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All the Crazy Things That Happened in 2020

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Writing all the crazy things that 2020 had brought us felt like creating a timeline for a binge-worthy series. One would re-think, “Wait. Did that happen? Are you sure?” The year flew by the entire world like a whirlwind. One thing for sure— it left us overwhelmed. Let’s chronologically go over all the crazy things that happened in 2020.

Literal Year of Fire (January-December)

The year started with a blaze. To be more precise, the Australian bushfire continued to burn from 2019 entering to 2020. As the new year enters, the skies turned red due to the ongoing fire, setting a mood perfect for an apocalyptic movie scene. However, this is the harsh reality, with real-life casualties. Of course, just the worst way to start the year. Furthermore, as if creating a domino chain of reaction, a wildfire started in California. After February’s first incident, wildfires ablaze different counties throughout 2020.

The Pandemic That Shook the World (January-December)

We’ve got to admit that the earliest cases of Covid-19 didn’t alarm us that much. Back to 2019, where we are all still oblivious as we enjoy our lives. The jokes on us as the virus caught us unprepared. Shocking? Not really. From the crazy ‘home remedies’ to fake news, the public’s misinformation exchange did not help. This pandemic instilled fear in our minds urging us to take action. Our year-long battle with the virus left us changing everything around us.

Massive Panic Buying (February)

The coronavirus outbreak caused the whole world to stockpile basic needs. 2020 is a year where the essential goods section gets wiped clean, while toilet paper becomes the hot new currency in some countries. People are in a crazy hoarding frenzy, eventually resulting in a Lysol shortage. Yep, anything to cope with fear.

World on Lockdown (February-December)

Our lives suddenly had a pause button after the worldwide lockdown. Different ways to spend all the free time suddenly became a trending topic. On another note, owners put their heads together to plan a pandemic proof business. Some even started a post-pandemic business like handmade facemask or potted plants.

Crashing Dow (March)

Diving is fun, but not if it’s about the stock market. The DJIA recorded the largest point plunge last March, closely following the world’s lockdown. Looking on the bright side, at least everyone’s safe inside?

Aliens Confirmed By the Government (April)

Remember that moment when the government released not one but three UFO videos? After the first leak of the videos, everyone was quick to claim it as a UFO. The Pentagon released videos of unexplained aerial phenomena. Admittedly, they wanted to clear up the ongoing debate whether the leak was real. We’ll take that as a confirmation for aliens, thank you.

Murder Hornets (May)

Murder hornets, almost like a title for a new action-packed thriller movie, debuted in the U.S. last May. Ever since its sighting, scientists embarked on a full hunt to eradicate the insects. Right, cause prevention is better than cure. Authorities sure did a great job as the ‘murder hornets’ kills up to 50 people per year in Japan. Good thing we avoided that lethal threat.

That Crazy Baby Name (May)

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, just created the craziest baby name with his partner Grimes. Everyone tilted their heads as the couple announced their baby boy’s name as X Æ A-12. Our first thought, “Cute. How do I pronounce that?” Thankfully, Musk saved us from using our brain cells as he explains it as X Ash A-12. It’s crazy in the most inventive way. In the end, to each his own.

Parallel Universe Hoax (May)

The long debate of having a multiverse resurfaced to the public after hearing a parallel universe where time flows backward exists next to ours. This news sparked curious minds resulting in articles after articles armored with thought-provoking content. However, numerous experts debunked the claim by explaining facts. Right, just a cold splash of reality for our sci-fi filled minds.

Locust Invasion (June)

Another natural disaster that seems like a blockbuster movie, invaded India’s capital, coined as the worst in decades. India’s response team had a hard time containing the swarmageddon, affecting almost half-dozen states.

Wearing Mask Becomes a Political Issue (July)

Half into the year, everyone is tired of all the crazy things in the first half of 2020. Numerous public meltdown and adult tantrum videos appeared one by one, enough to create a compilation. These anti-mask individuals claim it is their right, claiming to have breathing problems. One customer even called a store’s employees “democratic pigs.” Only in 2020 where masks get dragged into a political debate. Classy.

Missing Star (July)

The bright crystal blue star that the astronomers have been studying for two decades pulled a disappearing act. As the star quietly makes its exit, experts were left delightedly scratching their heads. After all, stars always leave with a bang.

Mysterious Seed Package (July)

As if visited by a seed fairy, unsolicited seed packages appeared in mails across 30 states. However, the mysterious packs look like a part of a brushing scam.

Firenado in California (August)

By this time, we’re all aware of 2020’s crazy schemes, for August— it’s a burning hot surprise. A rare fire tornado was spotted near a fire in California. Most people must have scratched their heads as they watched the news. One thing we learned from this: fire tornados are real.

An Extraterrestrial Discovery? (September)

We’re all aware of that ongoing debate of life forms on Mars. It seems like Venus got jealous and wanted to be the highlight of our 2020 extraterrestrial discussion. Experts discovered a chemical, phosphine, hinting at something alive hiding in the thick clouds of Venus.

Venom Caterpillar (October)

We had murder hornets, locust invasion, and now venom caterpillars. A long-existing species of caterpillar invaded Virginia. A weird crawling insect with hair-like spines that squirts venomous pus? That’s 2020 for you.

The Touring Monolith (November)

The first metal-clad monolith weirdly appeared in Utah on November 18. As if inspired by the mysterious phenomena, numerous monoliths appeared across the world. Some say this crazy occurrence might be an alien invasion or a hoax. Others call it a marketing strategy.

Virus Level Up (December)

The year is almost over, but nothing is stopping 2020. With all the craziness that happened, we often thought, “what now?” Oh, nothing much, just a new strain of the virus discovered. We all wish for it to be over. Reality says no. Now we all face a new threat that is quick to spread.

‘Christmas Star’ Reappearing After 800 Years (December)

To wrap up all the craziness with a star on top. Let’s end on a positive note as the first Christmas star in 800 years gave stargazers a treat as it shines bright on the 21st of December. Who else missed this once in a lifetime event?

Business

4 Best Time Management Courses on Udemy

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Time management is quintessential for being productive and achieving your goals. If you struggle to stay on top of things or feel like you’re constantly running behind, you should consider taking time management courses to learn strategies for staying organized and on track.

These courses are an awesome way to learn new skills without the commitment of a lengthy degree program or the expense of hiring a personal time management coach. To help you choose which time management courses are worth your time, we’ve listed our top four picks below:

1. Focus Mastery Course by Claudia Simonetto

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First on our list of time management courses is the Focus Mastery Course by Claudia Simonetto. In this course, you’ll learn how to build good habits to improve your focus, how to attain deep focus and improve your work performance, and more.

This course is a great option for anyone looking to improve their time management skills and become more productive. The Focus Course by Udemy has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, and more than 55,241 students have enrolled in the course. 

The course includes a one-hour on-demand video, one article, 16 downloadable resources, and a certificate of completion.

2. Time Management Mastery by Alexis Haselberger

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Time Management Mastery by Alexis Haselberger is next on our list of time management courses. This course teaches you how to use your natural tendencies and traits to your advantage to optimize your time and productivity. Moreover, it also tackles how to prioritize effectively to make sure you’re working on the right things, at the right time.

The course has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and more than 76,800 students have enrolled. It includes a two-hour on-demand video, 31 downloadable resources, one practice test and a certificate of completion.

3. Morning Routine Masterclass by Leon Chaudhari

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Morning Routine Masterclass by Leon Chaudhari is another excellent time management course on Udemy. This course teaches how to use meditation to help you become more relaxed but overall more productive and internally balanced. Also, it also tackles the concept of mapping and why successful people often use it to increase their productivity.

Though only 1,457 students have enrolled in this course as of writing, it has a high rating – 4.7 out of 5 stars. The package includes 3.5 hours of on-demand video, one downloadable resource, and a certificate of completion. 

4. How to Master Your Morning Routine by Chris Oparanozie

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If you’re looking for the best time management courses free of charge, then check out How to Master Your Morning Routine by Chris Oparanozie. You know what’s the best part of this course? It’s a free tutorial. That means you can access one hour and 20 minutes of on-demand video without spending a penny.

The course is for people who are “serious about having great days and learning to start every day with peace and purpose.” Aside from learning a great morning routine, you’ll also learn how to stick to it and start the day off right. Though this is a free course, it offers sound advice and you’ll surely get a tip or two about how to improve your a.m. 

The Bottom Line

These time management courses are a great place to start if you’re looking to get more organized. These courses cover a wide range of topics – from managing tasks to using to-do lists effectively. 

If you’re ready to improve your time management skills and are eager to begin, don’t waste another second. Check out the links above and research for more courses to suit your needs. After all, there is no time like the present to begin improving your time management skills.

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Advocate for Yourself in The Workplace: What is It and How to Do It

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While we frequently hear the term self-advocacy, the practical tools to get there are rarely discussed. Self-advocacy is essential for healthy relationships, long-term success, and happiness. One of the many advantages of self-advocacy that help build these three pillars of overall well-being is when you feel comfortable advocating for yourself. Then, eventually, you can get what you deserve out of your negotiations. Zabeen Mirza, founder of Jobs.mom and host of Mom’s At Work podcast, discusses how to advocate for yourself in the workplace and apply it in your daily life. 

What Exactly is Self-Advocacy? 

Mirza explains that self-advocacy is teaching other people how to treat you by:

  • Setting boundaries and expectations
  • Helping others understand what you need 
  • Asking the kind of support do you need to perform effectively at work

Self-advocacy means communicating those things and helping others understand how they can best support you. A common misconception is that it is merely about speaking out or standing up for yourself. Others believe that only good communicators or extroverts would be good self-advocates. In contrast, you don’t need to be outspoken, assertive, or confident to be able to advocate for yourself.

One of the great ways to advocate for yourself in the workplace is by asking your employers to help you grow professionally. For example, ask them for more training, take up a professional development course, or more tasks or responsibilities. 

You can also advocate for yourself is by asking your higher-ups their priorities. If you have many tasks to complete and your manager asks you to handle even more jobs, take this opportunity to practice self-advocacy. In this situation, ask your manager something like this – Can you please help me understand the priority? Or What is the deadline? and so on. 

Doing this allows you to advocate for yourself in the workplace without being assertive. You are just asking a question for clarification. Likewise, it shows that you’re organized. Asking them to prioritize shows that you care about your job enough to monitor your tasks. In addition, it also tells that you’re making sure you complete those assignments to the highest level of quality and on schedule. 

Sometimes, it can be intimidating to have this kind of conversation with the higher-ups, but remember, lack of self-advocacy triggers more problems like burnout, severe stress, anxiety, etc. All of these can negatively impact employee productivity and performance. 

Remind yourself that you have leverage. 

What Are the Barriers to Advocating for Yourself in The Workplace?

The sad reality is that there will be barriers to advocating for yourself, both internally and externally. According to Mirza, implicit bias can play a significant role in self-advocating.

When we picture ourselves through a biased lens, we may feel compelled to advocate for ourselves. And if we are biased toward others, we may ignore critical aspects of a person’s identity that maybe they need more support. Each of us should reflect internally and notice our behaviors to recognize these biases. 

Once done with the reflections, you can start working on identifying, learning from, and correcting that bias in future interactions. 

Mirza said the phrase “easier said than done” perfectly suits self-advocacy. So, if advocating for yourself doesn’t come naturally, it will take some time to achieve it. But that’s fine, be patient with yourself and trust the process. 

In the meantime, Mirza recommends taking a “fake it till you make it” approach. Self-advocacy is like a muscle. It would be best if you exercised it consistently to develop self-esteem. 

Practice internal monologue. Instead of saying, I can’t, I am not good enough, or they won’t appreciate this, say these phrases positively to I can, I will, I am good enough, or they will like this or that

Again, this will not happen naturally but strive to catch yourself in the act of doubting yourself and your skills. 

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Lifestyle

How To Spot Financial Influencer Red Flags

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Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to gather all types of information from the internet. One click and you can learn about almost anything online. That includes personal finance. And if people want to learn about personal finance, they look up to personal finance influencers. 

Since personal finance is a serious and important issue, finding legitimate personal finance influencers is crucial so you don’t fall prey to fake ones. So it’s best to look out for financial influencer red flags. 

In this article, we’ll dig deeper into what financial influencers do and the red flags to keep an eye on. 

What do financial influencers do?

Financial influencers provide strategies and tips about how to handle money, investing, and other monetary-related topics. A financial influencer doesn’t have to undertake official courses to become one. More often than not, they share tips and strategies based on the experiences they gain throughout the years of investing, trading, or dealing with finances. 

A financial influencer may even share their personal experience in terms of growing their financial assets. As long as you have a proven track record of how you grew your finances, you can be classified as a financial influencer.

Financial influencers earn money in various ways. But to become an influencer, you have to earn considerable followership to attain trustworthiness. Moreover, credibility is also an essential aspect of being a financial influencer. So one has to accumulate social proof such as testimonials from the people they’ve helped, ratings from authoritative sites, and reviews from followers. 

These influencers create a website where they can typically distribute content on anything finance. In most cases, influencers earn money from ads on their sites, sponsors, or affiliate marketing. Furthermore, financial influencers also offer their services by conducting one-on-one consultation sessions with clients for a fee. 

Do financial influencers give tips for free?

Yes. Financial influencers start out by giving tips and strategies to grow your money for free. This way, they can gain followers, listeners, or subscribers. They distribute finance-related content such as blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, guides, whitepapers, PDF files, or even hold webinars. 

The most common platforms to distribute financial-related content are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

You may also find financial influencers in their element in various groups and forum websites such as Quora. And you can gain many tips and strategies from other people who pitch into the conversation. 

5 Financial Influencer Red Flags to Watch Out For

As mentioned, it’s essential to find legitimate financial influencers to learn valuable insight about money. So here are the top financial influencer red flags to watch out for.

1. Unproportioned number of followers and engagement

Buying Instagram followers is a huge thing on the platform nowadays. So before following a financial influencer, check out if there is an imbalance between the number of followers and quantitative amount of engagement. If the influencer has a million followers with only 1,000 or fewer likes on every post, that’s a red flag.

2. No social proof

You should always consider credibility when selecting which financial influencers to follow. If you can’t find social proof on any of their platforms, then it means the influencer hasn’t lifted a finger to help anyone.

3. Hard selling

If you find that the influencer is always pushing for selling services or merch, consider it a red flag. A passionate financial influencer will prioritize helping others grow their money first before theirs. 

4. Asking for upfront fees

As mentioned, when they’re hard selling their services and asking for fees upfront, get one foot out the door immediately. These people want money from you above anything else.

5. Too-good-to-be-true promises

Sometimes, we fall prey to fake or too-good-to-be-true promises. Because of this, terms such as “guaranteed,” “get rich quick,” or “no fail” tend to spike up interest. However, there is no guarantee in the world of finance, so keep on searching for a legit influencer if you read terms like these. 

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