How to make use of the lockdown days productively?

workplace, macbook, computer

The Productivity Equation

The greatest lesson that I learned during the pandemic period is that there are multiple opportunities within every threat that you face. It essentially requires some elements to bring out these opportunities. A positive mindset combined with patience and persistence can make magic. I call it the ‘3 Ps’ of productivity.

Productivity = Positivity +Persistence +Patience

The Productivity Equation

My lockdown story

I don’t have much regret for the past one and a half years of either fully or partially locked down days. I did many things that I never thought I would be doing. Let me share some of them with you. 

We survive by adapting

The lockdown came as an emotional hit on most of the people. The whole lifestyle has turned upside down. The freedom to move has been blocked and what’s worse, the happiest moments of get-togethers and parties became an old memory. People got trapped inside their house and the physical movements got restricted within the four walls. It was an entirely new experience for all of us. This was something that we had never expected to happen in our lives. The whole world is locked down in front of us. But then we human beings have a special power of adaptability. We have been surviving through centuries by adapting. We got adapted to the new way of living. I thank all those coaches and motivational speakers who have been trying to send out the vibes of positivity during these tough days. They helped divert people to the possibilities of a locked-down world and remain positive towards life. 

green trust your struggle graffiti
Better things await

How did it all start?

The initial 2-3 months of lockdown went without much activity and in fact, it was a period of waiting and hoping that things would get normal within a few months. But as we all know that’s not what happened. We went through the first wave of the pandemic, went up in the curve, and successfully came down but a severe second wave was waiting for us. After the first few months, I started a few things that I am so proud of. It was when I started growing interest in digital marketing and got an opportunity to work in a digital marketing institute. This triggered my interest more in the subject. I started to read more about it, watched many videos, and finally joined a course in digital marketing. This helped me to get some idea about some of the basic concepts of digital marketing. But also I realized that it is not a small thing. The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. True that Digital Marketing is a vast ocean but the best thing about it is that you only need a laptop and a stable internet connection to make things happen. During the lockdown period, we often couldn’t get some of our essential supplies, but thank God I never had a problem with my internet connection!

silver macbook beside blue and white ipad case

The power of Digital Marketing

When I joined the Digital Marketing Internship Program of Digital Deepak, it was a game-changing decision that I made. I am so glad that I took that step. I was exposed to the fundamentals of digital marketing in a very systematic and in-depth manner. It was not just me, thousands of other aspirant marketers joined the program and got their life changed. No words to express the value of this literally free program. The best thing that happened after joining this program is that I was able to start my own blog learnwithshameena.com. This helped me to expose the world of blogging and content marketing. It is a great feeling to own a small piece of digital property in the vast ocean of the internet. Though I used to write and publish articles earlier, it was always in my mother tongue. Never tried to write and publish something in English.

My blog gave me the opportunity and courage to write and publish in English. One lesson that I learned during the internship program was that you don’t have to be perfect to start working on something. You can start with a ‘zero knowledge’ background and work each day to improve yourself. The important thing is you should not stop adding to your knowledge and skill. Each day you need to learn something new, it doesn’t matter how little it is. Never stop learning irrespective of anything. 

person using laptop computer
Digital is the new power

The program also allowed me to work on social media marketing, email marketing and Google ads, the most powerful marketing tools in today’s world. But one thing that I realized during my learning process was that you will not be able to achieve anything just by consuming the content. It is important to implement the learning for you to get results. Another important thing about digital marketing is to remain consistent and committed to your goals. You cannot expect to get results in a day or two. It might take a year or two while you experiment, learn and grow. Keeping up the momentum throughout the journey can be the greatest challenge according to me.

And that’s not all about it!

The lockdown also helped us to initiate two wonderful platforms, Hayat Academy and Daily Dose of English. It was the combined effort of us sisters living miles apart but connected closely by the power of the internet. These are online learning platforms that bring students from various parts of the globe around a table. We got the opportunity to meet a lot of strangers through these platforms, train them, work with them and add value to their lives. This was a totally new experience which was made possible due to the restrictions imposed by the lockdown days. When there is a threat, don’t tie up your hands and stop doing things. Think of the opportunities that lie on the other side. The problems and obstacles in your life are the tools to bring out the best in you. In the meantime, we were featured by the Indian creative mothers and got exposed to much more audiences. We built communities around us and worked on ways to provide value to those who follow us. One thing that I always remind myself is that don’t be fooled or disappointed by the numbers in the initial stages. Focus on helping out people and providing value to them. The results will come when it is destined to come. Keep going and never quit is my advice to my readers too.

Together we grow!

There are so many different ways through which you can effectively make use of the lockdown period and will be back with it in the next episode. I am really curious to know your reaction after reading this. Do let me know about it in the comment box below.

Hayat Academy

Read this about time management today and thank me later

clock, money, growth

“I wish to do it, but I don’t have time”.

” I have no time to work on my hobby”.

“I am so busy doing the household work I don’t find time for myself”.

I know what you are talking about!

Many people do complain that they don’t have time to do things that they love. Are you one among them?

You might be a homemaker, stay-at-home mom, or a working professional managing both professional and personal life with a lot of stress and anxiety. You are struggling to manage your life and trying to make the life of the people around you much better and happier. And at the end of the day, there is no time for yourself. There is no time to watch your favorite TV show or to hang out with your friends. And what’s worse, you don’t have a ‘me time’ where you can do the things that you are passionate about.

In the next few minutes, I am going to explain to you how you can get the hook of your life back in your hands and enjoy the life that you always wished to have. I am sure that this is going to change your life and you can thank me later.  

Time is money
Time is money

Why is time management important?

I can imagine how boring life would be, doing the same old things over and over again. A monotonous life would lose color. Every day the same routine and moving up and down the same roads. You are doing things not because you love to do them but you are forced to do them. Don’t you love the moment you get a chance to come out of this routine and do something different? Sometimes it happens that you wake up in the morning and curse the day that you have to pass through. How much happier you are when you get a chance to attend a party at a relative’s place or a trip with your friends or a movie evening. Don’t you think that you have the right to be happy in every moment of your life? And now, do you agree if I say that you are responsible for building your own happy and sad moments in life?

 In the next few lines, I want to show you how you can be a happier person if you are ready to follow the exact guidelines that I have created for you. I am sure about it because I have tried and tested it and now I want to share it with you.

How can you manage your time by managing your life?

Your Life will be much more fun-filled if you can manage your time. You must have heard a lot about time management. There are so many motivational speakers around giving multiple tips on time management. Forget about all those tips and techniques. I want to put it very simple and straight. Time management is the art of holding control of your life in your hands. Now, just think for a while, how much control do you have over your life? Rate it on a 0-10 scale. If it is more than 5 you are easy to go forward. If it’s less than 5, don’t get upset. Stay with me till the end of this post where I will be walking you through it step by step. 

time management, clock, efficiency
Manage your life to manage your time

1. Be disciplined in your life

The first and foremost thing about time management is discipline. A successful life comes with a lot of discipline. There should be a proper time and place for everything and everyone. Define space and time and stick to it. Do the right things at the right time and don’t hesitate to put a strike on the wrong people in your life. Just take out a few days to plan and reorganize everything, right from the kitchen to the filing cabinet and wardrobes, you can see wonders happening in the next couple of days. You are saving a lot of time that you used to spend searching for the things. And that’s not just about it! You get a feeling of satisfaction which is priceless!

2. Be the decision-maker of your life

It’s not that you have to completely ignore all those advisors who come up with free advice. You may lend an ear to them but any final decision regarding your life should be your own. This will help you get better control of your life. I understand that it is not as easy as said, but you need to start it somewhere. Break the shell and prepare to fly!

3. Schedule your tasks and deadlines

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Prioritize

It’s important to have schedules and deadlines even if you are the boss. This will help you to keep a track on everything and you can rest assured that you don’t miss out on any of them. There are simple yet powerful techniques to do that. First of all you need to identify all the tasks that you need to complete in a set time, it could be yearly or monthly. Break them down into weekly, daily and hourly. Prioritize your tasks and fix time for everything and don’t forget to keep deadlines to complete each and every task. But that’s not all about it. Setting deadlines is easy but meeting is not. Stay committed to yourself is the mantra!

Stay focused! Stay committed!

Once you are disciplined and have better control over your life, time management becomes a piece of cake. Yes, you read it right. But how do you start? First thing is to have the right mindset. Today you make a promise to yourself that you will reorganize your life in such a way that you find time for everything that you want to do. Remember, all the successful people in the world also have only 24 hours in their day. If they can do so many things in 24 hours, why can’t you? 

Spend some time to rearrange or reorganise everything, be it your kitchen cabinets or wardrobes or document files. Make your headings and subheadings for easy access. Put all your spices in one rack and pulses in another. Keep separate files for your kid’s documents and certificates. This way you save so much time that you can spend for yourself. 

Remember that time is more precious than money because you can’t get back time by paying for all your wealth. Try implementing these simple yet powerful tips and let me know how they changed your life. 

Why study in Singapore?

Is studying in a foreign country one of your dreams? Do you wish to study in a college or a university with high infrastructure, great ambiance, and all the modern facilities?

Do you dream of getting a job in one of the best locations with all the ultra-modern amenities? Do you have the desire to settle down at a cool place where you don’t have to worry about the safety and security of your family members? Don’t you want to enjoy all the entertainments and fun while you study, work and live? 

Singapore Lion fountain

What is stopping you from going ahead with your plans? Is your budget your major concern? There is an all-in-one solution to fulfill your dream without being bothered much about your pocket. Singapore is the one word to put all your aspirations into a nutshell. Yes, Singapore has it all!

It’s a dream spot if you want to live in a highly developed economy with all the facilities that you want for your life. You get a world-class education, you get scholarships and bursaries from the government, you can work while you study and meet your living expense. You have the option to stay back post-study and look for an appropriate job. You can get the work permit after you find a job and you can be a permanent resident of this country which will make you feel at home. You are just a few hours away from your home country, and you have all the homely things handy.

multicolored lights on posts

Be job-ready!

The universities, colleges and polytechnics in Singapore offer market-oriented courses which would make you job-ready. Courses are designed by keeping high industry standards so that the students would never be left out from the job market. And now what is the delay? Contact me and get more details while I put down few more things about Singapore that would make you excited about studying there.

There are many reasons why students who wish to study abroad choose Singapore as their destination. Singapore can be rightly termed as the economic capital of Asia. An island nation that came into the picture in recent times has a lot in its list of achievements. The literally litter-free city with its highly developed infrastructure and city planning made its own place on the world map. 

Proximity & Cultural resemblance

Indian students choose Singapore as a study destination due to multiple reasons and each of them worth a mention. There are many countries that Indian students prefer as their international study destination such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Sweden. But as compared to these North American and European study destinations Singapore is much more advantageous for Indian students. The first and foremost advantage is its proximity to India. You can reach Singapore on a 6-hour flight and I bet you won’t miss home. Since many South Indians especially Tamilians have made Singapore their home during the past years, an Indian student stepping into Singapore would feel like home.

Singapore offers a multicultural society with zero tolerance for racism. Students have international exposure while feeling at home with the multiplicity of Indians present in this island-nation. You have mini India in Singapore and you get all the Indian delicacies. Can’t go without Biriyani and Bollywood movies? Singapore has all of them.

Singapore offers great city life and its urban planning is remarkable. It is a safe place to live and settle down for an international student. The country’s fast-growing economy makes it a most desirable relocation destination for students. The city life is amazing and it has got a lot of leisure and entertainment activities for students to hang out with friends.

High quality of life & international exposure

The high quality of life in Singapore is an attractive feature that makes Singapore a sought-after destination for international students. Singapore has students from all over the world including the UK and Europe. The government of Singapore advocates cultural diversity and the Ministry of Education provides multiple offers in the form of scholarships, grants and bursaries to international students. Singapore houses satellite campuses of some of the well-known universities and it has associations with world-class universities. 

Many of the multi-national companies including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin house their Asian headquarters in Singapore and they also have their global research laboratories over there.

aerial photography of high rise buildings

Budget-friendly

Another feature that makes Singapore popular among international students is that it is a budget-friendly study location. Compared to its European and North American counterparts, Singapore offers a pocket-friendly education. The aids provided by the Singapore government and the lower fees offered by the international universities are an added advantage for many students. Though it is an expensive destination in Asia, compared to the UK, Australia and Canada the educational expenses are reasonable. Students have the option to do part-time jobs during the sem and full-time jobs during sem breaks. After graduation students can apply for a long-term visit pass for 1 year and they can find a job during this period. If an international student is ready to serve the government his/her tuition fee will be subsidized by the government. 

This is not all about it. We have a lot more to talk about Singapore, its culture, city life, infrastructure, social security, hygiene, discipline, high standard of education, education system and a lot more. I will keep you posted on the upcoming blogs. If you want to know more about study abroad preparations read my previous blog post.

Things you need to know before preparing to study abroad

Are you a student who is longing to study in an international study destination? Are you passionate about going to a foreign country and continue your education there? Do you think getting an education from a famous study destination is going to change your life? If you are getting ready to continue your studies in any of the top-rated countries it might become a game changer for you. 

Studying abroad comes with a lot of advantages to students. It helps a student to develop social, academic & language skills. It is a great opportunity to have international exposure. Interacting with people from all around the globe changes the perspective of a person. You become more adaptable and flexible. It gives you greater vision and broader outlooks. You get the opportunity to meet with people from all around the world, you become familiar with their culture. You are able to influence and be influenced by multiple cultures during your stay in a foreign country. 

woman carrying white and green textbook

Most of the international study destinations allow students to do part-time jobs. This helps them to become financially independent and responsible. Residing in a foreign country with unknown people, sharing the classroom with international students, doing a job in an unfamiliar location, all these are going to help a student to mould his personality in a positive way. You get the feeling of being a part of an international community and also try to preserve the culture & values of the place you hail from. It becomes a matter of pride and responsibility to present your country in the best way in front of others. 

It is a part of their policy for most of the international colleges & universities to allow ethnic diversities into their campus. The educational policies of most of such countries have been framed in a way to incorporate international students into their local campuses. This way they ensure that their students get multi-cultural exposure. The campus is modelled as a miniature of the world. Students from all over the world study & interact, enriching each other. It is in fact a cultural exchange that takes place in these campuses which makes it a non-academic or beyond the syllabus way of learning. So if you are thinking about going beyond the borders, do not hesitate to do so. You can return to your home country as a proud citizen or continue to live in a place where you are comfortable & make your country proud of you. Which country to choose as your study destination is a matter of utmost consideration. Good research on the country, the colleges, the courses, career opportunities, social & political conditions of the place, the climate of the place, and many other factors have to be done before coming up with a final decision.

people seated on table in room

Getting ready to move

Get your passport ready –

The most basic thing a student should start with is to get his/her passport ready. So when you start planning about your international academic journey, start it by obtaining a passport. If you already have a passport, check the validity and ensure that it is valid enough throughout your study program or at least during the first year of your study. This way you can move around without being bothered about the passport renewal process when you are at a new place. 

MacBook Pro, white ceramic mug,and black smartphone on table

Prepare your mindset –

Moving to a foreign destination, that too most probably without being accompanied by any of your loved ones might be a new experience for many students. So it is important to mentally prepare yourself to face the challenges that might arise during your stay. Many students feel homesick, lonely and depressed in the initial stages of their move. It is quite natural to feel so. But this can be avoided or reduced to a certain extent by preparing your mind ready to accept new situations. For most of the students, their selected study destination can be a new experience. They might be unfamiliar with everything about the place. You need to be ready to face all the challenges. There is nothing to be afraid of, but students should be aware of the possible hurdles. And the best part is that you can find many students in similar conditions and you can support each other whenever there is a need. Of course, the university authorities are responsible enough to take care of the comforts of the students but many times it happens that students hesitate to approach the authorities with their problems. So it is always a great idea to contact your student affairs in charge and update him or her about your status. They would be happy to help. 

Do good research –

As a student getting ready to move to an international destination, it is advisable to do good research on the country that you are choosing. You should know about the basic language, culture, food habits, lifestyle, living expenses, currency, social life, job opportunities, and whatever information you can get. As you know it is not a difficult thing to get information about almost anything that you need. We get everything at a mouse click. Thanks to Google. Put the right keywords and move ahead with your research. Note down the information you collected. If you have more than a single country in your mind, make charts to compare the key factors. You can make the comparison based on your preference and the factors that you want to consider the most. 

woman in brown sweater using macbook pro

There is a lot to know and do before you make your final move and I will be back with more information in the coming days. So stay tuned and leave your questions in the comment box below. 

Click here to watch the presentation I have done for the students of Wadi Rahma English School.

Why do you ever stop learning?

People are trained to follow a stereotypical way of living, and most of them get settled with the way their ancestors have been living. Of course, I’m not denying the advancement that came through ages. But often, you can observe that people are reluctant to accept something new. They are so addicted to their status quo that they don’t want to compromise on it. Change is often forced upon people. They change when they are left with no other option. Consider the case of a typical Indian man or woman. They are brought up with such limited goals in their life. They are even afraid to dream big. Maybe because every Indian parent is overprotective or over-concerned about their children, they don’t want them to go through a trial and error life. The parents have got their piece of advice from their parents, and they got from the previous generations, and as a treasure, all of them want to hand over their own life experience to the next generation and little they know that the times have changed. The old engine you value will not be compatible with the latest device, how so ever error-free the old one is. As the device gets updated, so should be the engine.

difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations desk decor

What I believe is that life should be a never-ending learning journey. We always have so many new things to learn. There are so many unexposed treasures of life that we leave untapped. Why do we have to do that? Why don’t we just go forward and expose untouched treasures of life? What is that pulling you back? Why are people afraid to experiment with something new? Why do you get settled with a stereotype life? Why don’t you come out of the comfort zone and start exploring the new possibilities life has kept hidden for you? It needs time, effort, patience, and courage. Exploring the unseen arenas comes with learning new things. The more you know, the more you become exposed to the hidden treasures. There is no doubt that within man lies unlimited powers, and for many people, these powers remain untapped throughout their life. Finally, they leave this world without exploring much of its possibilities. What a pity! You are gifted with unlimited treasures, and you never get a chance to realize it and explore it. Think about yourself. Think of your potential. Are you able to recognize that you have much more potential than what you are making use of? Have you ever got a chance to think about your own potential? When was the last time you learned something new?

We learn many things every day unknowingly. But are you putting in any conscious effort for your self-development? If not, think of all those obstacles that are stopping you? Are you too lazy to start something new? Do you procrastinate? Are you too demotivated? Do you lack self-confidence? Or is it that you are afraid of criticism? These are some of the reasons that make people step back from being creative. Just think of all these reasons again. Are they worthy of stopping you from becoming a better person? Your potential has to be tapped in the best possible way, and you have to take the initiative for that. Set goals for your life. Set both long-term goals and short-term goals—set targets. Make action plans. Every day spend some time for yourself, towards achieving your goals, towards meeting your targets. Your goals will give you a new vigour to move ahead with life in a pleasant manner.

woman in gray sweater sitting beside window

When you look at the life of the most successful people in the world, you will see that they have never quit learning. To live our life to the fullest, we need to regularly look for ways to improve. People face various difficulties in life, which will restrict them from attaining traditional education, but there should not be any such barriers when it comes to learning. When I say you should never stop learning, I don’t mean that you go back to your school or college life and pursue formal education. There are so many ways that will help you to learn. You can always learn from others, we are living in a world flooded with information, and there is no shortage of learning materials around us. It is a matter of you getting ready to grab it. Learning helps to change the way we see the world and ourselves. Here are a few reasons why you should not stop learning:- 

Learning will make you a happier person – When you start learning something new for the first time, you find it challenging. But it also makes your brain work in a different way to adapt new skills and new knowledge. This will ultimately lead to an active mind. One of the secrets for those who want to stay young is to have an active mind. And the happiness you gain after hitting your learning goal is beyond comprehension. 

Learning will help you generate new ideas – New ideas come from thought processes, and learning plays a key role here. People who want to achieve the purpose of their lives and become successful would always look for opportunities to attain that. They look forward to new ideas on which they can work. Learning will help you generate new ideas. Ideas don’t generate by merely sitting or going through some entertainment activities. Ideas come as a result of learning something new. Make a commitment to yourself that you would learn something new every day and find out the difference. 

Learning keeps you relevant and irreplaceable – If you are a person who keeps updating yourself, you become irreplaceable, and you can easily win over others.

photo of woman reading book near body of water

The exciting thing about learning is that no one can stop you or restrict you from it if you have made a firm decision. But it is often not others who hinder us from learning; it is we. People often think that they already have a hectic and overflowing schedule that they don’t have time to learn anything new. Here is where the self-starters steal the scene. They can manage their time prioritizing their self-growth. 

There are many ways through which you can get inspired to learn such as:-

Read biographies of successful people and learn from the masters

Join a community of like-minded people and get inspired.

Find a mentor who can guide you 

Form a community who look forward to you for motivation

The online world is full of resources but the question is whether you are ready for the change or not?

Think about all the time you wasted waiting for a doctor’s appointment or a public transport facility to arrive. How much time are you spending simply scrolling through the mobile screens in social media? If you can manage your time well, trust me, there is enough time for everything. The most successful people in the world are also getting only 24 hours in a day!