-absorbed all the time; just learn to accept yourself, and only work on the flaws that you truly wish to eliminate.

  1. Learn how to handle your finances.

Another reason why we might feel stressed out and powerless is when we have trouble handling our finances. When you start to live your own life, there are unexpected expenses that pop up each month, and since these expenses can easily lead to debt, you need to think ahead and save money for those occasions. Whether we want to admit it or not, money is also a form of power, and without it, we feel less secure and less confident. If you are stressed out because of your finances, there are two solutions. You can see what you can do to earn more money; you can ask for a higher paycheck at work, and see what the requirements are; or, you can simply learn how to redistribute your spending budget. Sit down and calculate how much money you need to pay the bills, and then see how much money you have left and create your daily budget based on that number.

  1. Add more organization to your life.

When you feel a lack of control over your life, then you can combat it with a grain of OCD. Start to organize everything you can. It was already mentioned how you can organize your finances and how to earn money by selling things you don’t use. However, you can take this a step further and reorganize your home and daily schedule. The main reasons why this is useful is because you’ll feel a lot better when you are in a well-organized environment, and unexpected problems and obligations are less likely to sneak up on you when you monitor things more adequately.

One thing is certain though: you will feel so much better if your entire living space is neatly organized and if everything feels in its place. Plus, you’ll be motivated to maintain that order, since you worked hard on building it.

  1. Work on self-improvement.

Self-improvement can imply a lot of things. It can mean a change in your governing philosophy, or acquiring new skills, or simply changing your lifestyle for the better. So far, everything mentioned here was a form of self-improvement, and all that remains is that you work on your competence. You can try and do better at work, or you can start to learn other skills that can help you with house maintenance. You don’t need to spend money on this, since you can find online tutorials and start learning this way. As you improve, you will start to fix things on your own; you will start to feel that you have greater control of your life, and you will be proud of yourself. You can train yourself to become a good craftsman, which is fulfilling, and it can help you earn some extra cash on the side.

  1. Learn to rely less on other people.

Lastly, the less you rely on others to solve your problems, the more powerful you will feel. It’s all right to ask for help, and you don’t have to do everything on your own, but if you aren’t able to solve problems without relying on others, then you will be frustrated.

This is why self-improvement is important, because when you are self-sufficient, you feel more liberated and less pressured. Furthermore, with more skills at your disposal, you can even help others, and people will start to appreciate you more. Besides, when you are helpful, you will feel better.

So, know that you are capable of many things, know that you do not need to rely on others, but also, do not refuse or shy away from asking for help. The whole point of this is to make your life easier and to gain more control over it — not to embrace unnecessary struggles.

By: Esther Ijewere

Email : Esther@womenofrubies.com

Instagram & Twitter : @estherijewere

Facebook : Esther Ijewere

***Esther is a social activist, Entrepreneur, Author and prolific writer. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the Award winning Blogazine “Women of Rubies”.

What is there to say when everything is going wrong?

You’re the one who has it all together, right? At least, you’re supposed to have it all together. But recently, things just haven’t been going the way you hoped. You’re not where you thought you’d be by now.

And you blame yourself.

If you had just worked a little harder, tried a little more or just done something different then things would have turned out differently. They would have turned out better.

But that’s where you’re wrong. It’s not your fault life didn’t go the way you planned. Here are a six things to remember when you’re stuck blaming yourself:

  1. You’re doing the best you can

You know you’re working hard because you know how tired you are. It’s natural to be hard on yourself, but you need to think about all the good you’ve done too, because it far outweighs the mistakes you’ve made. Life is hard sometimes but that doesn’t mean you’re weak or lazy. It means you’re strong.

  1. You can’t change the past

This might sound harsh, but it’s a reminder that you can only move forward, so why drag the past around with you? The past is meant to stay behind you, so let’s keep it there. It’s natural to still hurt from what happened but the longer you relive the pain, the longer it will stay around. Focus on the here and now and use the past as something to learn from, not something to weigh you down.

  1. You have so many people who love you

Your friends and family love you so much. They see how hard you work and they are grateful for it. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help – that’s what they’re there for. Remember: you need to serve others just as much as you need others serve you.

  1. You’re stronger than you know

I used to be such a scaredy-cat. I was afraid of heights, big dogs, hiking and anything else that could end with scars and broken bones. But then I made some friends who loved taking what I considered risks. Whenever I was afraid to do something for the fear of getting myself hurt, my friends would remind me that I’m “stronger than [I] know.” Their support got me out of my comfort zone and I was able to discover how tough I really am.

Take yourself out of your comfort zone to realize how strong you are. Use your trials to prove your strength, even if it’s just to yourself. It’s pretty satisfactory doing something you never dreamed you would be strong enough to do.

  1. This will pass

Sometimes, when you’re stuck in the middle of a rough time, it’s hard to imagine that it will ever end. It’s hard to imagine that the pain won’t last forever. But it won’t. Take heart in the saying “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” The sun will rise soon and you’ll come out even better than before.

  1. It’s OK to take a break

You’ve been working hard. The human body and brain can only take so much before it’s time to take a breather. It’s OK to take a spa day. It’s OK to take time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty for needing to take a break.

You can’t expect to have it all together all the time. No one else expects you to! You are so strong for doing all that you do. Be gentle with yourself and remember to think of these pieces of advice next time you start blaming yourself.

Source: Familyshare

Written by: Emily Brady

I call this little strategy the “2–Minute Rule” and the goal is to make it easier for you to get started on the things you should be doing.

Here’s the deal…

Most of the tasks that you procrastinate on aren’t actually difficult to do — you have the talent and skills to accomplish them — you just avoid starting them for one reason or another.

The 2–Minute Rule overcomes procrastination and laziness by making it so easy to start taking action that you can’t say no.

There are two parts to the 2–Minute Rule…

Part 1 — If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.

Part I comes from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done.

It’s surprising how many things we put off that we could get done in two minutes or less. For example, washing your dishes immediately after your meal, tossing the laundry in the washing machine, taking out the garbage, cleaning up clutter, sending that email, and so on.

If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, then follow the rule and do it right now.

Part 2 — When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.

Can all of your goals be accomplished in less than two minutes? Obviously not.

But, every goal can be started in 2 minutes or less. And that’s the purpose behind this little rule.

It might sound like this strategy is too basic for your grand life goals, but I beg to differ. It works for any goal because of one simple reason: the physics of real life.

The Physics of Real Life

As Sir Isaac Newton taught us a long time ago, objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is just as true for humans as it is for falling apples.

The 2–Minute Rule works for big goals as well as small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. I love the 2–Minute Rule because it embraces the idea that all sorts of good things happen once you get started.

Want to become a better writer? Just write one sentence (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll often find yourself writing for an hour.

Want to eat healthier? Just eat one piece of fruit (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll often find yourself inspired to make a healthy salad as well.

Want to make reading a habit? Just read the first page of a new book (2–Minute Rule), and before you know it, the first three chapters have flown by.

Want to run three times a week? Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, just get your running shoes on and get out the door (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll end up putting mileage on your legs instead of popcorn in your stomach.

The most important part of any new habit is getting started — not just the first time, but each time. It’s not about performance, it’s about consistently taking action. In many ways, getting started is more important than succeeding. This is especially true in the beginning because there will be plenty of time to improve your performance later on.

The 2–Minute Rule isn’t about the results you achieve, but rather about the process of actually doing the work. It works really well for people who believe that the system is more important than the goal. The focus is on taking action and letting things flow from there.

Try It Now

I can’t guarantee whether or not the 2–Minute Rule will work for you. But, I can guarantee that it will never work if you never try it.

The problem with most articles you read, podcasts you listen to, or videos you watch is that you consume the information but never put it into practice.

I want this article to be different. I want you to actually use this information, right now.

What’s something you can do that will take you less than two minutes? Do it right now.

Anyone can spare the next 120 seconds. Use this time to get one thing done. Go.



credit: James Clear; www.jamesclear.com

Job seekers everywhere like to be prepared before they step into any interview room. Whether you are new to the job seeking pool or you are an experienced hire, the aim is always to get the interviewer to like you and believe you are the best fit for the job. This is where people begin to wish they could tell the future or at least read minds. Well, there might be a way to help.

A study of interviewers from different businesses shows some sort of pattern in what the person(s) at the other end of the table hope to learn about you before they let you join their firm or client’s firm. Although most of the questions are now being asked on the application form, we have put together 8 of them which are still frequently asked, along with simple tips on what your interviewer expects to hear.

Can we know more about you?
Actually, this doesn’t come as a question. You will most likely be asked to say something that they can’t already see on the resume with the cue “tell me about yourself”. As much as you might want to give a biography, employers expect something simple and precise. There isn’t much time to go over some family history and what you have been doing for the past decade or half of it. Practicing a personal pitch helps a great deal with this question. A good pitch will focus on your professional self and achievements you’ve made. Achievements related to the role you are seeking are the best to put forward.

Why do you want to this role?
This question gives you an opportunity to show enthusiasm about the job you have applied for. Employers want to hire someone that loves what they do. Having passion for a role and the dynamics of the job are strong points you are ready for the job. Also, if the question didn’t come separately, it is also a nice opportunity to mention why you want the job at their firm particularly – maybe they are building something revolutionary or you just like the company culture.

What is your greatest strength/weakness?
In responding to this, it is important to share job relevant skills that you actually have, as most times you will be asked how you have demonstrated them in previous roles or general life situations. In speaking about weaknesses, your potential employer expects you to show honesty by expressing something (again, relevant to the job) that you are not great at. They also expect to hear how you are working to get better at it.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
This is another opportunity to pitch yourself. Most interviewers take the response to this question as a reason to hire you. Interviewers expect specificity. They want to hear about real and measurable accomplishments, especially ones that you could replicate if you were hired by their firm. It is best to choose milestones that are not just specific to your previous role but something most businesses can relate to such as sales milestones in record time, setting up a new supply chain strategy or project management excellence.

  Describe a time you showed leadership.

People talk about this as the ‘when’ question. Most interviewers are specific with what form of leadership skills they are looking out for and proceed with questions to discover if you possess those skills. The question usually comes in the line of; “can you tell me about a time when you…?” Most times, employers want to know about conflict resolution skills, team management, time management and more. This question can showcase your leadership style. In responding, give enough details but not too much to bore the interviewer and then proceed to state in clear terms what you did, the outcome and what it meant for your team or the business generally.

Why are you leaving your current employment?
Employers want to be sure they are hiring the right person. This question helps them understand a bit about what your professional life is about. Are you in the process of changing career paths? Were you sacked? Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you feel they are offering a bigger pay? Be honest and positive. Do not go ahead to say how you think your previous employer was terrible or lie about being laid off. Saying you were laid off might be the right thing to do because you don’t want this new employer finding out on their own. In expressing reason for leaving, your career growth is always a strong point.

What is your salary expectation?
This is not a blank cheque. It is not. People have missed opportunities despite impressing with every response just because a potential employer felt they couldn’t pay them. To be prepared for this question, know what people in similar or exact roles earn, give your potential employer a range and be open to reasonable negotiation. It’s okay to measure your worth against your experience and skills but try not to come off as being too focused on the pay.

Do you have a question for me?
An interview is a discussion not an interrogation. Interviewers understand this which is why they focus on making interviews interactive and even give you the opportunity to ask them questions. This question is an opportunity to understand more about the company or ask questions that help you know how things are around the company. Asking your interviewer what he enjoys most about his role might throw more light about life at the company, even helping you know the business from the inside.

These questions are very likely questions at your next interview. Preparing for them gives you an edge. The job market is becoming more competitive on a daily basis. Your ability to convince an interviewer that you have the skills they need is very important. Understanding what is expected and giving great responses brings you closer to your dream job and firsthand shows you have good communication skills. Stay confident with your responses and keep a smart smile. Best wishes at the next interview.

P.S: Always be prepared for a brainteaser too. If you think I missed anything, please let me know in the comment section below.
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When we take a look to the East we see the Japanese phenomena known as karōshi. This is translated as death from overwork. This term arose in the 1970s and is used to describe a death as a result of a heart attack, stroke due to stress, starvation diet or suicide all borne as a direct consequence of work stress and being overworked.This has historically been driven by working long hours, overtime of up to 80 hours a month, getting involved in after-hours work related activities such as having after work drinks with colleagues where the main topic of discussion is work, not taking leave days in order to have a mental break from work.

Long work hours unfortunately do not equate to high productivity. This is clear in analysing the G7 countries where amongst the countries is Japan, which has the longest work hours, in fact has the lowest labour productivity. Japan produces an average of 45.5 Gross Domestic Product per hour worked whilst the United States of America with much more relaxed working hours produces 68.3 Gross Domestic Product per hour.

The fallacy of long hours and working hard result in success is quickly being dismissed. Quality of work versus quantity of working hours is what results in success. Productivity in employees is actually increased by having healthy employees. Employees who are well rested, have a healthy work life balance, are empowered and are allowed to think dynamically are proven to be more productive.

Some of the best ways to increase productivity is by creating a work environment that is transparent and encourages feedback amongst colleagues. A work environment that gives people autonomy and freedom both liberates and empowers. It gives individuals the ability to execute the how of their given tasks. The most empowering work space is one where tasks are given, objectives outlined but the how is left to the creativity of those executing the work. Doing this allows for innovation, efficiency creation, camaraderie amongst colleagues, smart working and productive employees.

I encourage us all to be the kind of employees who may never suffer from karōshi but instead flourish in work you enjoy and life you love. May you be productive, working smart and strategically adding great value and not just sitting in the office working laborious hours with mundane impact.


Culled from Guardian Woman

Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started. This step-by-step guide on how to save money can help you develop a simple and realistic plan to save for goals, big or small.

Record your expenses

The first step to saving money is to figure out how much you spend. Keep track of all your expenses—that means every coffee, household item and cash tip. Once you have your data, organize the numbers by categories, such as gas, groceries and mortgage, and total each amount. Consider using your credit card or bank statements to help you with this.

Make a budget

Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget.  Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income—so you can plan your spending and limit overspending. In addition to your monthly expenses, be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as car maintenance.

Plan on saving money

Now that you’ve made a budget, create a savings category within it. Try to save 10 to 15 percent of your income. If your expenses are so high that you can’t save that much, it might be time to cut back. To do so, identify nonessentials that you can spend less on, such as entertainment and dining out, and find ways to save on your fixed monthly expenses.

Tip: Consider the money you put into savings a regular expense, similar to groceries, to reinforce good savings habits.

Choose something to save for

One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal. Start by thinking of what you might want to save for—perhaps you’re getting married, planning a vacation or saving for retirement. Then figure out how much money you’ll need and how long it might take you to save it.

Here are some examples of short- and long-term goals:

Short-term (1–3 years)

– Emergency fund (3–9 months
of living expenses, just in case)

– Vacation

– Down payment for a car

Long-term (4+ years)

– Down payment on a home or a
remodeling project

– Your child’s education

– Retirement

If you’re saving for retirement or your child’s education, consider putting that money into an investment account such as an IRA or 529 plan. While investments come with risks and can lose money, they also create the opportunity for compounded returns if you plan for an event far in advance.

Decide on your priorities

After your expenses and income, your goals are likely to have the biggest impact on how you allocate your savings. Be sure to remember long-term goals—it’s important that planning for retirement doesn’t take a back seat to shorter-term needs. Learn how to prioritize your savings goals so you have a clear idea of where to start saving. For example, if you know you’re going to need to replace your car in the near future, you could start putting money away for one now.

Make saving automatic

Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You can choose when, how much and where to transfer money or even split your direct deposit so a portion of every paycheck goes directly into your savings account. Splitting your direct deposit and setting up automated transfers are simple ways to save money since you don’t have to think about it, and it generally reduces the temptation to spend the money instead.

Watch your savings grow

Review your budget and check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan, but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly. These simple ways to save may even inspire you to save more money every day and hit your goals faster.


Credit: Better Money Habit

I remember, two years ago, finishing school and itching for something to do. I kept disturbing a friend of mine to find me a job so I could keep busy.

My wish finally came through and he linked me up with someone who ran a media company. I joined the team as a content creator and writer. The ‘team’ comprised of myself and the three co-owners of the company. Being the only and most junior staff, I did everything.

They had a blog which I singlehandedly managed. I had to, on my own, come up with content for seven different columns the blog ran. In addition to this, I managed their social media accounts, manned the email, wrote and sent proposals, attended business meetings, and should we get a new client, come up with marketable content and also add the client’s accounts to the accounts I was managing already.

My salary was peanuts. Literally. Subtracting my transport fare at the end of each month, I was left with next to nothing. Did I mention I also attended events during the weekends? I had to blog about those too. I hated my life then. I was miserable. I remember I’d come home late at night, tired, hungry, exhausted. I’ll wail in my mother’s room and tell her I’m quitting. She’d always force me to eat and let me sleep. The next day, she’d wake me up for work. Her mantra was ‘Winners don’t quit.’ I hated work and the mantra.

I kept the job for a year and six months. I didn’t gain any monetary value working there. Instead, I rapidly depleted my savings trying to keep up but I gained two things: experience and social cash. I learned how to effectively multi-task and be productive. I mastered blogging and content creation. Then also I built strategic relationships (social cash).

Our generation is pressure filled both in the good and bad way. Timelines are constantly filled with people’s success stories. How they achieved one great feat. The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019. On average, we spend not less than six hours a day on our mobile phones, thus making social media a huge part of our lives. The good part of this pressure is that it pushes you to want yours. You want your own success, thus you work hard. The negative part is you don’t see how these people got to where they are and so there’s no procedure to follow. Take for instance if you want to be a medical doctor, there’s med school; to be a lawyer, law school; but to be a success? There’s no institution.

A point of pivotal notice is that this has made us money driven. We want the results and we want it now. No one is interested in building a relationship or working to learn. We want to work to earn immediately. This creates the doubt and mistrust when someone says “let’s have a partnership”, “be my intern,” “work and learn,” “I can’t pay you now.” The next thought usually is, ‘they want to use me,’ ‘they want me to work for free’ and working for free is definitely not our definition of success.We just want to end up at the top, no room for little steps. While money is important, money doesn’t equate success. The word success has nothing to do with money. Success is the accomplishment of a worthy goal. When you set goals and accomplish them, you’re said to be successful.

Of course, human beings are unpredictable, and the good book rightly says, the heart of man is desperately wicked. You can toil and slave for someone who won’t appreciate you now and even in the future, but we won’t get very far with that mindset. If you intend to pay for everything in life with money, you’ll be paying bills for a long time to come. There are things relationships can get you that money can’t.

I learned one key principle over the weekend from Adebola Williams. On his Instagram page, while speaking on the celebrity wedding between Lala Akindoju and Chef Fregz, he wrote, paraphrased: We managed to set them up for many priceless moments on this journey of love, many of their good friends did their best to make them have the day they truly deserved because are both so full of gifts and they give till empty tank. When you see everyone going above and beyond for this couple, it’s because these ones have sown directly or indirectly and by God they are deserving, reaping in gratitude.

Did you know, statistically speaking, you’re four people away from the person you want to meet? The easiest way to succeed is to invest in relationships. This investment may not pay off now, but it definitely will in the future. Don’t think you’ll knock once and the door will open. Never be embarrassed to invest in quality relationships. Choose your friends; you’ve probably heard, your network is your net worth. Most importantly, sit down and learn, embrace the work. So many times, when great things are about to be dropped into our lives, they may appear in another form, sometimes, very discouraging.

God may decide to encourage you through a little text message from your friend and not from that mentor you admire and hope to connect with. I know it’s not easy, when it seems like everyone around us is having it good, living the life and looking happy. But remember, social media is an illusion, things are not always what they seem.

I dare you to swear, ‘I won’t let a stranger on social media make me feel bad about myself.’

About Chisom Winifred
Chisom Winifred is a creative writer with a flair for freelance articles. She’s currently a content creator for Blueafric Media where she also heads campaigns that focuses on brand introduction, positioning and promotion of its clients.
A red carpet and TV host, she was the red

carpet host for Blueafric media at the just concluded 2017 AFRIFF. Reach out to Winifred on Chisomwinnifred.cw@gmail.com or her blog http://blueprintafric.com/

I look at   motivation as excitement. Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the sofa isn’t always easy. The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to.

Here are 8 simple ways to motivate yourself

1. Take a break–you deserve it.
The only way we can perform at an optimal level is create time for rest. The moment you know you can’t take any time off is usually when you need it most. So take that long delayed vacation, and return to your business with renewed enthusiasm.
2. . Celebrate the little wins, no matter how small.
Little wins may seem like just that–little.Celebrating these wins can help to create positive habits.
3. Be gentle with yourself.
Stop comparing the accomplishments in your life with those of your neighbor. The story you create in your head will never be as good, and the reality will never be as bad.
There are many people who are smarter than you. The moment you can embrace this notion, you’re free. Free to explore. Free to follow what excites you. Free to ignore what they do, or how they do it, and focus on you.

4. Deconstruct your fears
I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed. Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.
5. Read books
Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.
Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.
6. Be careful with the small problems
The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.
Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

7.  Focus.
There is a an anecdote I’ve heard about Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Gates’s father at a dinner party. A guest asked them what the most important quality for success was today and all three responded “Focus” at the same exact time. They all smiled and laughed to each other because they hadn’t really prepared the answer.
We are all inundated with texts and emails.
So turn off your iPhone, stop trolling your ex-lover’s Facebook page, and get to work.

8. Build on Success
Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.
There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.
With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated. Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

Pic credit: Nandi Madida via Go0gle