By Mark Pettit

Over the 25 years that I’ve worked in corporate environments and coached entrepreneurs, people have always looked to improve their time management skills.

As a coach, people often come to me because they feel they don’t have enough time to achieve everything they want to each day. They are busy, but not working on the things that give them great joy or make a real impact in their business and life.

Being in constant action all day long is the norm. They are stuck in an endless cycle of busyness and filling up time with tasks.

One of the things I’ve noticed about busy work is that it doesn’t make people more productive or creative. In fact, it creates more complication and complexity.

Dealing with emails, going to numerous meetings, multi-tasking and working on low value activities is often not the best use of your time.

What if there was a different way to think about how you manage your time? Do you wish you could manage your time more effectively and finish each day being satisfied with what you’ve achieved?

There are a few simple time-management strategies that busy people can use to become more effective, productive and get more of the most important things done.

Below are 8 time management strategies that busy people can implement right now to simplify their lives and change how they think about managing their time.

1. Take a Time Audit

If you want to take control of your time, the first step is to understand how you are spending your time right now.

You can’t make a change until you have clarity on where you are and what’s working and what’s not working?

This audit gives you a big picture view of the value you are creating and the results you are delivering V the time you are investing in each project or task. It will help you simplify everything so you can understand very quickly whether you are using your time productively or not.

When my coaching clients conduct a time audit they usually do this for seven days straight and I would recommend the same for you.

How to Conduct a Time Audit

  1. Get a blank piece of paper
  2. Put a date at the top
  3. Draw three lines down the page
  4. Title the First Column ‘High Value Work’
  5. Title the Second Column ‘Good Work’
  6. Title the Third column ‘Low Value Work”

High Value Work is work that you love to do, that you’re great at. It is work that delivers the biggest results.

Good Work is work that you enjoy. It delivers good results but is work that is often repetitive and someone else could do equally well or better

Low Value Work doesn’t excite you and probably frustrates you. It doesn’t deliver great results, lowers your energy levels and could be stopped or given to someone else.

For each project or task that you undertake assign it to one of the three columns with the name of the work and the amount of time spent.

At the end of the 7 days, total up the amount of time spent in each column and on each project.

I prefer paper but you can also use a tool such as toggle or harvest. 

This can be an eye opening exercise. At the end of the audit, look for ways to improve how you spend your time. Ask yourself how can you spend more time doing High Value Work that creates the biggest impact, brings more joy and deliver the results you want.

2. Set Time Management Goals

Without a clear vision or goals, it can become easy to drift, lose focus and become distracted.

By creating clarity on where you are now and where you want to get to, it becomes much easier to focus your time on the high value activities that will help you achieve your goals.

Through setting specific, measurable goals, you can clearly identify what your ideal future looks like, and create a plan and path to get there.

With this clarity, you can simplify everything. You are clear on your destination and know the best way to manage your time, resources and people to get there,

By understanding what you do best and what can create the biggest impact, you gain greater clarity on how best to use your time as well as who else can help you achieve your goals.

Mastering your time is partly about what changes you can make. It is also about who can help you become even more effective.

Setting goals can give you the willpower and motivation to move forward in the right direction, saving you time and reducing busyness and procrastination.

Set goals for every 90 day period and then review your performance at the end of that cycle. Review what worked and what breakthroughs you achieved. Then set up your next 90-day goals.

3. Delegate and Outsource

When you complete a time audit, you understand exactly where you’re currently spending your time and on what activities.

The key to effective delegation is to understand your unique strengths and the biggest value you create, and work out how you can spend more and more time doing that work.

Sometimes we feel we’re the only people who can get the job done, so we hold onto tasks that we don’t enjoy and tale us away from the things we do best.

We can all get back hours by doing better, more productive work. Work we actually love doing.

Rather than thinking about how you can fit everything in to your schedule, consider who are the people that can take on projects and tasks.

Think about where your creative energy and unique skills could best be utilized.

A CEO of a Travel Agency I worked with got back 15 hours a week simply by hiring an assistant to work with her. She was able to spend more of her time doing the things she did best and loved to do. This included winning new business, spending time with her clients, and getting more referrals.

Try this tip:

Every 90-days think about how you can eliminate 3 things from your list of Low Value Work list that currently frustrates you, annoys you or you find delivers no real value.

Think of 3 things from your Good Work list that you can delegate or outsource.

Think of 3 things from your High Value List that you want to spend more time doing.

Keep following this process every 90 days to free yourself up even more to focus more time on the things that you do best and bring the highest level results.

4. Start Prioritizing

When you are clear and intentional about how you want to spend your time and your future goals, the key is to start prioritizing your time to make those goals a reality.

If you don’t set priorities, you can lose focus, get distracted and start procrastinating. Your time will become filled up with low value activities and perfectionism can creep in.

If you have 20 things on your To-Do list each day, you’re not prioritising. When you have a never-ending To-Do list and bulging Inbox your workload will continually stretch, leading to overwhelm and a loss of clarity and focus.

If you are super busy, the key to time management is focus and prioritization around the activities that will help you reach your goals.

A simple time management strategy is to set a maximum of five things you want to achieve each day. Those are your priorities.

If you manage to complete them, you can work on other things but those five you’ve identifies take priority.

This intentionality will ensure you don’t get distracted and move on to items and tasks that aren’t on your priority list.

5. Do the Most Important Thing First

This strategy is one of the keys to effective time management.

Start your day by asking yourself:

“What’s the Number One thing I absolutely have to achieve today?”

Once you are clear on that, and you commit to achieving that thing, chances are you WILL actually do the work.

This technique will stop the disorder, distractions and chaos from impacting on your day.

The reason? You have made a conscious decision at the start of the day, when your willpower is strong.

Have you noticed that as the day wears on you have less and less willpower and energy to focus?

So, do the most important thing or things first.

If you have set up calls with potential clients, do this in the morning.

If you have an important presentation to write, again do this in the morning.

Don’t multitask. Focus on one project at a time and work on it until complete.

Whatever your most important thing is, if you do that thing first, then you’ll never have a day when you didn’t get something important done.

By following this simple time management strategy, you will usually end up having a very productive day.

Sometimes you may have to start saying no more often if the things are not a priority or don’t fit in with your goals.

6. Create the Perfect Morning and Evening Routine

If you’re operating at your peak physically and mentally, you are going to be far more focused and productive.

Creating your perfect morning routine can give you the clarity focus and energy to complete your key priorities for the day.

If you can, spend 60-90 minutes setting up a ‘high performance’ day every day by focusing on what YOU want to achieve.

Have a healthy breakfast, read, meditate, go for a walk – whatever works best for you. Then lay out and be clear on your priorities for the day.

What is the One Thing you want to focus on – do that thing first until completed. This takes commitment and consistency.

It may be hard to start with but, just like going to the gym, can get easier over time, if you start achieving the results you want.

If you want to double your productivity and maximize your time, create an evening routine to support your morning routine.

At the end of each day, give yourself 15 minutes to reflect on the day. Write down 3 things that were great about that day. This could be getting a new client, a great meeting you had, positive comments on your work. Anything that makes you feel positive and confident. This strategy also makes you feel grateful for what you’ve achieved.

Then write down the 3-5 things you want to achieve the next day, listed in priority order. This will ensure everything is fresh in your mind the next morning and will create a confident mindset.

To add a further layer to this strategy, spend 30 minutes on a Sunday setting up your key priorities for the week ahead.

7. Work in Time Blocks

If you’re serious about gaining more control over your time, experiencing more freedom and conquering any feelings of stress and overwhelm then you must not multi-task.

Instead, work in chunks of focused time on your priority projects. Don’t switch between tasks or projects.

I work on the 60/60/30 principle, working in chunks of 50 minutes, then taking a 10-minute break for the first two chunks of time before then taking 30 minutes out to read, walk or meditate.

This strategy can help keep your energy up throughout the day and give you a real sense of accomplishment as projects will be completed.

Many people use the Pomodoro technique for tracking their time, but you can simply use the timer function on your phone.

8. Take Time for Yourself

How often do you take time for yourself or celebrate small or big achievements each day?

For some, it is a badge of achievement to work harder and work longer hours to get as many things done as possible.

If you continue to do this consistently, you could be in danger of burnout.

By making the maximum use of your time, streamlining your workflow and focusing on the high value activities that will help you achieve your goals, you will have more time to spend on yourself and with the people that matter.

You must give yourself permission to take time out of your business, whether you want to spend this time on personal development or with the family or friends, that’s up to you but give yourself that time.

Dan Sullivan, Founder of Strategic Coach has created a unique time management system to help you focus you time, energy and creativity to produce your best results.

Part of this time management system is a focus on taking Free Days, which is a 24-hour day, from midnight to midnight, during which there are no work related activities.

The aim of this day is to help people rejuvenate and boost energy to ensure they maintain high levels of productivity and creativity.

The Bottom Line

When busy people talk about not having enough time, it’s usually because they haven’t understood the value of their own time and prioritised it in the right way.

How we use our time is often a choice. We actually have a great deal of control over our time. Not complete control, but more control than we think.

Try one or more of these time management strategies. If you find one or more that works for you, keep with it for 90 days and see the difference it makes in both your business and personal life.

Via LifeHack

The typical workday is long enough as it is, and technology is making it even longer. When you do finally get home from a full day at the office, your mobile phone rings off the hook, and emails drop into your inbox from people who expect immediate responses.

While most people claim to disconnect as soon as they get home, recent research says otherwise. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that more than 50% of us check work email before and after work hours, throughout the weekend, and even when we’re sick. Even worse, 44% of us check work email while on vacation.

A Northern Illinois University study that came out this summer shows just how bad this level of connection really is. The study found that the expectation that people need to respond to emails during off-work hours produces a prolonged stress response, which the researchers named telepressure. Telepressure ensures that you are never able to relax and truly disengage from work. This prolonged state of stress is terrible for your health. Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your cognitive performance.

We need to establish boundaries between our personal and professional lives. When we don’t, our work, our health, and our personal lives suffer.

Responding to emails during off-work hours isn’t the only area in which you need to set boundaries. You need to make the critical distinction between what belongs to your employer and what belongs to you and you only. The items that follow are yours. If you don’t set boundaries around them and learn to say no to your boss, you’re giving away something with immeasurable value.

Your health.It’s difficult to know when to set boundaries around your health at work because the decline is so gradual. Allowing stress to build up, losing sleep, and sitting all day without exercising all add up. Before you know it, you’re rubbing your aching back with one hand and your zombie-like eyes with the other, and you’re looking down at your newly-acquired belly. The key here is to not let things sneak up on you, and the way you do that is by keeping a consistent routine. Think about what you need to do to keep yourself healthy (taking walks during lunch, not working weekends, taking your vacations as scheduled, etc.), make a plan, and stick to it no matter what. If you don’t, you’re allowing your work to overstep its bounds.

Your family.It’s easy to let your family suffer for your work. Many of us do this because we see our jobs as a means of maintaining our families. We have thoughts such as “I need to make more money so that my kids can go to college debt-free.” Though these thoughts are well-intentioned, they can burden your family with the biggest debt of all—a lack of quality time with you. When you’re on your deathbed, you won’t remember how much money you made for your spouse and kids. You’ll remember the memories you created with them.

Your sanity.While we all have our own levels of this to begin with, you don’t owe a shred of it to your employer. A job that takes even a small portion of your sanity is taking more than it’s entitled to. Your sanity is something that’s difficult for your boss to keep track of. You have to monitor it on your own and set good limits to keep yourself healthy. Often, it’s your life outside of work that keeps you sane. When you’ve already put in a good day’s (or week’s) work and your boss wants more, the most productive thing you can do is say no, then go and enjoy your friends and hobbies. This way, you return to work refreshed and de-stressed. You certainly can work extra hours if you want to, but it’s important to be able to say no to your boss when you need time away from work.

Your identity.While your work is an important part of your identity, it’s dangerous to allow your work to become your whole identity. You know you’ve allowed this to go too far when you reflect on what’s important to you and work is all that (or most of what) comes to mind. Having an identity outside of work is about more than just having fun. It also helps you relieve stress, grow as a person, and avoid burnout.

Your contacts.While you do owe your employer your best effort, you certainly don’t owe him or her the contacts you’ve developed over the course of your career. Your contacts are a product of your hard work and effort, and while you might share them with your company, they belong to you.

Your integrity.Sacrificing your integrity causes you to experience massive amounts of stress. Once you realize that your actions and beliefs are no longer in alignment, it’s time to make it clear to your employer that you’re not willing to do things his or her way. If that’s a problem for your boss, it might be time to part ways.

Bringing It All Together

Success and fulfillment often depend upon your ability to set good boundaries. Once you can do this, everything else just falls into place.

What do you do to set good boundaries around your work? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

For many of us, 2019 will begin with a promise—a promise that this is the year we will accomplish that which has eluded us. Often it’s the everyday things that prove most difficult—managing your schedule, treating people the way you ought to, and keeping things in perspective when chaos is at hand.

The sad truth is that nearly 80% of us will fall off the resolution bandwagon by Super Bowl Sunday; and by this time next year, a mere 5% of us will have succeeded in reaching our goals.

There are two reasons why we’re so bad at reaching our goals:

The first is that we bite off more than we can chew. It may seem reasonable to pick up three or four new skills to add to your repertoire, but that’s an expectation the mind can’t execute. When we try to develop too many new skills at once, they become competing priorities that leave us distracted, discouraged and overwhelmed.

The second reason most self-improvement efforts are doomed to fail is that our emotions have a nasty habit of hijacking our behavior. Without a strong ability to recognize and manage our emotions as they occur, old habits are sure to die hard.

The Good News

The good news is that you can address both problems and make the changes you desire by resolving this year to develop a single skill—emotional intelligence (EQ).

Piles of research over the last two decades has shown that emotional intelligence is likely the single most powerful success factor yet discovered, affecting everything from your performance at work, to your mood and the quality of your personal life.

We’ve tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other critical skills and found that it subsumes the majority of them. It’s no wonder that 90% of top performers are high in EQ and people with high EQs make $28,000 more annually than their low EQ counterparts.

But how does emotional intelligence play such a large role in so many important skills? Our brains are wired such that emotions are the root of all human behavior. Whether we’re aware of it or not, the motivation behind every action (no matter how small) is inherently emotional.

Here’s how it works:

All of your primary senses enter at the base of your brain (the light blue shaded area below). Before you can think rationally about what you’re experiencing, these signals must travel through the limbic system—the place where emotions are generated. This ensures you have an emotional reaction to events first.

Emotional intelligence ensures effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of your brain. As you improve your emotional intelligence, you improve your ability to understand and control the primary motivations for your behavior, which reaps dividends in everything you do every day. Emotional intelligence is powerful and efficient—it allows you to focus your energy on a single skill with tremendous results.

What Does Emotional Intelligence Look Like?

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

Personal competence comprises your self-awareness and self-management skills, which focus more on you individually than on your interactions with other people. Personal competence is your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies.

  • Self-Awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
  • Self-Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.

Social competence is made up of your social awareness and relationship management skills; social competence is your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior, and motives in order to respond effectively and improve the quality of your relationships.

  • Social Awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on.
  • Relationship Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully.

While working on your emotional intelligence will improve a lot of different skills, there are five in particular that people tend to set goals around when the year changes. I’ll explain how you can improve each of these skills solely by focusing on your emotional intelligence.

Managing Your Time

In this age of abundance, time is the one thing nobody has enough of. Perhaps that’s why Google receives 111 million searches a month for Time Management. Few people recognize how time management depends upon the emotional intelligence skills of self-management and relationship management.

Creating a good schedule is a very rational thing, but sticking to that schedule is decidedly emotional. Many of us start out every day with the best intentions to manage our time wisely. But then we receive a complicated email from a co-worker, a consuming phone call from a friend, or otherwise get sidetracked until our well-laid plans go up in flames. We spend the rest of the day trying to put out somebody else’s fire, or working to resolve issues that weren’t there in the morning. Before you know it, the day is gone and you’re completely off schedule.

When the distractions are your own, sticking to a schedule requires self-management. When the needs of others try to impede upon your plans, it takes effective relationship management to finesse the relationship while ensuring that your priorities are still addressed.

Embracing Change

Show me somebody who claims to love change, and I’ll show you a well-intentioned liar. Change is uncomfortable for everyone at times, and for many of us it makes our skin crawl. Those who apply well-honed self-awareness and self-management skills tolerate change much more successfully than others. Self-awareness enables you to adjust comfortably to change because it gives you the perspective needed to realize when change is coming and how it’s affecting you.

Self-management keeps you cool in the moment—often with a reminder that even the most stable, trusted facets of your life are not completely under your control. Those most averse to change, who possess great self-awareness and self-management skills, even set aside a small amount of time each week to list possible changes and what actions they can take in response.

Mastering Conflict

Emotional intelligence is commonly mistaken as a synonym for “nice.” In fact, the most emotionally intelligent response is often one where you openly and directly express yourself. To paraphrase Aristotle, getting angry is easy. Getting angry with the right person, at the right time, and to the right degree requires emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence doesn’t allow lashing out, or making yourself into someone else’s doormat. To be assertive, you have to know what you’re feeling, read the other party accurately, and express yourself in a way that garners the best result. People with high EQs do this naturally.

Making Great Decisions

It has taken the world far too long to wake up to the fact that emotions simply cannot—and should not—be ignored when making decisions. Neuroscience shows us that sometimes the most rational thing you can do is trust your emotions when making a decision. But in order to make this work, you have to be aware of the emotions you’re feeling, know why you’re having them, and see how they factor into the situation at hand. Here, there is no substitute for emotional intelligence.

Giving Outstanding Presentations

Few things strike primal fear in people like standing under the spotlight in a room full of people. Even the most eloquent among us can be reduced to spewing verbal garbage once the sheer anxiety of public speaking takes hold. That’s why a knock-’em-dead presenter’s most inspiring presentation is often the one he delivers to himself. A bit of positive self-talk—reminding himself of all the times he has succeeded and how qualified he is to speak on the topic—enables the effective speaker to use his performance anxiety to sharpen his focus and make him more articulate. If you think that’s silly, then you probably haven’t tried it. Emotional intelligence doesn’t just make you aware of your emotions; it equips you with strategies for keeping them from holding you back.

Bringing It All Together

Give improving your emotional intelligence a real shot in 2019. You’ll be surprised where it takes you.

How will you reach your goals in 2019? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence testsand training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

Via LinkedIn

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Approximately 4,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year.

Applicants
The Fulbright Program for Foreign Students is administered by binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies. All Foreign Student Program applications are processed by these offices.

Program eligibility and selection procedures vary widely by country.

Scholarship Worth
Funding for the whole duration of the program

  • Tuition fee,
  • Airfare
  • Living Stipend
  • Health Insurance

Click here to find information about the Fulbright Program in your home country, including eligibility requirements and application guidelines.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program 2019/2020 (Masters & PhD) Scholarships

Scholarship Application Deadline: Varying by Country

Each year, Rotary funds some of the world’s most dedicated and brightest leaders to study at Rotary Peace Centers. Through training, study, and practice, Rotary Peace Fellows become catalysts for peace and development. Many go on to careers with governments, NGOs, the military, law enforcement, and international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank.

Applications for the 2020-21 Rotary Peace Fellowship program are now being accepted. The due date for candidates to submit applications to their district is 31 May. Districts must submit endorsed applications to The Rotary Foundation by 1 July. Review district endorsement instructions.

Eligibility Criteria:

The Rotary Peace Fellowship is designed for leaders with work experience in peace and development. Our fellows are committed to community and international service and the pursuit of peace.

Candidates must also meet the following requirements:

  • Proficiency in English, with proficiency in a second language strongly recommended
  • Strong commitment to international understanding and peace as demonstrated through professional and academic achievements and personal or community service
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • For master’s degree candidates, a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of related full-time work or volunteer experience
  • For certificate candidates, at least five years of related full-time work or volunteer experience

Method of Application:See the steps you need to take to complete your application process.

Follow these steps to ensure that your application receives consideration.

  1. Review the application guidelines and check the eligibility requirements and restrictions.
  2. Research the curriculum and programs at each of the Rotary Peace Centers. You will be asked to rank two centers you prefer.
  3. Prepare your application, including your resume/CV, essays, academic or professional recommendations, transcripts, and test scores. All materials must be in English. For certificate candidates, transcripts and scores are not needed.
  4. Contact your local Rotary district before submitting your application to request an interview. District endorsement is a required component of the application process. TIP: Your local Rotary club can help you connect with your district. Use Club Finder to locate the club nearest you. Club interviews and recommendations are strongly encouraged but not required for candidates who have district support.
  5. Before any interviews, submit your online application to your district by 31 May.
  6. Complete an interview with district representatives. Districts must submit endorsements to The Rotary Foundation by 1 July.
  7. Await notice of the selection results in November. If you are chosen for a fellowship, you will be told at which Peace Center you will study.
  8. Apply for admission to the university where your Peace Center is located. Being selected for the fellowship does not mean you have been admitted to the university.

The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF), an independent U.S. Government Agency established by Congress to support and invest in African owned and led enterprises and ALL ON, an impact investing company established to stimulate the development of collaborative partnerships for innovative solutions that facilitate increased access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy sources in Nigeria invites applications for: 

Job Position: USADF-All On Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge

Background on the Off-Grid Energy Challenge

  • The Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a joint initiative of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On and is designed to achieve the following results:
    • To increase electrical generation to unserved and underserved communities through sustainable business model solutions;
    • To expand electricity access – delivered through off-grid solutions such as home systems or micro-grids;
    • To increase access to electricity for productive and/or household use – while this may include power to meet household consumer needs, emphasis is also given to the delivery of power to productive or commercial activities including agricultural production and processing, commercial enterprises, and others.
  • The Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a key element of the Beyond the Grid sub-initiative of Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership launched in 2013 to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 by increasing installed power capacity by 30,000 MW and creating60 million new connections. Of these targeted 60 million new connections, as many as 25-30 million are expected to be added through off-grid solutions.

Background On The USADF-All On Partnership

  • All On is an impact investing company established to stimulate the development of collaborative partnerships for innovative solutions that facilitate increased access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy sources in Nigeria. All On seeks both financial returns and social impact to provide or improve energy access for millions of households and small and medium enterprises. In December 2017, USADF and All On signed a Statement of Intent to combine their respective and complementary strengths and areas of expertise to fund companies with a combination of grant dollars and loans and/or equity investments.

Introduction

  • USADF and All On are excited to request proposals for the USADF-All On Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge. Proposals of up to US$100,000 in 50/50 blended grant/ debt or equity per award will be considered and approximately ten awards are anticipated.
  • To be considered for the Challenge, applicants must be 100% African-owned, majority Nigerian-owned and -managed private companies registered in Nigeria and must be operating in Nigeria.
  • Projects are to be focused on increasing sustainable energy access – specifically off-grid solutions – extending the delivery of electrification to un-served and underserved communities in Nigeria. The type of clean energy technologies to be proposed may include, but are not limited to, solar, hydro, wind, biomass, biogas, gas,and hybrid systems.

Winning applicants will receive:

  • An investment in the form of a convertible loan at an affordable interest rate and/or an equity investment
  • Seed capital in the form of grant funds
  • Access to intensive local technical assistance and governance support

Eligibility Criteria

  • USADF and All On will consider proposals from 100% African-owned and majority Nigerian-owned and Nigerian-managed companies. Passports or other government-issued IDs of owners and senior managers must be submitted with the applications. The companies applying must be for-profit enterprises and must not be government-owned or operated in any way.   Applicants may be developers of their own technology and/or may be acquiring and implementing technology developed elsewhere. Applicants need to be legally registered in Nigeria and demonstrate the capacity to track and manage the project resources and operate in good standing with the local governments in which they operate.

Winning proposals must:

  • Further develop, scale up or extend use of proven technologies for off–grid energy in Nigeria.
  • Benefit marginalized, or low income rural or urban populations currently underserved by utility companies, ideally with a focus on benefits to women and girls and operating in the Niger Delta.
  • Demonstrate financial sustainability or the potential for financial sustainability. Theproposed investment period must include approximately three months of generation of electricity (or generation of energy) and revenue/cash flow from sales.
  • Demonstrate a proven track record of experience or have project sponsors or partners with a proven track record of related experience.
  • Propose a budget of no more than US$100,000. Proposals with budgets greater than US$100,000 must bring leveraged resources from one or more sources that meet the total financing requirements. Leveraged funds from other private sector and donor sources are encouraged.
  • Demonstrate clearly whether and how many new connections will be added, as well as potential for future replication.
  • Applications for projects/ businesses leveraging wind, hydro, biomass, and gas as the energy source are greatly encouraged.

Applications will only be considered if:

  • They are 100% African-owned and passports showing citizenship are submitted:
    • All shareholders, members of the board and senior management must be citizens of a sub-Saharan African country and must reside in Nigeria;
  • They are majority Nigerian-owned and -managed (senior managers);
  • They express clearly how they will benefit marginalized, grassroots people in Nigeria, including also ideally showing demonstrable positive impacts for female beneficiaries and people living in the Niger Delta;
  • They express clearly how they will achieve profitability;
  • They are fully and legally registered in Nigeria and the registration is submitted;
  • They document adequate expertise in the field they are proposing or document how they will acquire the necessary expertise;
  • They plainly document how they will we use the USADF/All On investment funds to carry out their concept.

Proposals
Winning proposals will do the following:

  • Provide off-grid energy to rural or urban areas and populations currently lacking energy access. Distance of the site from the grid is to be included. An explanation on why grid connection is not feasible is necessary, including an estimate of the cost to connect to the grid. Best understanding of how long it will take for the area to connect to the grid to be stated. If the proposal is for an urban area or an area with grid connections, a justification is to be included.
  • Focus on reaching un-served, underserved or marginalized populations.
  • Make clear any female ownership/management.
  • Explain all tangible improvements to lives of women and girls, including whether and how company targets women for capacity building/employment.
  • Make clear any current or planned operations in the Niger Delta.
  • Make clear any specific innovations of the technology or business model, and what the energy source.
  • Clearly state whether and how many new connections will be added.
  • Include power for economic activities, for example small-scale value-added agriculture processing. The actual or potential business impact is to be addressed in the proposal.
  • Demonstrate the potential for financial sustainability. Some measure of projected financial return on investment and payback period is to be included in an attached comprehensive five-year financial model in Excel format. The application must demonstrate the potential to operate as a commercially viable business.
  • Be driven by demand: is the proposal meeting a clearly known and unmet demand?
  • Preferred) Leverage financing from sources in addition to Challenge funds.
  • Operate within Nigeria.

The following technologies will be considered:
Productive use:

  • Off-grid energy solutions for mechanization of processes such as grain milling, oil expelling, refrigeration, transport, etc. Solutions are to explain clearly how they will be commercially viable. It is expected that use of the power will address a business solution(s) that will generate ongoing revenue and profits to sustain the enterprise. This must be clearly explained in the proposal.  
  • Mini-/micro-grids:
  • Small-scale power generation systems which provide an alternative to, or an enhancement of, national/regional grid connected electric transmission.

Products/home systems:

  • Products or systems installed directly in the homes of off-grid households, which supply energy directly to marginalized populations currently (and in the foreseeable future) lacking access to energy.
  • Focus must be on distribution systems which are scalable and can be replicated, in addition to being affordable.

Innovations:

  • Proposals need not necessarily be for power generation only – they may also include provision of innovative metering, payment systems or other enabling technology, especially if they are an innovation in Nigeria.  If it is an innovation, then a clear and simple explanation is needed of why the innovation is important and what it will do for the sector or the population.

Timeline

  • Applications will be accepted from February 1, 2019 to March 15, 2019. Proposals received after the closing date will not be accepted.
  • Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of judges with expertise in the field. Shortlisted applications will be contacted in April to begin the Phase II application process.  Those that scale through the Phase II process will be contacted in May and Junefor due diligence purposes and for clarification of project concept and details. Applications that are not shortlisted will not be contacted.
  • Winners are expected to be announced by September 2019.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should downloand and complete the “Application Template” below. The completed Application Template along with the required documentation should be submitted to: OffGridChallengeNigeria@usadf.gov For details on eligibility and application instructions, please refer to the Request for Proposals document below:

Click Here to Download Application Template (PDF)

Click Here to Download Off-Grid Challenge Request for Proposals (MS Word)

Click Here for more Information

Note

  • Proposals will only be accepted at the above email address.
  • General inquiries can be directed to: OffGridChallengeNigeria@usadf.gov and will not be accepted at other email addresses

 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services received more than thousands of applications for US citizenship every year. During the past decade alone, 7.4 million people became naturalized citizens of the United States. Becoming a US citizen through Naturalization is a long and complicated process, and it involves the translation of your legal documents into the English language before you submit them to the USCIS. Immigration is an extremely long and hard process, and to avoid chances of getting rejected or delayed, you must get your documents translated by a certified professional translator who can offer high-quality translation services.

 

Application for Immigrant Visa

To apply for US immigration, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States who is an immediate relative of the individual seeking to apply for immigration. The applicant is required to have an approved petition before they apply for immigration. The sponsor files the petition on behalf of the applicant for an immigrant visa. Upon receiving the approval from the United States Citizen and Immigration Services, you can visit the National Visa Center (NVC), hire an agent, and  the applicant can fill out the necessary forms and submit required legal documents and certificates translated into the English language. Listed below is a list of documents you will require for an application to receive an immigrant visa from the USCIS.

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

You know what they say about opinions—everybody has one. If you want to see that truth in action, just Google “characteristics of successful people.” Some of the results will undoubtedly point to the famous Marshmallow Study at Stanford, which demonstrated that the ability to delay gratification is a key component of success.

But that’s far from the only theory:

  • According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, it all comes down to mindset. She conducted a series of experiments that demonstrated that, while the average person sees their abilities as fixed assets, successful people have, what she calls, a “growth mindset.” In other words, successful people focus on self-improvement and overcoming challenges rather than seeing their mistakes as the products of insurmountable personal flaws.
  • In another study conducted by Penn State and Duke, researchers assessed the social skills of 700 kindergartners. Twenty years later, they followed up and discovered a strong correlation between social skills and success. The children with the best social skills were more likely to have earned a college degree and to hold a full-time job, while the kids who struggled with social skills in kindergarten were more likely to get arrested, binge drink, and apply for public housing.

And the list goes on and on. So, what is happening here? Why are there so many different theories, complete with the science to back them up, about the traits that contribute to success? I think it’s because most wildly successful people are complex—so complex that many of their defining qualities are paradoxical.

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By Rosie Osmun

Many people have difficulty waking up early when trying to transition to a new schedule or simply seeking to get more done in the day. Others struggle with falling asleep early every night, making mornings a challenge.

Rising early does have real benefits that make it a worthwhile goal, like improving your chances of getting a workout in, putting you in a better mood, encouraging healthier eating and improved proactivity.

As a lifelong night owl, I know the struggle of trying to wake up and slog through the day on an early bird’s schedule. In my attempts to improve sleep habits and get better rest, I researched and found several tricks that truly made going to sleep and waking up in the morning easier.

Read on to learn 15 useful strategies for waking up earlier that I wish I had known years ago!

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

True confidence—as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities—has a look all its own. One thing is certain: truly confident people always have the upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because they inspire others and they make things happen.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right. – Henry Ford

Ford’s notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed is seen in the results of a recent study at the University of Melbourne that showed that confident people earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than anyone else.

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