What your job should never take from you

 

If we take a second to look critically at our lives, as workers or business people, we would begin to see just how much our lives have begun to revolve around work. We tend to get carried away with it – so carried away, sometimes, that the entirety of our days, weeks and years become devoted to it. Now, this is not entirely a bad thing, getting immersed in work. Where the problem lies, is how we tend to forget other areas of our lives, which in the long run, are actually more important than work. Some of the things your job should never take away from you are:

 

  • Family: If you never had to grow up with a parent who was constantly jetting off chasing contract after contract, then you might not fully understand how fortunate you are. Sadly, family is one of the easiest aspects of life to consider; to brush off because “they’d still be there when I get back”. However, constantly chasing work could cause you to miss some important developments. Like how Chris Brown had to find out on Instagram that his daughter had started walking? You don’t want that, do you?

 

  • Friendships: Very similar to family, it’s easy to keep your friends on hold because of work. What we tend to forget, however, is that when all is said and done, these are the people that hold it down for you.

 

 

  • Love: Working 9-5 jobs already make it difficult to socialize. Trying to get a startup on its feet makes it even more impossible. At some point, it’s easy to begin to imagine that one can live without love; but we really can’t, we weren’t designed to and shouldn’t. Make time for love – people, passions and things you love.

 

  • Adventure: Traveling, climbing Mount Everest, taking a swim in the ocean might just seem like a waste of precious time, but adventure is great. Do something new, do something different, take up a challenge, alone or with company. Keep pushing your boundaries. Adventure keeps you young and vibrant. Variety makes it even more exciting. Push your boundaries and have a blast at it.

 

 

  • Healthy Living: This is also one of the easiest but detrimental things to ignore. Exercising becomes a thing of the past when you’re too busy waking up as early as possible to beat traffic, or when you get back really late and all you want to do is sleep. Eating healthy is difficult on the go and you have to get creative with meals. We know being sedentary is extensively damaging to health and need to include as much natural movement as is possible to fit in. Eat better, move more, you know the drill; Like Nike, ‘’just do it’’.

 

Also, it is necessary to take a step back, to re-calibrate and redefine the things that are truly important in the bigger picture. While work is important, we need to learn to invest ourselves in the things that truly matter!

Financial Planning; a Crash Course

“On average, millionaires invest 20% of their household income each year. Their wealth isn’t measured by the amount they make each year, but by how they’ve saved and invested over time.” …  “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” by Ramit Sethi

 

 

What takes the largest chunk of your account? Data? Rent? Clothes? Food? Savings? I’m not trying to attack your life choices but it is important to identify just what is taking all your money. That’s the first step to reorganizing your finances. How do you split your income? Do you have specific percentages? How many bank accounts do you have? Do you save? Do you invest?

 

Perhaps the first thing I’d suggest, when you’re trying to get your finances in order, would be getting different accounts for different things. Separating your income into different accounts keeps clear boundaries, and makes it easier to track spending when the funds are in different accounts. I will suggest six accounts – daily spending, emergency funds, ‘turn up’ account, retirement (pension), scheduled payments, and investment account. This doesn’t necessarily mean opening different accounts, banks offer options of accounts within accounts so research and find the bank or banks that provides you the best options; you may end up having to do a combination.

 

 

For a crash course on the different partitions:

 

  1. Daily Spendings account is for the day to day expenses – food, toiletries, that kind of stuff.
  2. Emergency funds account is for stuff that cannot entirely be accurately foreseen such as getting involved in a slight accident, falling ill, or getting stranded and should be approximately equal to three months of your earnings at any point in time.
  3. Retirement account, as the name implies, is the money you stack up for when you eventually retire. There are a lot of pension schemes available, find one that is reputable even if you are self-employed.
  4. Scheduled payments are for those expenses that aren’t quite day-to-day, but come up at about the same time per period, like the house rent – so money can be stacked gradually per month, to be ripe enough by the time payment is due. Electricity bills, Internet and other scheduled payments.
  5. Entertainment or “turn up account” is absolutely important because going out and having fun are a necessary part of life, and if there isn’t an account allocated to it, there would be a temptation to dig into money meant for other things.
  6. The “investment account” is probably the most important account to have, as wealth is ultimately measured by how much investment you’ve made with your income. Investment is not a one-off process but a consistent and continuous process and so it is best you make a habit of directing funds towards this account periodically.

 

 

The great thing about investment is that it is beautifully broad, and there is an amazingly wide range of things you can invest in, depending on the kind of investor you are; Conservative or Risk-taking.

 

 

If you’re ready to take the necessary steps towards financial intelligence, your personal budget would be a great place to start, taking time to break down the monthly income into bits, allocating specific percentages to different needs, and then wants, drawing a scale of preference and deciding what needs are prevalent and what wants can wait till next time.

 

I hope this piece has been helpful. Take charge of your finances. It’s a wise investment.

 

 

What reading does for you

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin.

 

I saw this quote, and I couldn’t agree more. Reading is perhaps one of the best things one can do for oneself, and perhaps is the fastest way to self-development. One of the best things about reading is the inability to run out of reading materials. There are well over a million published books in the world, with at least one to match every personality and interest that exists in the world. Which, in essence, means that there is something for you to read, no matter what you like – fiction, drama, suspense, romance, non-fiction, biographies, law, crime, war… name it. There’s something for you.

 

Now, I understand that sometimes it might feel like there isn’t enough time, and reading could start to feel like a luxury you can’t afford. But if you could give me a couple reasons to convince you to read more…

 

  • Reading makes you a cat. Not in the creepy, Nigerian-movie kind of way, but reading gives you more than just one life. A good book gives you a portal to any country of the world, and any era of your choice. It gives you exposure you might not necessarily be able to afford in real life, and all you have to do is flick your wrists – turn the page.
  • Vocabulary development. The logic to this one is pretty simple. The more you read, the more words you pick up. The more words you pick up, the stronger your vocabulary. So if you’re looking to speak better, write better, or just know more words, reading is a great place to start.
  • Beat age-induced dementia. Research has shown that when cognitive ability is employed a lot in the early and mid-life of a person, the age-induced decline in cognition is slowed down. Which, in essence, means that if you read a lot when you’re young, the probability of getting dementia in old age is reduced, or at the very least, slowed down.
  • Become a people-person. When you invest a lot of time reading books, it aids your interpersonal skills, because in the course of reading you’re exposed to numerous characters, and from every point of view possible, such that when you do meet such characters in real life, there’s experience in dealing with them. And for the ones you’ve not encountered in the pages of your books, well you’d be willing to read them!
  • Fall asleep easily. Reading before bed helps you fall asleep faster because it helps take your mind off the stress of the day, it relaxes you, and when made into a routine, reading before bed sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to shut down for the day. Thus, catching a couple Z’s becomes a lot easier.

 

So there you have it! Amazing things a good book would do for you. From me to you, I would advise to trade in e-books for good old paperbacks. Some time away from all this technology would be great for you!

 

Stay Healthy Work Healthy

Living and working in a high impact city has a lot of benefits; high energy, fast paced, professional exposure, entertainment and lots of excitement. The downside also exists in the form of long working hours, unending traffic, a high cost of living, high levels of stress and sometimes, poor health. Most of it outside of our control, but good health is not and we should not allow it become so.

 

If you live in a major city, you may sadly, have become desensitized to the frequency of diagnosis of stress related diseases. Staying healthy is without a doubt one of the things is 100% within your control. It takes some sacrifice, discipline and commitment, but that’s pale when compared to hospital bills and having to manage debilitating illnesses that can be avoided. The paradox of healthy living, however, is that for something so important, it is also severely overlooked, deemed unimportant in the face of seemingly “more important” things like work. What we fail to see, unfortunately, is that our state of healthiness – or unhealthiness, as the case may be – is a determinant factor in just how productive we are at work.

 

 

Like most people, you may have hopped on – and then off – the “fit fam” train, promised yourself many times that you will start working out an hour a day? How did that turn out? The thing about living healthy, is that it’s not a quick fix. It can’t be a quick fix. Living healthy isn’t something you binge on. It’s more than a three-day fruit cleansing and intensive detoxification. It is not magic either, you can’t just wake up and begin to do one hour at the gym every day. It’s a process; a series of intentional lifestyle adjustments, geared toward a clear goal – to be healthier.

 

 

Healthy living involves understanding that “you are what you eat, how you move, rest and sleep”.

What you eat actually literally translates to your ability to function properly. Eating healthy contributes to your cognitive ability reduces fatigue and irritability, increases energy levels and logical thinking, and increases all-round productivity.

 

 

There is also exercise. It is possible to come up with a lot of seemingly logical reasons to not workout; not enough time, not enough energy, no gym equipment, no hot workout clothes… a lot of reasons, and they’re logical. However, living healthy is nowhere near complete without physical activity. I know you drive. I know Lagos wahala (hassle) is enough stress for a year. But stress is not exercise. Exercising helps to keep blood pressure in check, fights obesity, helps the heart, and reduces risk of diabetes. In the workplace, exercising regularly aids your memory, helps concentration, and enhances creativity! It’s always a great idea to incorporate exercise into our everyday lives; from walking to jogging or running to leg raises that can be done in the office while sitting at our desks, to skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, exercise does a whole lot of good for the body.

 

 

In addition to eating healthy and working out often, living healthy also involves knowing your numbers; blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI. It includes drinking more water, fighting to be and staying happy as well as getting enough sleep.

 

 

Remember, you can only give what you have. If you’re not at your health’s best, you can’t give much. Always remember that! Take care of yourself. It’s important!