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Don’t Lose Sleep: 5 Ways to Secure Your Home

The fear of intrusion or unauthorized entry into our homes is one of the greatest fears of all. Great enough to keep us awake. An ideal approach to home security would be to combine latest security systems with best home security practices. However, we would focus on safe security practices in this article.

Break-ins are quite common in our environment today. The richer or more resources you have access to, the more susceptible you may be to attacks.

Don’t lose sleep. Below are 5 ways to secure your home and properties:

Eliminate all hiding spots

Trees, untrimmed garden and bushes are good covers for burglars. They either hide there to get in or hide there on their way out, especially if they are close to the doors or windows. Tall trees that are close to the building with extended branches may also serve as supports to get in through the window.

Ensure regular gardening and keep your environment clean.

Lock all windows

There’s a general misconception or a rule of thumb that suggests that only ground floor windows need to be locked and that windows on the first floor don’t need to be locked. This is not true. Windows on other floors asides the ground floor may also be accessible.

If there are two burglars, one climbing and the other assisting, that makes other windows accessible. Therefore, always lock all windows, especially when you will not be at home for a long time. You could also make use of reinforced glass, window bars and alarms that trip off if glass is forcefully broken.

Get a Dog

The general saying” The bark matters more than bite” is very applicable in the case of burglars. Though a dog is not a home security system, they won’t let strange movements go without a bark and that is to your advantage as a home owner. Dogs are reliable and know how and when to use their sharp claws, jaw strength, unparalleled sense of smell and fearlessness to your defense.

Monitor service providers

Most burglars need at least a bit of information on how to get into your home or move around once they gain access. A lot of scouting is done sometimes by service providers for this purpose. Keep your home secure by conducting background checks and keeping an eye on them when they are around.

Light up

Although majority of housebreaking occur during the day, some occur at night while homeowners are fast asleep. The darker it gets; the more confident burglars get and the easier it becomes for them to operate.

Light up your landscape. You could improve protection by installing lights that are equipped with motion sensors. Once there is movement in that area, they come on. That makes them feel someone is watching and might be less motivated to break in.

Top 5 Landmarks in Lagos

Landmarks are the reason some people have not walked into a one-year old’s birthday party instead of a formal interview with a prospective employer in Lagos. Has anyone ever described a location to you using up to 5 different landmarks: ‘When you go straight down you will see a green mosque, by that mosque you will see a road to the left, don’t go that way, take the one to your right after the church.’ Typical right?

They are easily recognizable, outstanding and some have historical backgrounds.

See below top 5 landmarks in Lagos:

Tafawa Balewa Square

Popularly known as TBS, two features that stand out and make this landmark truly unmissable are the gigantic sculptures of four white horses and seven red eagles at the gate, the symbols from the national emblem signifying strength and Dignity respectively.

The square is a 14.5-hectare ceremonial ground in Lagos Island, Lagos.  It was constructed in 1972 in memory of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, the first prime minister of Nigeria over the site of a defunct rack for horse racing.

The square conveniently accommodates over 50,000 people.

Third Mainland Bridge

This bridge is definitely one of the top 5 landmarks in Lagos. Of all the 3 bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, 3rd mainland bridge is the longest and the busiest. Built by Julius Berger and commissioned in 1990, it was the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October bridge in Cairo took that position.

Measuring approximately 12 kilometers on water, with several billboards advertising top brands and products, there’s absolutely no way one would miss this landmark that starts at Oworoshoki and ends at Adeniji Adele interchange.

National Arts Theatre

The National Arts Theatre in Iganmu is indeed an architectural masterpiece, not just for its significance but also for the exterior design which is shaped like a military hat. It is very visible from Eko bridge.

Inaugurated by General Yakubu Gowon’s in 1973 and completed in 1976, the 23,000 square meters wide and 31 meters tall cultural landmark was constructed for the preservation of Nigeria’s arts and culture.

National Arts Theatre is indeed a significant landmark as commuters  refer to the structure in distinguishing between Ijora and Costain exits on Eko bridge.

Lagos Lagoon

The Lagos lagoon is one out of about 10 lagoons in Lagos. When setting out on a trip to visit Lagos for the first time, one of the most important things you are told to look out for is the 50 km long and 3 to 13 km wide lagoon.

The lagoon receives the discharge of the Ogun river and the Osun river. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a long sand spit to 5 km wide.

Balogun Market

Arguably referred to as the largest market in West Africa, you’d find anything in this market, as long as it can be sold. If someone is ready to buy it, someone is ready to sell it in Balogun market. Located in Lagos Island, Balogun market is a place you would get the best bargains provided you are careful enough not to buy counterfeit products.

However, you can easily get lost in this market due to it’s size and many streets that look almost the same.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Reference: Wikipedia

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs in 1976, the company had its share of failed products – even ousting its founder during a downturn in 1985. The iMac and iPod turned everything around, with Steve Jobs returned in 1997 and becoming an icon of the industry.

 

Nintendo’s first offering, the Famicom console, had to be recalled after only a few months. Atari’s failure in the mid-1980’s left the American video game market a mess, and the Nintendo NES barely sold when it was introduced in 1985. By the end of 1986, however, two little characters named Mario and Luigi had changed the history of American gaming forever.

 

Have you ever wondered where this useful lubricant WD-40 got its name? The name comes from the fact that the formula represents the 49th attempt to create a degreaser and rust protection solvent. Although it was originally used in the aerospace industry, it became so popular among employees that it was packaged into aerosol cans and introduced to retail in 1958. Can you imagine if the lab had given up after 39 tries?

 

It’s hard not to have a soft spot for companies that started out in someone’s garage and achieved great success despite great odds. Mattel is one of those companies. Founded in 1945 by Ruth and Elliot Handler and Harold Matson, the company initially manufactured and sold picture frames.

 

Sources:

Forbes

Allthatsinteresting

Photos: These Throwbacks Tho!

 

How to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is a dangerous habit with severe consequences. Excellence and procrastination are two parallel lines that won’t meet, each fighting for a different course. Characterized by slow response to actions borne out of apathy, lack of passion and laziness, often leading to demotivation, it is safe to say it is the real thief of time.

Procrastination comes at a cost.  From losing time, to blowing opportunities and not meeting targets, the costs are numerous. To have a successful career and even thrive in business, you will have to overcome procrastination.

Here are 5 tips on how to overcome procrastination:

Admit it

Be honest with yourself. If you are unwilling to carry out assignments, extending timelines unnecessarily, ignoring important tasks and setting new start dates for no good reason, leaving an item on your to-do list for too long, then you might be guilty of this.

Admitting to being guilty of this does not make you a failure. It does not also mean you will not make better decisions henceforth and in the future. It is the first step to overcoming procrastination.

Commit to the task at hand

Stay committed. If there is work to be done, then get to it. As a go-getter, you have to walk in that consciousness. You have no business wasting precious time on unproductive activities when you have an assignment. At the end of the day, your task will still be left undone.

Don’t stop until you get it done. Rest if you must but don’t stop.

Make the right choice

Inactivity can lead to procrastination, so choose to be active. Procrastination is also a choice. This means you can choose not to procrastinate. The earlier you start, the sooner you finish, the later you start, the longer it takes to complete your task.

Prioritize

Treat the most important tasks as the most important. It is not enough to make a to-do list, your tasks must be in order of their importance, from the most to the least. Once you have done this, stick to it. Your priority might change for a good reason as your day unfolds, embrace this but always go back to tick off your list.

Keep your eye on the goal

Distractions also lead to procrastination, so you can’t afford to be distracted. Sometimes we get so distracted and forget what we ought to do, only to receive a reminder and realize we are out of time.  Keeping your eyes on the goal will keep you focused.

There is something you are trying to achieve in the first place. If you can successfully run with this vision in mind, then you will overcome procrastination because all you want to do is deliver.

Building the Execution Culture

Examining an organization’s culture is so imperative it can be compared to a DNA test, that’s capable of coding genetic information for the transmission of inherited traits. It is that deep. It’s values and ideologies form its decisions, strategies and results. One of such cultures is the power to execute.

A survey of CEOs carried out by Amanet revealed that strategy execution is the number one problem they face, and it is estimated that over 60% of strategies are never executed.

Simply put, execution is the discipline of getting things done. It is one of the 3 essentials of building a great, competitive and profitable organization, the first two being vision and strategy. A poor execution directly affects performance.

Below are 3 tips on building the execution culture:

Effective communication

Just like a sailing boat with a destination in mind, all members of staff must know where the organization is headed.  Execution is strategy or plan implementation. Therefore, your plan must be clear.

This can be achieved by ensuring your organizational strategy is at the core of your internal communication, stating clearly what is expected and what role each member of staff is expected to play.

Communicate, educate and reinforce!

Choose the right metrics

Your strategy must be broken down to action points and deliverables. If there is a goal to be achieved, how do you know when it is achieved? The right metrics! What does success look like and how do you know it when you achieve it?

Choose performance metrics that identify and improve various internal functions of your business and their resulting external outcomes. You must be able to accurately measure where you are and compare to where you are going. That way, you can provide feedback accordingly.

With the right system that’s in total alignment with your strategy, everyone can be held accountable and tasks can be completed in a quality and timely manner.

Test and Adapt

Building an execution culture is an iterative process. The desired result is achieved by repeating rounds and rounds of analysis and cycle of operations.

However, strategy might change even within a short period. If this happens, it is important to successfully navigate these changes and develop appropriate and effective processes to adapt and properly manage them.

Photos: MD/CEO’s Birthday Dinner

How to Protect Your Home in Rainy Season

Rainy season naturally attracts mixed feelings. You are glad the days of excessively hot weather are finally over and happily welcome nights of sound sleep, but then you dread heavy rainfall, high winds, thunderstorm, flood and other destructive consequences.

You can never be too prepared for rainy season, especially due to climate change and a rise in global sea level in recent times.

A rainy season dos and don’ts would come in handy but before then, see below some tips on how to protect your home in rainy season:

Maintain your roof

Strong and sustained winds are common during heavy rainfall and this can damage or remove your roof totally. Therefore, you need to invest in the maintenance of your roof.

During this process, you’d have the opportunity to identify minor damages and repair them before they become major problems and cost you more eventually.

Maintain a healthy drainage system

Inefficient drainage system is one of the major causes of flood and building collapse during this season. You should keep your drainage system functional and clean in order to intercept, collect, transport and dispose of water and keep away from your home as much as possible.

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy drainage system is to be mindful of what goes in there. The second is to clean you drainage system regularly.

Inspection after rainfall

After every heavy rainfall, you just can’t be sure of what you will discover. It is important to carry out a post-rain inspection to spot and clean up water or identify any damage that might have been done. Carry out both internal and external inspection: Check the basement, rugs, gutters, roof, windows, wall etc.

Whatever you discover, try not to procrastinate before repair. The next rainfall might just do the final damage to what you discovered.

Examine windows and doors

Even when you think you are fully prepared for rainy season, water can still seep through windows and doors because they are the most vulnerable to leakage. Carry out monthly inspection to be sure they are in good condition.

Painting wooden doors or windows can protect them from absorbing moisture or rain water during rainy season.

Other Tips

  • Keep up with weather forecasts
  • Trim trees and bushes next to the house
  • Eliminate branches
  • Look for erosion

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Renovate Your Home

Improving the aesthetic appeal of the place where you spend most of your time is a big deal. It doesn’t really matter if you’re doing this because you want to sell or you just got tired of the present state, a lot of benefits come with home renovation.

Home renovation can greatly improve your quality of life. It also has an array of short-term and long- term benefits. Though this entire process can totally disrupt your daily routine, here are 5 reasons to renovate your home:

Increase property value

Just a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home can instantly increase quality and value. This is because it’s the first thing buyers or visitors notice most of the time. Apart from highlighting architectural details, it also serves as protection against elements such as rain, storm and sun.

Painting is one of the cheapest forms of renovation. Emulsion paint could range between N800 to N1, 200 and gloss paint from N1, 200 to N1, 500 per square meter, depending on the brand.

Increase functionality

One of the benefits of home renovation is increased functionality.  For example, if you notice there’s unutilized space, you may convert this into extra bathroom, kitchen or bedroom and instantly increase the value of your property.

You can also upgrade facilities during this process.

Reduce maintenance cost

Home maintenance cost increases when minor repairs are ignored over a long period of time. One of the benefits of home renovation is that it will take into cognizance all the repairs and replacements to be made, thereby reducing future maintenance cost.

Better security

Another benefit of home remodeling is that you have the chance to upgrade existing security features, replace windows, doors, siding etc.

You can also consider installing proper locks, alarm systems, home automation technology and maybe cameras to protect your home and loved ones.

Enhance energy efficiency 

One of the ways to save money during home renovation is to make moves to save energy. Simply upgrading plumbing and fixtures alone can make a lot of difference.

Changing the light bulbs, upgrading your bathroom/kitchen appliances and insulating walls are some of the ways to enhance energy efficiency during home renovation.

How to succeed as a Real Estate Investor

Real estate, like every industry, has changed over the years. Certain rules, though still relevant, should be taken with a pinch of salt. Especially if you seek high return on investment in the very dynamic business environment.

See below 5 tips on how to succeed as a real estate investor:

Network

You may be in an environment where opportunities exist and still not know it. Networking allows you build relationships in order to recognize these opportunities and also seize them.

The more you network, more likely you are to succeed as a real estate investor.

Always study the market

No matter how good your properties are, market trends and events can really slow down your business. From a shift in global economy to government policies and regulations, understanding these factors can help reduce your risk.

Do a lot of marketing

Marketing is powerful and it delivers value. Don’t only market when it’s convenient for you. These days you can choose to advertise anywhere: Your social media pages, blogs,

Research

Do your research before investing in any property and work with experts at every point of the purchase. Don’t do by yourself what you know should be done by a professional.

For instance, before buying a home, at the very least, you must work with a home inspector and a lawyer.

Focus

Focusing on a particular market would make your business grow faster than you know. This is integral to your long-term success as a real estate investor. You can move on to other markets once you have gained enough experience and stabilized.

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