Do yourself a favour and take your vacation

The year was 2016. I was having a conversation with a mentor about work. He told me a story about someone who had died from overwork. The deceased’s company took out a half page ad for his obituary and right next to it, a full page ad for the new job opening. That image has never left me. Whoever you work for values your work but if you vanished today, they’d replace you. Despite this, many people in Nigeria refuse to take breaks from work.

Perhaps, we have a culture in Nigeria of glorifying those who work late into the night. Employers praise those who are always the first at their desks and the last to leave. If you work in such an organisation, the fear of being labelled “unserious” might stop you from taking your leave.

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Productivity boils down to making choices

A man at a crossroad

Craig Jarrow of Time Management Ninja said “I don’t have time isn’t an excuse. Rather, it is a choice to do something else.” Each day, you face a multitude of choices. Writing a to-do list is a choice. Doing the tasks you write is another choice.

Man at a crossroad
Which will it be?
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You need to start making less decisions

Branching decision lines

How many decisions do you have to make a day? The average person has to make about 35,000 choices every day. At first glance, that doesn’t seem right. Surely, you aren’t faced with that many decisions on a daily basis? Wait. Think about it. When you wake up, you get out of bed, which foot do you swing down the side of the bed first? Left foot or right foot? When you brush your teeth, which side do you start from? Which tooth do you brush first? Do you stroke upwards, downwards or sideways? Fortunately for us, most of the decisions we make on a daily basis are almost automatic. The brain uses the habit loop to allow you do routine tasks like brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, driving to work without having to consciously think about it. It doesn’t mean you aren’t making decisions. Only that they occur on a near subconscious level.

A decision tree
Life is a series of infinite decisions

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