A female porter/helper at a construction site .

Adoch Salama during the interview at Luwero site.

As she enters the interview room looking shy and not sure of what to expect. Her clothes looks a little dirty full of concrete and cement, she is calm and soft spoken, Adoch Salama is the only female porter/helper (unskilled builder), born in 1986 a mother of 4 children but also takes care of 2 nieces and 1 nephew. Wakes up at 6:00am does home chores like fetching water since the water source is far from home, cleans up home and showers before reporting at work/site.

Pictorial moment of the interviewer and Adoch Salama at the Luwero site.

Arrival time at site is always between 07:00hours to 07:15hours, at the gate she takes the COVID 19 SOPs seriously before registering in the attendance book. After registering then she changes to work clothes (which includes the safety wears).Between 07:15hours-07:30hours is site meeting which includes allocation of work to different people for the day. As a helper/porter she is allocated to masons (skilled builders) who expect her to mix the right ratio of materials to make concrete the quantity is mixed according to the speed of the masons and supplied to the people she was allocated to.

Breakfast is at 10:00hours for 30 minutes this comprises of porridge (she takes 1 and half cup of porridge) and lunch at 13:00hours to 14:00hours this comprises of beans and posho(she takes a plate of food).Work ends at 18:00hours, she cleans up tools, equipment used and remaining materials to the stores, then signs attendance to close the day before freshening up(includes getting off work clothes) then heads home at 18:30hours to meet the family after a long day.

Adoch Salama during work at the Luwero site.

When asked how she got to Know the vacancy, “it was through friends who told me about the vacancy and they were not sure of me taking it seriously” says Adoch.at work since she is the only female casual worker she faces challenges, “am always teased by the male workers and they joke a lot about me but I push on because I need the money to feed my family” says Adoch. Her future plan is to save money and buy a machine that processes ground nuts and simsim to peanut butter.

EXCELLENT NEVER IS ENOUGH

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Mastering time management at work.

Staffs having a pictorial moment after an in-house training in August 2021 at head office.

We’ve all experienced the woes of time management at work. You wake up hopeful and optimistic not only will you meet all your deadlines. Then life happens. You leave late, you hit traffic, and you arrive at your desk already frustrated with the world. The good news is that there are ways to reclaim those seemingly elusive lost hours of the day. It’s all about personal time management manage your time instead of letting it manage you. Worry less Check out some tips to help manage time.

Figure out how you’re currently spending your time. If you’re going to optimize your personal time management, you first need to figure out where the time is going. Try diligently logging your time for a week by tracking your daily activities. This audit will help you: Determine how much you can feasibly accomplish in a day, identify time consuming activities and focus on what provides the greatest returns. 

Prioritize wisely. As you organize your to-do list, prioritization is key for successful time management at work. Start by eliminating tasks that you shouldn’t be performing in the first place. Then identify the three or four most important tasks and do those first—that way, you make sure you finish the essentials. Evaluate your to-do list and make sure you organized it based on the importance of a task rather than its urgency.

Get organized. For effective time management, this tip needs to actually go on your to-do list. If you have piles of papers scattered all over your desk, finding the one you actually need will be like finding a needle. Little things make a big difference. Create a filing system for documents you only have to do it once, but you get the benefits forever.

Create a daily schedule—and stick with it. This step is absolutely crucial for learning how to manage time at work. Don’t even attempt to start your day without an organized to-do list. Before you leave work for the day, create a list of the most pressing tasks for the next day. This step allows you to get going as soon as you get to the office.

Avoid the urge to multitask. This is one of the simplest time management tips for work, yet it can be one of the hardest to follow. Focus on the task at hand and block out all distractions. It can be tempting to multitask, but you’re just shooting yourself in the foot when you attempt to do so. You lose time and decrease productivity when switching from one task to another.

Eliminate distractions. Social media, web browsing, co-workers, text messages, instant messaging the distractions at work can be limitless. A key to personal time management is being proactive about getting rid of them. Take baby steps. Identify your top two distractions and focus on conquering those for two weeks.

EXCELLENT NEVER IS ENOUGH

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Team players and their qualities.

If you have chosen team members for a project in your organization,but still one feels their is need to make check list on the qualities of a good team player ,below are some of the few qualities of a good team player;

Communicates constructively Teams need people who speak up and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for others and for the work of the team. That’s what it means to communicate constructively. Such a team member does not shy away from making a point but makes it in the best way possible in a positive, confident, and respectful manner.

Works as a problem-solver Teams, of course, deal with problems. Sometimes, it appears, that’s the whole reason why a team is created to address problems. Good team players are willing to deal with all kinds of problems in a solutions-oriented manner. They’re problem-solvers, not problem-dwellers, problem-blamers, or problem-avoiders.

Functions as an active participant Good team player are active participants. They come prepared for team meetings, listen and speak up in discussions. They’re fully engaged in the work of the team. Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for assignments

Shares openly and willingly Good team players shares information, knowledge, and experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed. Much of the communication within teams takes place informally. Beyond discussion at organized meetings, team members need to feel comfortable talking with one another and passing along important news and information day-to-day.

Exhibits flexibility Teams often deal with changing conditions and often create changes themselves. Good team players roll with the punches; they adapt to ever-changing situations. They don’t complain or get stressed out because something new is being tried or some new direction is being set. In addition, a flexible team member can consider different points of views and compromise when needed to offer.

Shows commitment to the team Strong team players care about their work, the team, and the team’s work. They show up every day with this care and commitment up front. They want to give a good effort, and they want other team members to do the same.

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How to Bounce Back After Hitting Rock Bottom in Your Career.

Everything can go on well in your career but what about when you have a complete career breakdown? I mean a time when you hit rock bottom and seriously begin to question whether you should even continue in your chosen field? How do you recover from that?Here are some of the lessons from people who have been to the depths of failure and skyrocketed back to the top.

Don’t doubt your skills. There may be times when people question your ability and even ask that gut-punching question, whether you are in the right career We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We maintain this focus to help us concentrate, maintain balance and intention during a practice. In life, we create this focus, so not to get distracted by outside noise and block outside messages that harm our aspirations. Set an intention at the beginning of each day that you return to at day’s end. This gives you a measure of whether you stayed on track with what you set out to accomplish.

Avoid Negative Influences It can be easy to get dragged into a pity party when career setbacks occur. But it advised to avoid the negative influences that can really bring you down. Do not hang around with other disgruntled coworkers or complain with anyone else at work. That not only burns bridges, it gets you labeled as negative, an image that can haunt you if it becomes attached to your professional brand.

Find peace with yourself. At your greatest depth, you may find that the only person who still has your back is you. That’s why it’s always important to be your own best supporter and motivator and to remember to treat yourself kindly like a good friend.  Abraham Lincoln went through failed businesses and eight political defeats before he won the presidency. During his streak of defeats, he said about his situation: “I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.

Focus on the Positive Focus on the good, and the things you can control, even though you’re having a setback, are there any aspects you’re grateful for? focus on what you can control, like a marketing plan to get your career moving forward. Start putting together the pieces. Find out what resources are available to you for little or no cost through community colleagues, career mates, professional associations, and the school, or schools, where you got your degree.

Understand what went wrong to move past the setback and grow from the experience it’s important to think objectively. Was the incident a reflection of your personal performance or a new company direction that was beyond your control? “If you can review the situation and identify your own strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be in a better position professionally and better able to handle a similar situation that might arise in the future,” If you have a setback, find out why it really happened and address it

Put the past behind you and move forward Things often happen for a reason, and an apparent setback can actually place you on a fresh and exciting career path. “You have to take things as they come and work to overcome challenges. Just make sure you learn from each experience and get better because of it. It’s also important to understand that reaching for success always involves a certain amount of risk. Realize that taking risks will result in occasional setbacks that can eventually be overcome through determined, repeated effort.

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Integrity in a Workplace

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is seeing and this begins with your individual choice to always act in accordance with strong moral principles, no matter the situation. exhibiting integrity in all your work interactions, you will get unwavering confidence and purpose and Others will become inspired by your way of interacting. Few ways to have integrity at work are noted below

Tell the Truth It’s easy to be transparent when the news is good. When the news is positive, you shout it from the rooftops but how do you behave when the news is bad? How do you tell your boss the difficult news like a critical meeting that did not go as planned? You have to tell the truth. Most bosses will forgive a few mistakes presented if you tell the unvarnished truth and this builds trust.

Give Credit Where It’s Due In certain companies, it is hard to get the credit you deserve. However, you will find that the more you credit others with helping you out, the more credit you will accrue in return. Giving credit where it’s due helps increase performance. “I could not have completed this report without Brian’s phenomenal assistance,” you can say. Better, thank Brian in an email and copy all who worked on the project.

Practice Open Communication Integrity in the workplace means handling the difficult conversation with grace and professionalism. When others report to you, they want candid communication about their job performance. If you have to review someone who is under performing, you owe it to them to let them know what he/she is doing wrong. Then, outline the steps they can take to improve. Work out a timeline for when you will both meet again to see if they have been able to turn things around.

Meet All Deadlines Integrity in the workplace starts with honoring deadlines. No one, least of all your boss, wants to hear the many reasons why you couldn’t honor a deadline. All she wants to hear is that the work is ready. You will prove yourself a person of integrity if you come through when you say you will.

Try Collaboration Instead of Competition Some workplaces promote competition between teams for profitable assignments, for new business pitches, and for developing new work methods. Strive to foster a friendly rivalry rather than a cutthroat one. You will portray yourself as a team player, and others will want to work with you. Let others know that you’re willing to share the direction you’re exploring and the information you’re uncovering in hopes of arriving at the best solution collaboratively.

Be Accountable for Your Actions Only cowards pass the buck. Those with integrity take responsibility, even when it means having to admit one’s shortcomings. “I think we did not study the competition deeply enough,” you can say to your team. “But I have an approach that will help us all get smarter, faster. “When you’re accountable each and every time, your team will rally behind you when needed.

 Don’t Abuse Your Position Continually show your employer that you are worthy of the trust she/he put in you to do your best work. Demonstrate your integrity by never abusing any of your freedom and autonomy with personal phone calls, Internet searches, or too much socializing with coworkers. In addition, when you always deliver on what you promise, others will trust that you are a woman or man of your word.

 Offer Respect to Every Colleague Set a great example by respecting your colleague’s boundaries both physical and emotional. If you notice that a colleague looks stressed or anxious, offer to help ease some of his/her workload. (If they reject your offer, respect that, too.) Furthermore, you show respect by giving others a chance to be heard and honoring their opinions and input.

Conclusion Integrity is a common denominator of a rewarding and successful career. By demonstrating integrity in the workplace, you’re able to find balance between respect and responsibility. Not only will your positive attributes lead you to have better relationships with coworkers, but you will find more fulfillment from your work because you know you’re performing in alignment with your best self. Become a model of integrity in your workplace. You will set the tone for appropriate behavior and overall professionalism across your organization. The rewards will come in the form of mutual respect and rapid advancement.

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The festive season is back again.

2020 has been a difficult year, and most of us are looking forward to a well-earned rest over the Christmas break. However, the festive period can sometimes be a challenging time – especially if we are not able to see our friends or family as we usually would. Here are some tips to help you keep safe and fresh during the festive season.

Schedule some ‘me’ time the festive period can feel very busy, and demands can be put on us by others. Keep some time aside for yourself to catch up on your favorite shows, go for a walk, do something that will make you happy -you deserve it!

Look after your health the festive period can be a time for excess, but it’s important we still keep truck on our healthy eating and drinking, stick to good sleep habits, and exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of getting the virus.

Keep yourself and others safe This year things will be different due Covid-19 restrictions, but they are so important to keep both you and your loved ones safe. Follow government guidelines and be assertive with anyone who asks you to break these – for their health and yours.

Ventilation One of the things you can do to reduce the impact of COVID-19 is to keep a couple of windows open and keep the house ventilated. Allowing the air to keep flowing around your house will reduce the risk of people catching COVID-19 if they are in the house mixing with people.

Social distancing Technically these rules can be scrapped over the Christmas period – but people who are worried about hugging vulnerable people should try and keep their distance anyway. Staying 2 meters apart from family and friends is a sensible way to reduce the risk. If you are concerned, wearing a mask would be another way to reduce any possible spread.

Washing your hands Is still an important tool to curb the virus. Especially if you’re going out before you meet others for Christmas, be sure to wash your hands regularly. This is even more important if you’re going to use public transport to get home.

Extra cleaning and don’t share items the guidance also recommends taking extra precautions such as cleaning surfaces and contact points like door handles over the Christmas period too. Ideally, Christmas dinner guests should be social distanced as much as. But if the table is small, experts say at least don’t share plates or cups.

At least reduce your contacts the best thing to do in the week before Christmas is to reduce your contacts with the outside world. That means cancelling visits to see family, friends, the supermarket and slashing the time you spend outside of the house. Even if you don’t catch corona-virus, there’s still a chance you could come into contact with a positive case and be told to isolate just before the holiday period starts – which would ruin any plans.

EXCELLENT IS NEVER ENOUGH

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED 2021.KEEP STAYING SAFE

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Pressure at work places and how to overcome it.

There is always a time at work place when different tasks need to be accomplished in a small period of time, this in most cases amounts to pressure. Their some few ideas to manage work pressure, if one Practices these tips and you will get better at dealing effectively with the pressures you encounter at work.

Stay focused on what needs to be accomplished. Even though the day may be stressful, keep your mind firmly focused on completing your regular responsibilities. Act and don’t react: As you stay calm, try to focus on the task, do not react to the source of pressure. Reacting to the source of pressure will only place more pressure on you.

Cool off: You can cool off by carrying out a simple breathing exercise. This is done by taking a sip breath through your mouth; it is called a sip breath because you will need to position your mouth as someone that wants to sip. Sip breath, hold for few seconds, then release through your nose. Repeat that for a number of times, it will help you cool off, clear your head and give you the ability to think.

Create A Prioritization Strategy Assess each task on your list. Is the task important to you? Will it relieve pressure or clear space in your day? Does it move you or your company forward? If not, ask whether you can delegate to someone else, or if that task can be postponed or eliminated. Give yourself permission to say no to incoming tasks that don’t meet your prioritization criteria so you can say yes to better things.

Forget The Future, Focus On The Present One way to be better under pressure is to pull back, slow down and stop thinking about the future deadline or work that needs to be done. Make a quick checklist of the three things you need to do next towards the deadline and do them. Courage is about taking the next hard step.

Break Your Tasks Down Any project or task can seem overwhelming when looked at as a whole. It’s critical to break it down into milestones or steps that can be easily attained. When you look at these individual steps, you can more readily meet goals and feel a sense of accomplishment. Seeing yourself completing the project also builds confidence in giving yourself a system to use.

Stop delaying something that must be done(procrastination), often because it is unpleasant or boring.  Pressure almost always comes because you have failed to prioritize and act. You likely procrastinated and now are paying the price. Procrastination is simply a bad habit . First, ask yourself what you are resisting. Then see if you can give up your resistance and simply act.

Change How You Think About Pressure The hardest part of working under pressure is coping with the perception of pressure. More often than not, we worry about some imaginary catastrophe that never happens, and that tends to render us powerless. Focus on one aspect of the task at a time, instead of looking at it in its totality.

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Moody co-workers.

While you might bring positivity into the workplace, a few of your coworkers might not check their problems at the door. Dealing with the mood swings of coworkers can sometimes feel like another workload but you can’t let it affect your productivity. Acknowledging their moody tendencies is the first step to gaining back control and ensuring a positive work environment for not only yourself, but also for other coworkers. Luckily, there are some simple and effective adjustments you can make to your work day to make it significantly more pleasant.

Observe, don’t advise. To show your sensitivity, respond to a moody employee with a simple observation such as, “You seem down.” Then keep quiet and see if the individual wants to open up. That’s better than playing amateur shrink and dishing out unsolicited advice.

Remain neutral. Maintain a pleasant, professional demeanor even when you’re dealing with an irritable or downcast employee. Don’t allow gloominess to influence how you behave or assume you should mirror it to show you understand. Your consistent response to even the most inconsistent personalities will bring stability to the workplace.

Introduce change. Moody employees may welcome a change in scenery or a new challenge. Assign them to visit a field office, give a speech or take a seminar. By forcing them to break out of their safe, predictable routines, you might refresh them.

Control your expectations. You may get used to a worker’s shifting moods and grow to expect certain behaviors at certain times. That’s dangerous. If you anticipate someone will be moody on Monday mornings, for instance, you may look for evidence of such an attitude even when it’s not there.

Setting Clear Boundaries When someone at your job decides to take her personal problems out on you, it’s time to set clear boundaries in your work relationship. While you might listen to her complain about her life, you must make it clear that it’s not okay for her to act out. While you might empathize with her situation, be vocal about how her moodiness and actions make you feel and how they affect the morale of the office.

It’s Her, Not You. If you sense that an overly sensitive coworker is in a sour mood — and it shows in her attitude towards you — remember that it’s nothing personal. It’s her problem, not yours. The sooner you can forget about her moody attitude, the quicker you can get back to work.

EXCELLENT IS NEVER ENOUGH

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Mistakes at work places and how to get over them.

Making mistakes at workplace is a very common thing. We all must have made blunders in the office at least once in our career but how we handle those mistakes and reduce its after effect is what matters the most. People do not make mistakes intentionally, but due to high work pressure, lack of information or decision taken in a hurry, mistakes are due to happen. While we cannot avoid the mistakes at workplace, but we can learn about how to handle these mistakes gracefully.

 Acknowledge your Mistake As soon as you realize that you have committed a mistake, acknowledge it. If the mistake is small, which can be rectified before people are affected, take the action immediately. While if the mistake is a serious one, immediately inform your boss about it. Never ignore the mistake and run away from it. Even if you do not admit, people will find out that the mistake has been committed by you. So, it is always better to admit it yourself and show a professional behavior.

Work on a plan to correct your mistake Mistakes cannot be ignored. Once you realize that you have made a mistake, immediately analyze the after effects of that mistake and what you can do to minimize or avoid those effects. Your boss will appreciate, if you acknowledge that you have made a mistake and give in plans how to rectify it. It is very important that your boss knows about the situation and the plan to rectify it, so that he can support.

Investigate on why made the mistake Before taking action to correct the mistake, think about what led you to make that mistake. Was it due to lack of information, data errors, technical problem, a gap in the process or may be just your wrong approach or attitude? It is important to understand the root cause of the problem so that you can firstly find a solution to rectify it, and then correct the root cause so that such mistake is not repeated in the future.

Move on Remember that, mistakes can happen with anyone and no one is perfect. Once the chapter about the mistake is over, just move on it. Do not keep that guilt in your mind. You made a mistake, apologized for it and corrected it, so the next step is to leave it behind and move ahead. If you carry the guilt or be afraid of the mistakes, you will not be able to work efficiently.

Ensure that the same mistake is not repeated in future Employees are appreciated if they learn from their mistakes and ensure that the same mistake is never repeated. After analyzing the root cause of the problem, take all the measures to correct the root cause, so that not only you, but others will also be prevented from making that mistake.

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Ways to Make Yourself Better At Your Job

To make yourself better at your job, you shouldn’t just focus on delivering better reports or spending more time with your bosses. Being better at your job is a matter of self-development. The following are some of the first five ways to be better at your job;        

Be adaptable to change. Nothing is going to stay the same during the course of your work. With that said, there are always going to be change in your work environment. The way you work this year may not necessarily be the same with the way you work next year. It’s important that you maintain the quality of your work (and even improve it!) so that your boss will pay more attention to you.

Think differently. Go the extra mile and create productive things related to the construction industry. Volunteer to speak at your company’s events and even to represent your company when you’re invited. Don’t just conform to the traditional way of thinking–it’s okay to challenge preconceived notions once in a while

Prioritize and get the most important things done.You can easily be overwhelmed by your workload if you constantly face concerns and if you let these concerns easily pile up. For you to do the most important things, relate them to your job first. Ask yourself: will doing this ultimately make yourself better at your job? Will this make a difference? If yes, then, go for it. If no, it’s better that you delegate it and let someone else deal with the not-so-important matters.

Build–and consistently sustain–your network. Have you ever heard the saying that your income is the average income of the five people who you hang out the most? Make sure to connect, reach out and develop sustainable relationships with authorities in your field as you’re going to need them to help you work on your skills and knowledge.

Always keep updated with the current events in your industry. Innovation is one of the factors that can help in construction company. For you and your company to succeed, you need to have a significant competitive advantage that can help put your company at the top of the game. All the resources that you need are available online. For a better understanding, you can even attend seminars and trade shows that can be valuable in shaping your skills and knowledge.

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