Personal

Are You A Procrastinator? – Symptoms and Tips On How To Fight It

Recently, a friend approached me about content from my post When Life Gives You Lemons. (Hey Merilyn girl!) She mentioned that it was important to identify the manner in which people use my suggested tips -as people like herself- could be tempted, and use some of them as a way of procrastinating.

Therefore, how can you tell the difference between; reflecting and taking some well-deserved time out, as to when you’re just flat out procrastinating? And how do you snap out of that and become more productive?

Well, I put my hands up and say that I sometimes struggle with procrastination. I’ll set out various tasks that I need to do and allocate time to do them. Let’s say for instance- I plan on sorting out a work plan for the week at 8 PM, believe me when I say, if I look up at the clock and the time is 8:15 PM ha! I’ll “try again tomorrow”. This becomes particularly easy to do when I’m watching my favourite show as well! Especially when I’ve missed a couple of episodes – one turns into three, and before I know it, it’s 3:00 AM the next day.

Let’s try to reflect and be real with ourselves for one minute here. If you are not sure that you are a procrastinator, here are a few signs.

Do you tend to:

  1. Tell yourself you’ll do a certain task “tomorrow” when you know deep down it’s not going to happen?
  2. You focus on doing little tasks here and there, rather than getting stuck in on what’s really important?
  3. Have the strong urge to watch the new episode of GOT before you get started on work?
    Because how can you focus on all your deadlines when you don’t know what ‘Littlefinger’ has up his sleeve this time!
  4. You suddenly have the strong urge to nap. You know… to brace/gear yourself up for the work load that awaits you.
  5. You suddenly can’t stop reloading and refreshing your Snapchat, Instagram, even Twitter feed, knowing damn well that there’s nothing new to see on there… because you just checked SIX SECONDS AGO.
  6. You usually gulp down dinner in five minutes, but now, it takes you a solid thirty minutes because you want to indulge and appreciate all the flavours…chewing two minutes per spoonful.

Said ‘YES’ to more than two of those? Well, here are some tips n tricks, to see us all through this struggle:

  1. Set reasonable targets and deadlines.
    You need to be honest with yourself. If you have a 5,000 word report due in two weeks, start off with a couple hundred a day, because that all nighter you’re planning to pull… that is the day that your laptop will refuse to come on, you lose your bus pass so you struggle to make your way to the Uni library, and when you do finally get there all the desktops are booked for the day. I could go on, but don’t be that guy. Set realistic goals and targets and you will have no problem in accomplishing them.
  2. Use Peer Pressure
    If all your friends have started their own tasks, you’ll feel more inclined to get started on yours too, especially if its Uni related work.
    However, if you have a circle of friends that are also procrastinators then -na wah for you oh!
  3. Treat Yourself
    For every page of that recommended reading for your next class that you do, treat yourself to a smartie, skittles, m&m.
    Side note – This does not work with alcohol. For obvious reasons.
  4. Stay Away From Your Phone
    Honestly you’re not doing yourself any favours. Replying to that ONE text from *insert your crush/bestfriend/boy/girlfriend’s name here* will turn into ten, and then suddenly it’s the next day, you haven’t slept and you’ve missed all your deadlines.Put your phone off and focus on the task at hand.
    The most important thing to do is to actually start a task. No matter how small that initial input is in the beginning, once you’ve started, just keep going. Keep moving forward.
Advertisements
Personal · relationships

Toxic Friendships – Let. It. Go.

Do you have that one friend who never has anything positive to tell you? You want to start a business – they are against you doing it. You want to change your hairstyle – “that wouldn’t suit you!”

You’re always the one who calls and reaches out to them? They are always criticizing you and/or other people with a self-righteous attitude. They can never be wrong, and even when they are, they never apologise.

Are they really your friend though?

Do they support you? There is a difference between telling you some home truths and flat out being a hater. Do they want you to choose?  Like it’s either them or no one.

I had one “friend” – everything was always a competition. I didn’t see it at the time but thank the Lord, I SAW THE LIGHT! If they fell out with someone (which happened regularly) a major sign to look out for btw, I was expected to stop talking to them as well. When something embarrassing happened to me (which happened a lot, I think I might actually be accident prone) they would yell it out to the world, so everyone would know about it. Loved to gossip. One thing to take note of – if they gossip to you, they will most definitely gossip about you. When I found out, it hurt, but I realised that I wasn’t crazy for having doubts, and I finally cut off all ties.

If you are around someone who is always saying they can’t stand drama, and drama always “finds” them? That’s because they ARE the drama. You don’t need that kind of dead energy.

You need to realise that your time, your friendship, your love, your energy is precious. Share those qualities with people who actually value you. It’s tough to cut people off, but when they’re draining you it’s worth it.

And if after reading this, you feel as though you may exhibit some of these behaviours, it’s never too late to do better, and be better.

african · Personal

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Every so often we find ourselves in situations beyond our control.  Be it out of a job, financial instability, or even having a relationship abruptly end. Having a job but not feeling fulfilled in your role, having difficulties in University – struggling to keep your grades up, having to re-do a year… it could even be struggling to find somewhere to live.

In those instances, it can be all too easy to want to throw the towel in and give up.

These things happen.

You may start to wonder what your purpose is when facing these situations, why did it have to happen to you. Life was finally going the way you wanted it to, and now this has happened.

I remember when I was in England, just graduated and looking for a place to live. My contract was due to end in June and I had to find a place for the summer – preferably longer.  I was also looking for a job at the same time (some of you know how hard that is for international students, with all the restrictions that have been put in place.) Wahala na people country.  I was on my own, no close family or relatives nearby. No matter how hard I looked, and tried, I couldn’t secure a new place to live either because; the prices were way out of my budget, or everything was already taken. I was running out of time, and fast. It was hard and I wanted to give in, give up but where would I go?

Having moved on from that situation, my brother and I were talking recently and he sent me a piece he had written a couple of years ago (yes, it seems as though writing runs in the family). It was a raw piece, covering difficulties we all face at one point or another in our lives. However, he also highlighted how blessed we are and how often we tend to take “little” things like food, clothing, and shelter for granted.

 

Here is a small list of my top 6 things to do when facing a difficult situation, and just about ready to throw in the towel.

  • Focus on your blessings. Like I said before, it can become very easy to feel defeated and want to give up. However, you have to appreciate the positives.
    You’re alive! That’s important isn’t it? You also have a place to live (if you’re still living with your parents probably rent free too!) food to eat and clothes. These also feature on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  • Write about the good things that happen to you regularly. Reading them over can lift your spirits when you’re feeling down.
  • Speak to a friend or family member that you trust. Opening up to someone else, can have a massive influence on your mental health. You don’t need to keep it all bottled in and are guaranteed to feel lighter after sharing your feelings with someone else. Also, two heads are better than one. They may be able to think of a solution you may not have thought of yourself.
  • Do what makes you happy. This can be anything from going for a run, to watching your favourite movie, wearing your favourite top or even eating your favourite food.
  • PRAY. You know God got you. You better shine like the child of God you are.
  • Talk to yourself. Not like that. I know you’re not a lunatic. What I do mean is giving yourself pep talks. You are you. There is only one YOU. You are capable of doing anything you put your mind to. This is only a minor setback.

Your present situation is not your final destination. It is only a pit stop. Sometimes, you’ll feel like crying, go ahead and do it. You will feel better when you’re not holding it all in. But, you have to dust yourself off and keep going.

Job · Personal

Transitioning From University To The “Real World”- Job Satisfaction for Millennials

Leaving University and trying to figure out what comes next is one of the biggest transitions we face.  The schedule we became all too familiar with no longer exists. No more class timetable, exam timetable…nothing is planned out for us anymore.

Being thrown into the “real world” can be a very unsettling and scary feeling, to be honest. It certainly doesn’t help when we apply for graduate jobs, and requirements include 3-5 years’ work experience. Uhm…I’ve just come OUT of Uni, looking for a graduate job, but you’re now telling me I need 3 years experience?! How does that work?

Then when we finally do find a job, it’s very likely that it’s not in our preferred field but it MIGHT pay well. So do you stay because of financial stability or leave to follow your passion?

Not to mention the stress of wanting to earn good money to help give back to parents for their financial support towards our education, but also wanting to be financially secureand not having to ask for an allowance. As well as wanting to have a space of your own, because you’ve gotten used to living away from home… if you move back in with your family or parents does that mean you’re not a success?

 

The stress is REAL.

The thing is, we tend to forget that we are still in our 20’s. Listen, if you don’t like a job, it’s not bringing you joy, you feel like it’s not for you, why stay? All of us want to be happy in our careers right?

If not happy, at least one should be content and satisfied with the role and contributions to that role, right?

I mean generally speaking, we have no family commitment – no kids, not married yet… Why not explore and go after what we really want?

If we don’t make these choices and changes now, exploring our options, when else will we have the opportunity to do so?

I was in a job where initially, I enjoyed the tasks and the overall experience, but as time went on, I started to feel massively underappreciated. I seldom felt that my work was appreciated. Even when I did my best, it was often criticized – but it was rarely constructive criticism.

I do tend to be very easy going, and bubbly, but that was changing. Every time my phone went off, I got anxious as I anticipated that it would be bad news. “What are they going to say now?” “What have I done wrong?”

Having moved on from that situation, I am grateful for the new skills I picked up. However, I am much happier – I sleep better, I am no longer anxious when my phone rings or when I see an email notification.

I am in no rush to get into just any sort of employment. I am determined to find what’s best for me, and in the meantime, I will continue to build up my blog. I have always loved writing, as it has always been one of the best ways I can express myself freely.

african · Personal · Travel

Travelling Alone in Your 20’s

I love to travel, the thing is… I hate flying.

I am petrified of take offs, landings, and everything in between. I am not entirely sure what brought this fear on, because when I was younger, I couldn’t get enough of it.

Is it because I’ve gotten older, and learnt more about the world, and how things work? Is fear learnt?

Anyway, maybe part of the problem is a majority of the time that I fly, I do so alone. However, thinking about it now, when I fly with mum, she has complained (a little too often) of her arms going numb…guess I hold on to her a bit too tight.

That aside, why do we tend to be hesitant when it comes to doing various activities alone? It can be as small as going to the cinema alone, to travelling alone.

I do think that I would be open to travelling and seeing the world alone. Doing something like that would definitely put me waaaay outside of my comfort zone, but what’s life without adventure?

Just imagine it, making your way through various countries, taking in majestic scenes, creating unforgettable memories.

When else in your life would you be able to thoroughly enjoy an experience such as this? At this stage in your life, you’ve probably just graduated from University, but are not sure if you want to go into a full -time job yet. Why not go travelling, see the world, and explore different cultures before settling down into your new “adult” life?

Here are a few reasons why travelling alone in your 20’s is super ideal:

  • I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E
    You can literally pack your things and go explore! Not trying to sound too cliché but honestly it is such a great way to find yourself. Discover your strengths, weaknesses, pick up new skills, learn a new language even!
  • Think of the stories you’ll have to tell?! Just like with your parents, you too can have some “back in my day…” tales to tell your kids.
  • If you are shy when meeting new people and striking up conversations (like me) this is a great way to practice your social skills. Drawing you outside your comfort zone, and socializing with different people from different cultures.
  • For some of you that could do with money management. This is a great opportunity to learn how to budget your money.

The world is a big place. I challenge you to see more of it!

african · Personal · Sierra Leone

Young West African Driver


For those of us who live in Africa, the legal driving age is 18, but it’s not unheard of to have friends using their parents’ car and taking off at 15/16.

My mum made it clear that no child of her’s will participate in underage driving, and just because I had friends that could drive in year 11 didn’t mean that I should be doing the same. I would have to wait until I was 18.

Well, I am 23 now and only getting the hang of it, despite having a driver’s license from Kenya, Ghana and now – Sierra Leone.

Let me explain.

I turned 18 in January 2012, and started my driving lessons just after my A levels in Kenya. A few months later, I completed said classes, and got my driver’s license. However, less than a month later we had to relocate to Ghana.

The thing is in Kenya, we drive on the left, whereas Ghana, it’s the right. No biggie I thought, I’ll just go through driving school again as a refresher and to gain confidence in driving on the other side of the road.

I didn’t get to do this until 2016! Because I moved to England for Uni a few months after we arrived in Ghana. In any case, I started my lessons in late January and by March I had passed my theory and practical exams. However, by July, we had moved back to Sierra Leone, which is where I am now. Taking my time to get the hang of things.

In Kenya, I had often heard “If you can drive in Kenya, you can drive anywhere”. This is because of one major reason –matatus aka poda podas aka tro tros aka mini vans. They go by different names in different countries, but one thing doesn’t change – they are a nuisance.

Having lived in Sierra Leone for just under a year, I now feel that if you can drive in Sierra Leone, you can drive anywhere. Not only do we have unruly drivers in poda podas, we also have pedestrians walking in the middle of the road (exhibit A Eastern-Kissy Road), okadas/boda bodas (motorbikes), keh kehs, as well as an odd stray dog running across the road from time to time.

I have been driving for a few months now and *TOUCH WOOD* I haven’t had any incidents with either of the above. So, I guess it’s safe to say I’m on my way to being an expert driver… I mean, before you know it, I’ll be driving with one hand, my seat pushed all the way back, cruising the streets of Freetown!

What age did you start to drive and what are some of your driving experiences? Let me know in the comment section below!

Photo Courtesy of Larry Tucker #Ronnie’sPhotography

PS- Enjoying the content so far? Would you like to know when a new post is up? Click the ‘follow’ button on the right hand side of my page.

 

african · Funny · Personal

13 Experiences Of Being An African Child – Parents Edition

  1. Calling you from upstairs to pass phone/remote that’s 2 inches away from them.
  2. Showing them a joke and being lectured about it

 

  1. Showing them a funny tweet and being asked how you know that person

 

  1. Being told not to drink that particular juice/soda because it’s for guests

 

  1. Misbehaving when you were younger, being given THAT look and knowing exactly what it meant

 

  1. No such thing as sleepover. “You have your own bed”
  2. “In my days I was always number one in class”

 

  1. “In my days I used to walk to school”
  2. Buying school uniform that’s 3 sizes too big and being told you’ll grow into it.
  3. Ask a ‘silly’ question, don’t be shocked at the response.
    Me: Mum where should I put your phone?Mum: Put it on my head.

 

  1. Me: Mum can we eat out today
    Mum: There is rice at home
    Me: But I don’t want rice
    Mum: Then you are not hungry
  2. Going to restaurants/parks and there is a deal for children under 10. Guess what? No matter how old you are, that day…YOU ARE 10 YEARS OLD.
  3. Having guests come over, and being told to clean your room. But… they’re not coming.to.see.my.room???