Choose to live your authentic self

There’s a thing going around where people copy what other people are doing. They see something they like about a person and then add what they like to how they approach life.

That in and of itself is neither good nor bad, but have you ever felt like you are hiding behind something. Like there’s a shakle around you preventing you from being you.

If you can identify then you know what I’m talking about. Like you are trying to live up to a certain expectation and anything below that is not welcomed.

This is the sort of situation where life starts to get complicated. This is even worse on the job, when your boss or colleagues expects a certain thing from you. In a committed relationship this also plays out when your spouse expects you to be like them or react to stuff they way they react or even see the world as they do.

This kind of pressure also plays out when parents place unrealistic expectations on the shoulders of their children.

When you live behind that mask and pressure trying to keep up, life becomes unbearable. Do you want to live your life like that? I know I don’t.

Know is not the time to replicate what is already here. Now is the time to be you. Act weird, dress funny, talk different and even have opposing views. And that’s OK.

God made us to be different, but the idea of collaboration, community and relationships is all about making a contribution that moves things forward. Doing you in such a way that without you and how you do it life wouldn’t be the same.

That’s why it’s important to choose your authentic self everytime. Without you and the way you look at things matter.

What I’m trying to say is you matter, more than you realize. Don’t let no one else tell you different.

See value in what you have

When I was a teenager I never knew that my tinkering had a name much less be a carreer option.

A few years ago I got the opportunity to work at my church’s national men’s ministry conference. All I was doing was recording the various presentations so that anyone who want to relive the conference can do so.

Looking back what this and other experience has taught me is that, value what you have. No matter how insignificant you might think the skill is someone will find it valuable.

Learn all you can about it and how to exploit it because you may never know where that skill will take you.

For me from messing around in my bedroom to working with the national media team in my church. I’ve also used this same skill to work in government media, rubbing shoulders with 3 Prime Ministers and various Ministers of government.

If what I initially thought as useless is an actual career what say what you have. Imagine if you took that seriously you may never know where you’ll end up.

The lesson is this learn to value what you have.

How to stop procrastination

There’s a popular Jamaican saying that says delay is danger.

The true meaning of that saying comes alive when you are working on a project and the deadline is fast approaching and you have not started.

Its not that you mean to but other things have caught your attention or starting maybe difficult.

I know this situation all too well and have found 4 things that help me overcome procrastination.

1. Do it now

If something needs to get done do it now.

For example, you need to set an appointment to speak to a client instead of putting it off do it now.

2. write ideas as they come

Another example, if you have a writing project and have a few ideas write them down as you get it.

Leaving it until later is dangerous because you may not remember what it is.

Outline it and flesh it out now. Whe you ready to sit down to right you already did most of the work.

3. Keep a journal

If you love to read keep track of quotes that inspire you. Similarly, keep photographs you like the look of, shots that inspire you and compositions.

If you are a designer you can keep a swipe file of flyers and other designs you like. They can give you ideas for starting projects.

4. Start before you are ready

Doing things before you need them can help you move quickly.

Have a project due in 2 months start it out. Finish it before it’s needed so that if any changes need to be made it can be done before it ships.

Do things in bulk and schedule them out. Write more than needed. Take more photos than necessary and put plans in place before you have a need for them.

In all cases don’t put things off for later get it done now. You may never get around to it.

5 software tools I can’t do without as a content creator

As a content creator software tools are my best friend. It’s the center of all I do.

These are 5 type of tools that I would recommend anybody to have and know how to use.

1. Audio editor

An audio editor such as Adobe audition is my best friend. It helps me clean up interview, pick out quotes for features and mix down podcasts and other projects.

Investing in an audio editor will make the world of difference to your videos and podcast.

2. Video editor

If you create tons of videos, whether for YouTube, Facebook or otherwise investing in a video will be necessary.

You can cut out mistakes, add titles, lower thirds and other graphics to polish off your video.

You can also cut and splice things together. Add music and other elements.

Adobe premier, Vegas pro, Wonderware fillmora and final cut pro are good options in this category.

3. Photo editing tool

Instagram has increase the use of photo online. So having an editor to tweak your photos will be good investment.

From creating flyers, info graphics and croping images a good photo editor is the next tool on this list.

You also use it to create images for blog post, book covers, carousel for Instagram and so on.

Photoshop, gimp, abode lightroom and affinity photo are great options in this category.

4. Desktop publisher

Desktop publishers can help you create books. Though you can do certain things in word or Google docs these tools can help you create pdf documents and fillable forms.

If you are looking to create ebooks, a desktop publisher will come in handy.

Affinity publisher, Adobe indesign and scribus are good options to look at.

5. Vector graphic

Vector graphic software can help you design logos useful shapes and icons that can be used in other design.

Illustrator, Inkscape and affinity designers are good options.

Though you may not use all of them but having access at somepoint will make your life easier. Knowing how to use them as well will be a blessing.

How to optimize your workflow

Have you ever started working on a project only to get stuck. Or becomes side tracked only to realize your deadline is fast approaching and you’ve made little progress.

You may make a mad dash to complete it or you ask for more time. But the feeling of lack of progress on a project can get overwhelming at times.

At the beginning of my career as a writer working for a media company meeting deadlines use to frighten me.

Luckily after some experimentation and research I found 5 ways to optimize my workflow that I think can help you meet those deadlines.

1. Break project into steps

Worse thing you can do is doing everything all at once. Break the process apart to increase your focus.

What this will help is help you make small wins and make the project manageable.

2. Batch similar task together

I learn this from Michael Hyatt’s book free to focus. The concept is simple, group similar task on your calendar.

Work on everything in batches to increase your focus and save you time later.

For example, do all interviews on the same day. Write your peice at another time.

If you’re a designer, spend time to find all your ideas. Spend time to download all resources needed. Then sketch out all concepts then finalize them on another day.

3. Create templates and systems.

Creating templates and systems is critical to optimizing workflow.

In the book emyth Micheal Gerber emphasizes the need to be able to repeat results. If you know how to do something really well create a template or system to ensure you can get that basic result faster.

If you do something repeatedly everyday create a template. It helps you get consistent results everytime.

4. Review only when finished

There’s a chance you want to scrutinize your work on the go. Don’t do it. Make changes only when you are finished with the original idea.

Editing while you’re working will only waste time. Lengthen the time to actually finish and worse make you miss your deadline.

5. Get all the tools you need for the job

Invest in the right tools to make life easier. Don’t look at the cost upfront, look at the time you will save buying the right tools.

This could mean, software, plug-ins, physical tools, templates even people. Get what you need to get the job done.

Optimizing your workflow will take some time. Once you put the measures in place you will see your productivity improve.