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Four nuggets that helps Maximize your time.

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Do you ever feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day? While you can’t increase the hours in a day, there are plenty of easy ways to carve out more time for the things you need to accomplish.



How can you make more time? The answer it simple: identify things that are taking up time or causing procrastination, and make changes accordingly. Here are four easy ways to maximize your time so that you can achieve more:

1. Set clear goals.

Fuzzy goals won’t provide strong motivation. It’s very hard to work up steam for an endeavor or project that isn’t motivating, so you’ll tend to fall into procrastination mode, where it’s easy to fall back on the age-old excuse of no time.

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However, if you have a clear cut goal, like “buy a $300,000 house within two years,” then you have something to work with. The more you want it, the more motivating it will be. With a goal in mind, you have the ability to break it up into achievable milestones that will begin to get you there.

There’s scientific data to back this concept. It’s called Goal Setting Theory, which is based on work done in the 1960s by Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Gary Latham. In researching the connection between performance and goals, they determined that there is a strong relationship between how specific a goal is and people’s job performance. Specific goals generally lead to better performance than non specific or easily achievable ones.

 

2. Create a routine and stick to it.

Success rewards routine. If you aren’t following a set of successful routines, you probably aren’t managing your time effectively. As an extreme example, consider the early morning routine of Apple CEO Tim Cook. He wakes up 3:45 am daily, claiming that it allows him to get through the 700 or so emails he gets per day, and gives him time to work out before he goes into the office.

That sort of wake-up time might not be for you, but you can definitely benefit from adding positive routines into your schedule. Consider waking up earlier so that you have time to get some errands out of the way so that you can focus on work later on. Or, you might make a routine of dedicating 20 minutes to career development after dinner each evening.

By setting a routine and sticking to it, you’ll find that after a while, it’s easy to make time for things because it becomes a habit.

3. Be accountable.

A lack of accountability makes it very easy to procrastinate, which makes it very hard to have the motivation necessary to carve out time in your schedule, even for projects which you care deeply about. The solution is simple: you need someone or something to keep you accountable.

An accountability partner can be extremely helpful in this regard. This is someone (a mentor, a friend, or a partner) who checks in with you to see how you are doing on your progress toward reaching your goals. When you know that your accountability partner will be checking in, you’ll probably be more likely to make time for projects or tasks. Just the very fact that someone has their eyes on your progress can be a powerful motivator to stop procrastinating and to start working on what matters.

4. Banish bad habits.

This is a hard fact to face, but frequently enough, your so-called lack of time is due to falling into bad habits. For instance, are you sleeping in all the time, or binge watching TV shows nightly? Are you on social media all the time, or are you going out all the time with friends?

You probably answered yes to at least one of the above — after all, you’re human. Everyone needs to blow off some steam or relax every now and again. Taking time off can actually be a very good thing for your career. But if you’re doing all of these things daily, then you’ve just identified several ways in which you could easily change your schedule to make more time.

How can you begin to change? Start small. For instance, you might start with 30 minutes a day where you have a self imposed social media blackout. You can dedicate that time to furthering your career by reading, studying or learning a new skill that you previously thought or claimed you had no time to pursue.

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24 Hours Across Africa

‘Develop viable gemstones, jewellery market’

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Experts have urged the federal government to develop an environment conducive for marketing gemstones, and jewellery, to increase their contribution to the national gross domestic product, (GDP).

They also said this would mark a milestone in the quest to build a vibrant mining sector with a wide variety of gemstones and precious metal for making ornaments for local and international markets.

According to experts at Stakeholders Consultative workshop on gemstones and Jewelry industry in Nigeria, the industry presents tremendous opportunities for investment and value addition and can employ people at different levels along the value chain, such as miners, goldsmiths, dealers etc.

Prof. Theo Smeets of the University of Trier, Germany, said the government has a lot to do to boost both local and international markets for precious metal, especially with the growing population of women.

He also noted that legal frameworks will equally galvanise the industry, and instead of exporting raw materials, citizens will be able to process them in-country and get more products in the local market.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Abdulkadir Muazu, disclosed that the industry could generate a total of $350 million worth of foreign exchange on an annual basis.

He also said Nigeria was so endowed with precious metal, “the key policy question we have asked ourselves is: ‘why has Nigeria not been internationally-recognised as an important gemstone destination?’”

According to him, Sri Lanka has a long history of gemstones, but it was its government’s commitment to reforms that began over three decades ago that has given her a globally-competitive edge.

“There is a huge international market potential for Nigeria’s gemstones, but it is losing vast business opportunities, value and revenue to illegal activities and smuggled to Germany, China, Brazil, U.S., etc.”

Contributing, Project Coordinator of MINDIVER, Utsu Linus Adie, said they are trying to reverse unfavourable market trend for gemstones, and create a robust jewellery market and promote export.

He equally said the government intends to develop a skilled workforce by creating community jewellery market in all the states of the federation within a five- year period.

“Our target is to emulate is India, who are today the global leaders in gems and jewellery, contributing 29 per cent to world jewellery consumption. We only generate $2 million worth of it.”

Reviewing gemstone resources, Niron Ajibade, maintained that there are many products, and when adequately harnessed will grow the nation’s economy; create jobs and wealth.

Ajibade therefore called on the government to build a sustainable jewellery industry by organising training programmes; create linkages, quality and assurance markets as well as finance the gemstone sector.

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Entrepreneur

Does Your Business Need a Robot

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If you’re looking to adopt a robot in your workplace, there are a lot of things you need to consider first. While robots boast tons of benefits, there’s also the potential for a large negative. If you can’t really afford the robot, that negative is some serious debt that you may not be able to climb back out from underneath. Robots are amazing, but only if you can actually afford them.

Can your small business afford a robot?

1. How Much Are You Spending on Labor?

Some small businesses opt to purchase a robot that will act as an employee. Over time, the idea is that robots will reduce labor costs. They can also reduce costs on things like health insurance, sick days, vacation time, and compensation for workplace accidents or injuries. When you consider the savings, it almost seems foolish not to get a robot.

If you have nest egg or some type of reserve specifically for labor, you’re going to have to forego hiring or phase a few people out in order to smoothly transition into automating a set of job duties with a robot. It’s logistically complicated as well as financially complicated, and you need to review the books to ascertain that you’re in the right position.

2. What Are Your Other Goals?

What’s more important right now? Do you want your business to be larger? Do you want to open a second location? Do you want to expand your range of products or services? A robot can help you do that, but a robot can’t do it by itself. You’re going to need to set the proper stage for whatever goal you’re attempting to achieve before you bring in a robot. If you spend all of your goal budget on a robot, you won’t have any capital left to approach the goal from all angles. Set yourself up for a productive future first.

3. What Other Costs Will You Encounter as a Result of Getting a Robot?

Robots are expensive at their initial investment. They also need to be maintained, and they need someone to operate them. Some robots can be fully automated, but others have special needs. A handful of modest robots that aren’t exceptionally complicated can probably be maintained by a single individual, but this is someone else you’ll need to hire or train to do the job. For this reason, it’s better to wait to purchase a robot or multiple robots when you can safely, comfortably afford the large investment. You’ll save in the long run, but you don’t want to be broke in the meantime.

4. Do You Have Any Additional Income Streams You Can Use?

You might not be able to afford a robot directly out of your profits. If that’s the case, look for additional income streams you can use to fund the venture. You can worth with investors or traders who are interested in your business, and ask them to fund a robot. It should be relatively easy to explain the value a robot will bring to your business.

If you can’t find someone else to fund your robot, you can trade or invest with a small portion of your profits in order to help your funding grow. This might take a little longer, but it’s far wiser than spending money you don’t necessarily have as a liquid asset. If you aren’t making enough money to invest, you always have the option of a very slight price increase that can be put directly towards investments. Even if it seems insignificant, it will amount to a substantial amount over time.

5. Is a Robot Worth The Money?

What purpose is a robot going to serve in your small business? Make sure you’re not looking into robots to replace humans in contexts where humans are absolutely necessary. Robots that automate monotonous tasks, improve quality and consistency of production, reduce margin for error, and make the workplace safer are typically wise investments. Robots just for the sake of having robots won’t help you grow or advance yourself. If you have a lot of extra money to spend, purchasing a robot that boasts limited advantages may not be that big of a deal. When you’re strapped for cash, it’s best to stick to robots that provide a clear return on your investment.

Timing, budget, and need are coequal factors in determining whether or not it’s the right time for a robot. If it’s not the right choice to make tomorrow, that doesn’t mean it won’t be the perfect decision next month. Start planning now, and implement it when you feel it’s financially safe.

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