Academics, CareerGrowth

Gender Equity

Dear Exceller,

How many of you females can boast of servicing a generator, checking for faults in a car or changing engine oil? 😂I certainly cannot do any of these listed tasks 🙃😂 …

As an inquisitive child, while it was exciting watching my dad clean up our generator at home and manually pull the starter-rope till it comes on. I would usually go there to give it a try when he was not home. Whenever he meets me doing so, he would tell me to go and help my mum in the kitchen because “engine works” are not for ladies. Today, I’m an adult and I can’t start a generator without a male’s help😂…

We just celebrated International Women’s Day and it was nice seeing uplifting posts about women. This year’s theme was on “Embracing Equity”.

Gender equity according to the UNFPA resources is the process of being fair to women and men.

Before considering gender, I always love to bear in mind that we are all humans and of course no one likes to be treated unfairly. We’ve had great women who has fought gender bias in the past and women till date still making efforts to ensure their voices are heard in all sectors of the economy.

I believe gender equity starts in the home. We often see unfair sharing of home chores when it relates to the male and female kids at home. We can start by fixing those loopholes in the home.

As much as I believe my dad had my best interest when he asked me to stay away from engines, I still feel he’d have given me an opportunity to learn how it works because there won’t be a male to help every time. Also, when parents try to keep their male kids away from the kitchen, saying cooking is for ladies, I often imagine how they’ll cope when there’s no female around to help them cook.

Women should learn to make attempts in male dominated spaces and be ready to put in the work to create a balance. Aspire to be the best in your field. Do not feel intimidated when you are the only lady in the room. You have a mighty force and you will certainly stand out.

Also, some persons associate certain lady’s successes with the fact that she’s “a woman” and must have gotten to that position because of gender privileges and not based on merit or hard work.

I understand there are increasing opportunities for women but I believe there are still ladies who work extremely hard to get to positions they are in. These ladies understand that life is not a bed of roses and sometimes, to gain voice in a man’s world, you must put in the work and show competence.

I would love to share some special Women’s Day quotes with you. 😊

“In a world that wants women to whisper, I choose to yell!” —Luvvie Ajayi

“You have to be consistent. You have to be yourself. You have to be committed to what you’re doing. You have to not be afraid to be ambitious.” —Roxane Gay

“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.” —Michelle Obama


Time Management

Back when I was in high school, my class had a brief talk session with our Physics teacher. (He was intellectually versatile 🥺 and I really enjoyed his classes). First, he asked us to calculate the number of hours there are in 10 years. We gladly did. Then he asked us to convert that to minutes and seconds. Calculators punching and pens scribbling, we all chorused the answers.
Then, he asked us to calculate the number of minutes that makes up a year and multiply it with our age to get the amount of time we’ve spent so far on earth (in minutes and then in seconds).

We did that and many of us exclaimed when we saw the amount!
That’s a lot!

(I probably almost lost you if you do not like maths, but do not worry. Stay with me, because that’s all the math we will be talking about today!) 

When I think of the concept of time management, that session with my Physics teacher always comes to mind.
I can only imagine how many seconds of my life have been spent on my different interests and activities including sleep, studies, spirituality, socializing, and maybe even some frivolities.

Basically, the human life is measured by time; number of days lived to months, years, decades and so on.
Whenever I try to idle away or spend my time on irrelevant things, I always remember that my life is gradually ticking away.

Irrespective of whatever stage of life we are in, be it schooling or full-time work, we have something we’re trying to achieve. When we keep that target in mind, we can build our daily activities towards achieving the goal. For students, we have talked about the necessity of prioritizing your academics. More time should be allocated to activities that are in line with your top priority.

Time management involves organising, planning and controlling time spent on different tasks.

Tips for Building Effective Time Management Skills:

  1. Write out your goals, study them and strategize on the best means on achieving them.
  • ensure to set realistic goals too. 😉
  1. Create your scale of preference and list out daily and weekly tasks for each of your goal. It’s always better to work on your goals daily because small steady steps produce great results. 🤗
  2. Assign a time limit to complete your daily and weekly tasks. You can keep a small journal for this. (I do this weekly and monthly and it makes me feel like a boss!) 🙃
  3. Learn to take a break. All work and no play they say makes Jack a dull boy 🙂. You can create time for hangouts with friends, time for some social activities and also enough time to rest because our body needs it.

While considering these tips, I’d also want you to make a list of the things you know takes your time daily. For example, spending hours on social media, playing video games, chatting with friends, etc. Once you’ve made this list, find ways to gradually cut down on them, so that your life will not be wasted on most of these.

Time management has great benefits. It makes you organized, gives you more confidence in handling tasks and improves your overall effectiveness.
Work on organizing your activities daily and ensure to stay consistent. If something goes amiss and you miss out some activities on your schedule, do not be discouraged. Keep sticking to it. You’ll certainly get the hang of it! 🙂


Prioritize Your Academics

Laura sighed heavily as she laid on her bed. She had just missed a major exam and would have to carry it over to the next session. She felt overwhelmed and had been trying to hold back her tears from the exam venue when she arrived extremely late and was sent back home. “Just let it flow” Laura whispered to herself as the tears rushed down. She cried bitterly at the thought that she would have to tell her parents that she failed a course for the first time. That because of this, she would most likely have an extra year of school. How could she have forgotten the time for her exam? Is it really this difficult to combine work and school? she thought to herself.

She called her big sister and told her the problem. Her sister came around to console her.

“Laura, I told you that you weren’t giving your academics enough attention. I’d have advised you to quit your job but you need the money and skills build-up” Laura’s sister said. “Your part-time job requires 10 hours of your time weekly and I believe you can still create a balance with your school work and other social activities”…


It’s a common thing these days for students to work while schooling. While most persons do that to make an income to support their schooling, others do it to gain experience in order to be equipped before graduation.

Whatever the reason may be for working while schooling, we must understand that it has both amazing benefits as well as drawbacks. Effective plans must be put in place to create a balance between academics and work life.

Prioritize your academics

People have various reasons for being in school. While some are there to make good grades, get a job or attain a really high standing in education (PhD), others might be there with dreams of becoming an athlete, entrepreneur or a profession that may not necessarily require that certificate. Whatever the case may be, a commensurate amount of time should be given to your academics. A study timetable is essential for this. You also need to understand your body chemistry in order to determine the best reading time that works uniquely for you (Acada-Body-Chemistry). After considering all these, then you can fix a schedule that will provide necessary balance for work and/or other engagements.

 To-do list

A monthly, weekly and daily list of activities can also help balance different areas of your life. A daily to-do list would help allocate time to different activities necessary for the day based on their level of importance. A schedule should be created for lectures, assignments, reading, your job, cooking and other extracurricular activities in school. After creating this daily, ensure you stick to it till it becomes a habit.

We should also consider the effects of not having a good school-work balance. First, it can lead to waste of time and resources. From the story above, Laura would have to spend extra hours and resources, preparing for her carryover course.

Secondly, mental stress or breakdown can be expected. If your schedule isn’t properly arranged and you try to do so many things at a time, you might end up with frustration, ill-health or burnout.


Borrowed Lens

If only I could see me as You see me.
And understand the way that I am loved…


Sometimes, all you really need is to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you.

Last year, my sister sent me the link to a lady’s Instagram profile and told me that this person always makes her think of me whenever she views her photos and videos. I went to check it out and I was frankly bewildered.

The lady in question had this beautiful, long, African, black hair thingy going, with cute kids and matching outfits for the entire family. It was the same in all her photos, all dazzling smiles under brilliant Texas sun.


I went back to my chat with my sister and shared my sentiments; “This lady and her family look so lovely!”

“Exactly! She gives me your vibes – the way you enjoy life, the way you are with your family. No exaggeration…”

Wait, what?!

When I realized how serious my sister was, guess what I did. I stopped arguing. I simply went back to Instagram and hit Follow on the lady’s profile, lol. And so far, her photos, reels and entire energy have been so enjoyable to look at; I have no regrets whatsoever.

The impression that left on me was how my sibling thought of me. Because she’s been close to me for a long time, I can objectively take her word for it. But from my surprise, you can easily tell that I sure did not give myself as much credit as my sister does.

Maybe her perception was clouded by her love for me. Maybe mine was clouded by self-imposed or society-imposed expectations.

Whatever the cause, it sure does a greater good to sometimes assess life from the kinder lens of our loved ones.

It’s been some 7 weeks since Christmas but I wonder if anyone remembers the classic movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” As much as I love the lyrical masterpiece “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” it saddened me to note that the song was actually sang by Mr. Grinch himself. Yes, his childhood classmates were mean in the way they spoke to him at the beginning but the problem (in my opinion) was how he accepted and even embodied their harsh opinions until it became his curse and the bane of his existence!

Self-talk. What do you think of yourself? What does the voice in your head say about you?

It’s tough, I know. And that is why we will sometimes rely on those who want our best interests to help us clear the fog and see things right.

Sometimes, we are not “there” yet but we’ve got potential. Earlier this week, I was on a call with a service provider. She’s been in communication with me for the past couple months as we work on getting me set up for the service they offer and she just said to me, “You are a very organized person!” I chuckled self-depreciatingly and said, “You are probably only saying that because of the thousand and one questions I have been asking you.” Honestly, in that moment, I was thinking of the improved filing system that I desperately need to establish in my personal space. But she insisted, “No. You are very organized.” I paused. Then I told her, “It is very kind of you to tell me that and you know what? I’m taking it. Thank you so much for saying it to me.”

This is another reason why we will sometimes need to borrow others’ lenses. They see all that we can become from our expression in a specific area. If we believe it even in the face of our shortcomings, we can be sure that our future endeavours could be a little easier for us to handle. If someone else thinks I can, I most definitely can!

Tuesday was Valentine’s Day and hopefully you received some nice words from loved ones. Well, this post is mostly for those who probably didn’t get any sweet words, and those who got some sweet gesture but whose self-image has become so affected that deep down, they no longer assimilate or believe any compliments they receive.

You gotta get past the fog. Do all it takes to get past that fog.

Overcoming Negative Self-Image

  1. Experts have suggested that we should save images/documents when we receive commendations from our bosses or people whose opinions we respect. Then, on the days when we doubt our skills or abilities, those can be timely morale boosters. I think it’s a great idea; it definitely trumps how our minds tend to dwell on the opinions of destructive critics and discouragers.
  1. The second solution is that we need to constantly renew/recalibrate/reconfigure our minds until our self-image and self-talk align with our Creator’s design. In other words, restore factory settings.

What does God say about you?

  • You are loved.
  • You are beautiful/handsome.
  • You are gifted.
  • You, your personality, your expression is worth ooh-ahh-ing at. (You’re marvelous)
  • You are very special; unique. No one can offer stuff the way that you do.
  • God is extremely fond of and proud of you. (You are the apple of God’s eyes.)
  • God is always thinking about you, your welfare, your betterment.
  • God cares about you.
  • You have what it takes to excel in this world.
  • Your near future will be way better than your present.

I could go on and on.

But the real question is; “Do you believe these? Does your heart accept all 10 above as your truth?

If no, then this post tasks you with an assignment from today. You can choose how long you carry out the assignment for – 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks.

Read the bible verses below. Read them slowly, over and over again. Mutter them under your breath. Write them on post-its. Stick them on your desk or refrigerator. Leave them in your journal. Pray with them. Declare them over yourself. RECALIBRATE YOUR MIND.

Ephesians 3:17-19; Jeremiah 31:3; Psalms 139:14; Isaiah 49:15-16; 1 Peter 5:7; Jeremiah 29:11.

  1. A last solution to overcoming defeating self-image is remembering past achievements; borrowing the lenses of the past. Someone needs to go pick up a former school result to remind themselves that their brain is hot! 🔥😘 Someone needs to go back to a product they released a few months/years ago. Young David in the Bible told Goliath; “I have defeated a lion before. I dealt with a bear in the past. And those are all the assurance that I need to deal with you giant today!”

This is so exciting!

Exceller friend, we will do everything it takes – borrow a loved one’s lens, borrow the lenses of the pleasant past, borrow the lens of a supervisor, borrow God’s lenses. We only need to ensure that we are deliberate in choosing the lenses. And then, we dwell on those thoughts. Because we must see the beauty in front of us. I am persuaded that if we stay with it, we may not need to borrow those lenses for too long before our eyes become full of light.


Aligning your Academic Year Goals

After catching up on holiday gists and school resumption, Bimbo asked Nancy her friend if she could write out her target results for the new session.

Nancy smiled with a lot of enthusiasm and wrote out all her courses, attaching an “A+” to each of them.

Bimbo picked up the paper, scanned through it and asked her how she wished to accomplish it, and Nancy’s response was; “Well, I’ll just read my books really well. 🤷”

Nancy’s previous session’s performance was below average, and it got Bimbo really concerned. She knew Nancy was smart and so couldn’t understand why she kept performing poorly. 

“Didn’t you read all through last session?” Bimbo asked.

Nancy nodded in affirmation.

“You can’t get a better result with the exact same effort you put in previously.” Bimbo told her simply.

They both sat down and drew a more precise plan, writing out her areas of weaknesses and drawing an improved reading timetable with daily and weekly tasks and drills to assess her.

It is no doubt that most students want to be the best in their classes. it’s pretty much a popular wish. However, as the saying goes, “If wishes were horses, … “😅.

We can’t produce good results by merely writing out our long-term targets. Writing is a first step but, we must also set up daily and weekly goals and plans; and back them up with action.

For example, if one of your goals for the year is to secure 3 scholarships, you might need set up a weekly task of searching out new scholarships and consistently applying for them in order to secure the goal.

We should also consider how the goals we set in other areas of our lives could affect our academics. For instance, I might want to become a professional basketball player or pianist this year and the activities associated with such activities would require a lot of time investment. That would in turn affect my study time and it will then be a matter of setting our priorities right and giving what is important more time and attention per time.

In conclusion, ensure your long-term yearly goals align with your short-term goals and learn to set daily and weekly targets to achieve these goals.

– Janey A

*Featured Photo Credit: Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels


Back to School Necessities

Dear Exceller,

Growing up, back-to-school routine for my siblings and I revolved around THE LIST. Our parents usually required each of us to make a list of our necessities for the term which typically comprised of one’s preferred food items, toiletries, stationery, etc. along with their costs.

After we had turned in our lists, my dad would review, screen out the items he considered as nonessentials (unless you are able to convince them otherwise 🤣) and give us the money for the updated list. Each of us would then proceed to purchase what we needed for school.

School resumption prep complete. ✅

School fees and textbooks were considered “higher priority necessities” 😬 by our parents and handled directly by them. God bless all thoughtful parents and guardians around the world.

Now that I think of THE LIST, the only thing that confuses me is why the older siblings usually got more allocation than the rest. I mean, do they have more weeks in one semester?! 😅 One “injustice” that I will NEVER complain about though, is the fact that we the females usually had more items on our lists than my brothers, and as such, are more likely to get more funds. 🤣🤣 For one, there are toiletries that we need, that the boys will never need. So, technically, no injustice in that.

Do you or does your family have a back-to-school routine? What do you typically have on your list? These are the things that need to be put in check and provided before or during resumption.

A need is something that is required to accomplish a goal (something that is important for your survival), while a want is not totally necessary but would make life comfortable or enjoyable. Basic needs include resources that are required for the session such as tuition fees, textbooks, handouts, technical materials as well as edibles.

For some, the necessities may go beyond physical needs to emotional, social needs and otherwise. It may include considerations such as; “How well has my communication skills, academic performance, leadership skills or self-esteem improved, and how do I plan on working on them in the new session?

Whatever you consider necessities for the school year, I pray that God will supply all your needs and also include some of your wants, so that you have enough to enjoy.

If I would recommend two additional items for your list, they will be:

  1. A work planner for your semester’s / term’s deliverables. Highly recommend, especially for students who want to stay on top of all their weekly assignments and other tasks.
  1. A word of promise for your semester’s success. Just as individuals or business executives do establish a theme for their year, christian excellers can ask God for a bible verse that will govern and drive their semester.

If you do not know how to go about this, I am happy to lend you one of my favourites which you can personalize. 💕

“…There is a spirit in man, the inspiration of the Almighty gives him understanding.” (Job 32:8)

Customize this verse with your name, stick it to your bed corner or your computer screen, and say it to yourself as many times as you need to – while praying, when anxious, when bored, every time!

“There is a Spirit in Jane/John. The inspiration of the Almighty gives her/him understanding.”

I pray that you will have a deep and wholesome understanding of all your subjects in the coming school year; and as a result, stand out among your peers. ❤️

“There is a Spirit in me; the inspiration of the Almighty gives me understanding.

iConfess. theBible

Thankful for Year 2022 – 7 Reasons Why (7)

Thankful in Obedience

Today, I am thankful because I know that it is the best way to live life.
Thankfulness unlocks stuck doors and brings the impossible.
Thankfulness settles troubled minds and opens eyes to overlooked blessings.
And above all, “thankfulness in every circumstance” is the instruction in the Maker’s manual.
2022 has been one of a kind; and staying thankful was the secret ingredient that made it so.

Thankful for Year 2022 – 7 Reasons Why (6)

Thankful in my World

Today, I am thankful because of everyone who was a part of my year.
My friends offered me listening ears and shoulders to lean on; the gift of companionship.
Family loved me in spite of my flaws and encouraged my progress.
Colleagues kept it cordial and enabling in that environment where I spent 1/3 of most days this year.
The acquaintance, stranger, the service provider and my readers – everyone was a gift!
2022 was one of a kind; and I have so many people to thank for it.

Thankful for Year 2022 – 7 Reasons Why (5)

Thankful in my Considerations

Today, I am thankful because I have considered the year 2022 and all it brought.
I reviewed each month of the year; I checked my goals, plans and targets.
With every reflection, I am wowed; in every thought, I judge God kind.
The accomplishments, the gifts, the company, the unexpected, the twists.
2022 has been one of a kind; and I am thrilled to have been a part.

Thankful for Year 2022 – 7 Reasons Why (4)

Thankful in Anticipation

Today, I am thankful because there's so much more that's coming in the near future!
I smell it; the fragrance of my profits, the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed.
I hear it; the honking and the sounds of my shipment as from a distant country.
I rejoice in anticipation; I have prepared and made room for all my goodies.
2022 has been one of a kind; but I can hardly wait for all that is to come!