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Never Fall Asleep On The Wheel Again

21. November 2017 - 20:00

Every day, hundreds of millions of people drive their cars for long and short distances. But how many of these drivers have stopped to consider how dangerous it is to drive while being tired?

The truth is, very few people think driving while tired is a big risk. However, statistics show that it is very dangerous – in fact, almost as dangerous as driving drunk. (Accidents caused by drowsy drivers lead to 30,000 deaths every year.)

While driving in a drowsy state, the driver is highly vulnerable to something called micro-sleep.

Micro-sleep can last for up to 30 seconds, and when it occurs, the driver is unconscious and does not respond to any environmental sensors, including sound or light. Micro-sleep is often a result of sleep deprivation, but can also occur while driving monotonously for a long time.

Is there a way to prevent micro-sleep?

Meet the Device That Could Save Your Life

Steer is a unique bracelet that will help prevent you from falling asleep behind the wheel.

How does it do this? Well, Steer detects the level of your drowsiness by analyzing your heart rate and skin conductance, and then warns you when you’re close to sleeping.

The real magic of Steer, is that it prevents you from experiencing micro-sleep at the very first signs of tiredness. This makes you much safer on the road. At the smallest sign of drowsiness, Steer will warn you with a vibration and a mild electric shock. These warnings will be just enough to keep you from falling asleep – and will help you avoid loss of control of your vehicle.

However, Steer is not just a warning device, it can actually wake you up if you do suddenly fall asleep.

Who’s the device aimed at? It’s designed for all drivers and everyone who suffers from sleep deprivation from time to time.

Steer to the Rescue

Steer offers guaranteed protection from sleep.

This alone is enough to provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. But let’s take a few minutes to explore the full features of Steer, and how the device works to keep you conscious at all times.

The first thing you need to know about Steer – is that it’s very easy to use. (You certainly won’t need a doctorate in technology to use the device!)

Despite its ease of use, however, it’s worth understanding how Steer works. This can be explained in five steps:

  1. Sixteen highly sensitive sensors measure your heart rate and skin conductance.
  2. Upon first being switched on, Steer spends a minute analyzing your normal heart rate and skin conductance. It then refers to these indicators to determine whether or not you are becoming drowsy.
  3. Steer assesses your condition every two seconds, and when it detects a decrease in your heart rate by 10 units, it will warn you with strong vibration and a yellow light.
  4. If your heart rate decreases by three more units, your skin conductance will also decrease. This means that you’re edging closer to sleep. At this point, Steer will wake you up with a gentle electric shock.
  5. As a result of the yellow light, vibration and gentle electric shock, the levels of serotonin, noradrenaline, and cortisol in your body will increase, and the level of sleeping hormone melatonin will decrease. These changes will help you feel fresher and less drowsy, as well as returning your heart rate to normal.

So, whether you’re hitting the road for long journeys to a different city or state, or simply making short journeys to work in the morning, Steer is the perfect companion to keep you awake at all times during your drive.

What Users Have to Say

Users of Steer love the fact that the device is guaranteed to keep them awake while driving. By wearing the device, drivers feel safe in the knowledge that if they feel drowsy – Steer will prevent them from nodding off.

One user said:

“I hear a lot of sad stories about accidents caused by sleeping behind the wheel, would recommend Steer to every driver.”

Safer Driving Is Within Reach

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know that there have been plenty of times when you’ve been driving while feeling tired. Probably, you tried to counter the fatigue by doing things like:

  • Drinking coffee
  • Drinking energy drinks
  • Listening to loud music
  • Smoking

Unfortunately, none of these methods are guaranteed to keep you awake. And of course, consumption of caffeine, sugar and nicotine can be harmful to your body.

Compared to the above methods, which are commonly used to stave off drowsiness, Steer is safer, more effective and more reliable. In fact, Steer will wake you up better than 2-3 cups of coffee or cans of energy drink. Steer also has no negative impacts on your health.

Every Steer bracelet comes with a charging cable, instruction booklet and sticker. If you’re interested in purchasing a Steer bracelet, you can register your interest on their Kickstarter campaign page. Prices start from €89.

Steer is a truly revolutionary product. One that can reduce road accidents and save lives. Perhaps one day cars will have drowsiness detectors built in, but for now, Steer is the best way to keep yourself awake behind the wheel.

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Be The Only Script Writer Of Your Life

21. November 2017 - 17:30

We live in a fast paced world, and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with the tempo of things. With the advent of more sophisticated technology and software, our lives are even more chaotic and disrupted. If we don’t check up on social media in two hours, we start to feel jittery.

We put on the news, even when we don’t want to, so that we don’t miss out on important happenings around the world. We are besieged by emails and text messages that add no value to our lives, yet we feel compelled to open each and every one of them.

The hours in a day are still 24 hours, same as it was from time immemorial, but it does seem to be getting shorter, because there is so much to do (most of it irrelevant) and not quite enough time to do them all. But we live only once, and we get no other chance to redo what we have done wrong. This is the time to take back our lives, this is the time to reclaim what modern times, technology and our anxiety has taken from us. This is the time to take full control.

What we need to do to take back to control of our lives?

The article “50 ways to live life on your own terms.” originally published on is an extensive and well researched article written by Benjamin P. Hardy, a PhD candidate in Motivation Psychology. Hardy is a husband and foster father of 3, and knows what is important in life and what should be focused on.

Benjamin has explain 50 ways on how we can take back control of our lives. Here lifehack has helped you summarise some of the key points that we think you should know. Feel free to take your time to finish the rest of his article by clicking the link.

On Personal Improvement
  • Stop consuming the news: Media outlets have a goal to appeal to your fears by inflating extreme cases. This way, they retain their viewership. Ditch the news and get high quality news curated from Google news.
  • Do something terrifying: Do something every day that terrifies you. Confront your fear and make that call, ask that question, pitch that idea, or post that video.
  • Work on your bucket list: Design your life around your ambitions rather than design your ambitions around your life. Make a list of the things you absolutely must do before you die, and then start working on doing them.
  • Declutter: Remove all non-essentials from your life. We hardly use most of the possessions we own, and these suck energy from our lives. Also, they are dormant value waiting to be exchanged for dollars.
  • Don’t obsess: Stop obsessing about the outcome. Instead, have an expectation in your own ability. This serves as a better predictor of high performance than expectations about a specific outcome. Expect optimal performance from yourself and let the consequence follow.
  • Don’t check social media immediately: Wait at least 60–90 minutes after you wake up before checking your email and social media. If you check immediately, this puts you in a reactive state for the remainder of the day. Instead of living life on your own terms, you’d rather respond to other people’s agendas.
  • Track an improvable habit: Track at least one habit/behavior you’re trying to improve because research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically. You can however make tracking creative. Do what works for you. Use a method you will actually do. But start tracking.
  • Reduce the to do list: Have no more than 3 items on your to-do list each day. When you shift your life from day-to-day reactivity to one of creation and purpose, your goals become a lot bigger. Consequently, your priority list becomes smaller. Instead of doing a million things poorly, the goal becomes to do a few things incredibly well.
On Improving Relationships
  • Marry for love: Find yourself a spouse who complements and supports you and makes you better. Remember that being married gives you a higher purpose for being productive. And also remember you don’t marry to make yourself happy, but to make someone else happy.
  • Learn to say no: You must say no to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on. Know what you want and you’ll have the courage and foresight to pass up opportunities that are distractors from your vision.
  • Be spontaneously generous with a stranger: Be spontaneous. When you get the wild thought of buying the person’s food in the car behind you, just do it. Don’t think about it. If you’re driving down the road and see someone with car trouble off to the side, just do it. Don’t think about it. When you want to say “I love you,” to a loved one, just do it. Don’t think about it.
  • Befriend your parents: Become good friends with your parents. Although you won’t always see things the same way your parents do, love them and respect their viewpoints. If your parents are still around, rekindle those ties or increase the flame. You’ll find enormous joy in those relationships.
  • Eat with the family: Eat at least one meal with your family per day because eating together creates a sense of community like nothing else.
On Improving Physical Health
  • Less caffeine: Caffeine in the long run is more detrimental than it is helpful, and most of us are addicted to it. You need to stop depending on caffeine and get motivated from the inside.
  • Quit refined sugar: Research shows that your brain will radically change for the better if you stop consuming sugar. Refined sugar has now been shown to make us cranky, make us make rash decisions, and make us stupid.
  • Go on a fast: You should try fasting from all food at least 24 hours once per week. This is a great way to maintain health and vigor, as fasting leverages the self-healing properties of the human body.
  • Sleep early and rise early: Research studies show that people who go to bed and rise early are better students. They are also better planners, are holistically healthier, and are more optimistic, satisfied, and conscientious
  • Get 7+ hours of sleep each night: When you get a healthy amount of sleep, you have increased memory, longer life, increased creativity, attention and focus, lower stress, decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine, and decreased risk of getting into accidents.
  • Cold showers instead of warm ones: Replace warm showers with cold ones. Cold water immersion radically facilitates physical and mental wellness. When practiced regularly, it provides long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems that improve the quality of your life.
  • Wake up with protein: Consume 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up. Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods because they take longer to leave the stomach, so they are great for controlling your eating. Also, protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady, which prevents spikes in hunger. Eat eggs, turkey bacon, organic pork bacon or sausage, or cottage cheese.
  • Replace carbs with healthy fats: Refined carbs and sugars make you fat, and you should replace them with healthy fats instead. Go for avocados, healthy nuts, meat, and fish. Healthy fats are good for your brain and body restoration, and help you perform better mentally and physically.
On Managing Personal Finance
  • Tithe or give 10 percent of your income away: Many of the wealthiest people in the world attribute their healthy financial life and abundance to giving some of it away, because a natural principle of wealth creation is generosity.
  • Buy a small place rather than rent: Don’t pay outlandish amounts on rent each month. If you don’t live in a big city where buying might be difficult, buy your own home. Most mortgage payments are far less than most rent payments. Paying rent is like working hourly. You get money while you’re on the clock. When you’re not on the clock, you get no money.
  • What does wealth and happiness mean to you: Define what wealth and happiness mean to you, and never use another person’s definition of success to define what you do with your life. You must define success, wealth, and happiness in our own terms because if you don’t, society will for you, and you will always fall short.
  • Change the way you feel, think, and act about money: Most people have an unhealthy relationship with money. The first step to changing your financial world is to alter your paradigm and feelings about money. Successful people expect to make a lot of money, believe that in a free-market economy, anyone can make as much money as they want, and that your background, highest level of education, or IQ is irrelevant when it comes to earning money. Start thinking that way too.
  • Invest only in industries you are informed about: Don’t put your trust in someone else’s hands by investing in things you don’t understand. Although such investments usually sound incredible on paper, they most often turn out to be disasters.
  • Create an automated income source: Create an automated income source that takes care of the fundamentals. Put a business in place that runs 24/7 even while you’re sleeping, sitting on the beach, or playing with your kids.
Dictate Your Own life

It has never been more important than it is now to take back the control, and live life as defined by you. To learn more about how to take back the control, why don’t you head on to the original article.You will do well to start applying these principles to your daily life. Your life will never remain the same again.

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Want To Know How Much You're Getting Done In A Day?

21. November 2017 - 16:00

I’ve always been interested in finding new ways to boost my productivity.

Recently, a colleague of mine recommended an online productivity assessment tool that he’d tried out. His words caught my attention, especially as he mentioned that the assessment was free – and only took around 2 minutes to complete!

For most people (including myself), productivity is the difference between success and failure.

Just think about your typical working day… However well you plan your tasks at the start of the day, if your productivity falls below par, you’ll quickly find yourself running out of time to complete all your work.

So, what is the online productivity assessment that my colleague recommended?

It’s called the GTD-Q® assessment. Developed by David Allen, the assessment evaluates two key elements of self-management: control and perspective.

While the assessment is not supposed to be a comprehensive overview of the way you work, in just 2 minutes of answering some simple questions, you’ll be able to gain valuable insight into what your personal productivity level currently looks like.

Could a 2-Minute Quiz Help You Get Things Done?

David Allen created his Getting Things Done®(GTD) system after he came to the realization that: “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

GTD is the work-life management system that has helped countless individuals and organizations bring order from chaos.

People who have undertaken the system report greater performance, capacity and innovation. On top of these things, the system helps alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed, while at the same time instilling focus, clarity and confidence in the individual.

What does the assessment look like? Well, here’s a screenshot of the first five questions…

There are 18 questions in total, and as I’ve mentioned earlier, it should just take you a couple of minutes to answer them all.

As you can see from the screenshot above, for each question (or statement) that you are presented with, you’ll have a choice of selecting one of the following answers:

  1. Strongly Disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly Agree

It’s important to remember that there are no wrong or right answers in the quiz. Instead, focus on answering all the questions in as open and honest manner as possible. By doing this, you’ll gain the most benefits from taking the assessment.

Once you’ve submitted all your answers, you’ll be immediately presented with an appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses. It’ll look something like this:

The above image shows in a striking visual form how your self-control and perspective determine the way you work – and your level of productivity.

On the results page, you’ll also be given a brief written overview of your strengths and weaknesses, and what you can do to improve these. For instance, the example above has the following wording associated with it:

How the GTD-Q Assessment Can Help You

You’ll probably already know where you stand on some of the questions. For example, “My life is too chaotic” is a dead giveaway, as is “I have a good way to track all of my things to do.”

However, not all of the answers are as straightforward, and it’s the totality of your answers that draws together the assessment’s conclusions.

As you’ve seen from the image above, your test results will place you into one of four quadrants:

  1. Visionary (Crazy Maker)
  2. Captain and Commander (Autocrat)
  3. Responder (Victim)
  4. Implementer (Micro Manager)[1]

Whichever quadrant you’re placed into, you’ll be given some insights for improving your productivity – or, at the very least, confirmation about what usually challenges you.

Finally, it’s only fair to warn you that the 2-minute assessment is definitely a tool to help sell the GTD system. However, the good news is, that you don’t have to buy or sign-up for anything to see if you’re a Visionary (Crazy Maker), Captain and Commander (Autocrat), Responder (Victim) or Implementer (Micro Manager). You’ll also get the basic insights and advice for free too.

So, don’t hesitate, head over to the GTD-Q assessment now – and discover how you work, and how you could improve your work.

Reference [1] ^ Success With CRM: GTD-Q: Which quadrant should you be in? function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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What Have You To Gain From These 7 Successful Individuals?

21. November 2017 - 14:00

“It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but an even wiser man to learn from others.” Some people prefer learning through conversations,whilst others find inspiration through reading about the lives of others. Many successful and powerful individuals have documented their journey of ups and downs so that they can be an example for others to either follow in their footsteps, or avoid the potholes. Whether you are in need of inspiration for the next creative campaign, wanting to ignite a new business idea, or just wanting to find new inspiration to motivate yourself, this selection of 7 books featuring highly successful individuals from different walks of life will give you new perspective on how you can be in control of the successes in your life.

1. Elon Musk: Inventing the Future by Ashlee Vance

This book is for all who loves the real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk. The shining bright star of Silicon Valley had three failed marriages and severe sleep deprivation, but he had a crazy passion for technology and a very successful career. If you are inspired by his great achievements, this is a great read for you.

Reading Duration: 8 hrs 35 mins

Get Elon Musk: Inventing the Future from Amazon at $12.36

2. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight

Nike started out in 1964, named Blue Ribbon Sports. The sportswear founder, Phil Knight wrote this memoir, recorded his whole life, including the many moments he felt he was about to lose everything, the conflicts that took place in the company, and his personal struggles of being a leader. Still hesitating? Just do it.

Reading Duration: 8 hrs 16 mins

Get Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike from Amazon at $15.95

3. Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic

Every time you find yourself asking “What is the meaning of my life?”, think about Nick. He is no different than you and goes through struggles in life, except that he lives without limbs.

Yet, through it all, Nick demonstrates joy to us while giving us the most fulfilling life advice, by building trust, having supportive relationships, and gaining strength.

“I do believe my life has no limits! I want you to feel the same way about your life, no matter what your challenges may be.” – Nick Vujicic. Truly an inspirational read for anyone going through a rough patch.

Reading Duration: 5 hrs 37 mins

Get Life Without Limits from Amazon at $11.98

4. Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy

If you like Mad Man, You will like this book written by the advertising giant, David Ogilvy, who is the inspiration behind Don Draper in the beloved TV series. The creative genius entrepreneur started his own advertising agency at age 37, later known as Ogilvy & Mather, creating advertisements for Coca-Cola, Unilever, Lenovo (and many more). In this book, David Ogilvy shares his secret to success, tactics, and the Ogilvy Concept with different case studies which are still relevant in today’s digital age.

Reading Duration: 3 hrs 58 mins

Get Confessions of an Advertising Man from Amazon at $16.24

5. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

This book goes beyond the biography of Mongolian war hero Genghis Khan. No doubt, it is amazing to see how an illiterate man conquered enemies and ruled a kingdom bigger than the whole of Africa, but this book is more than that. This book allows readers to learn more about the contributions made by the Mongolians that has helped to develop what is our modern day structure of trading and economy. It is a good read of history and biography of an underestimated country and ruler.

Reading Duration: 6 hrs 26 mins

Get Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World from Amazon at $12.80

6. Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

For the feminists out there, this book is for you.Frida Kahlo had always been a feminist (or Innovator). Back when this terminology meant nothing, the self-taught artist used art as a channel to explore topics including identity, gender, class and race. This book shows us the change of Frida Kahlo throughout her short life, from her joyful youth to her saddening marriage. From her paintings and stance in different questions she raised, the book reveals the Frida that goes beyond an artist -a strong and successful woman in Mexico, in the 1930s.

Reading Duration: 10 hrs 54 mins

Get Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo from Amazon at $22.36

7. How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life

Lily Singh is an actress, comedian, and Youtube star. In this book, she tells us how to be a boss in a hilarious tone, through her life stories and secretes to success.In Lilly’s world, there are no escalators, only stairs. Get ready to climb!

Reading Duration: 6 hrs 56 mins

Get How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life from Amazon at $16.21

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Why Speaking Your Mind Should Not Be Encouraged

21. November 2017 - 13:00

Ask any parent what their #1 pet peeve is, and they’ll probably tell you it’s their children wining. From a young age, we are taught not to complain and that wining is bad. However, we are also taught that it is important to “speak your mind,” and not let others quiet your opinion. So where do we define the difference? While we can all likely agree that people who complain are not people we would prefer to spend time with, the average person has been found to complain anywhere from 15-30 times per day.[1]

While at first that number may seem unimaginable, think about how simple it is to complain about something. “I’m hot,” “I’m bored,” “These shoes are so uncomfortable,” are all thoughts we may voice throughout the day simply out of the habit of speaking our minds. While we may not think of it as complaining per se, the aforementioned “thoughts” and things as simple as talking about dislikes regarding a person, place, or thing are all complaints.

We speak our mind to seek validation

For the most part, we whine about something because we are facing a challenge. Maybe your co-worker isn’t pulling his weight on a project, or perhaps a waiter was rude and didn’t provide very good service.

When we face a problem or situation in which we are unsatisfied, we want to vent in order to find some kind of solution. By vocally addressing the problem, we think we are on the fast track to remedying the situation.

Humans are wired to want validation, complaining can do that. As social animals, we as humans need to be accepted and validated in order to live in a group and survive.[2] Sometimes we complain, not to irritate the listener, but rather in an attempt to find validation and have that person agree with us. When you complain about something and find that others share your opinion, you have a sense of relief in knowing others are suffering in the same way, and you all feel the same way about it. It’s the same reason we will often voice the same concern to each friend until we find the person who agrees with us; when we aren’t being validated, we instead feel we are being judged for having the opinion in the first place.

But no one likes a whiner

While it may feel good to you to vent about things you dislike or ramble on about a concern that only pertains to you, the people around you aren’t sharing that feeling.

Think about your social media timeline, we all have that one friend who uses their status to complain about something. It’s usually personal, familial or subtext-related and has no business on social media. However, if you click on the comments, you’ll find plenty of people saying things like, “I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Let me know how I can help,” and “I know how you feel. I’m here if you need to talk.” Because of the few supporters, that person won’t stop, but you and other like-minded people are likely to hide his or her updates from your feed.

See, if you insist on “speaking your mind” all the time, you will find yourself in a situation where almost everyone hates you, or at least what you have to say.

And it has nothing to do with validity. Your complaint could be true and well-worded, but truth isn’t always something people like to be faced with. So the more you shove it in their faces, the more likely they are to reject it and ultimately reject you. Not surprisingly, this is a snowball effect in which your reputation ultimately gets affected because people see you as a complainer, and not a contributor to change.

Speak your mind only when you plan to contribute

Whatever you aren’t satisfied with, it could be a problem. Any problem is the source of an idea, and an idea needs execution.

While you could whine about a very real issue all day long, simply talking about it isn’t going to fix it, nor will it inspire others to do anything about it. While your complaint undoubtedly started from recognizing a problem and wanting to improve it, simply thinking of or talking about improving something doesn’t change anything. No matter how loud you yell, talking and doing are different things.

Here at Lifehack, we want you to be opinionated. We want you to change the world! And yes, we want you to speak your mind. However, you should only talk if you’ve already processed the situation and thought about the actions you want to take. Bite your tongue if you have no idea how to make things better.

Here’s a cheat sheet:

  • Do bring up the issue if it’s something you have the ability to improve or even fix. And if you can’t do it on your own, propose solutions or ways to handle it to those who would be willing.
  • Do bring up the issue if you’ve thought about it first.
  • Don’t bring up the issue if it’s something out of your ability to fix – this would be the equivalent of complaining about it. Instead think about who to tell and tell them the ideal results you want to see.
  • Don’t just speak out and complain right away after you spot a problem, because remember, truths are hard to accept (especially the harsh truths).

At the end of the day, there’s a big difference in recognizing a problem and striving to resolve it, and seeing an issue and complaining about it. Think things through and don’t speak without thinking. Let us know how you plan to start!

Featured photo credit: Colorbox via colourbox.com

Reference [1] ^ Act for Libraries: Psychology of Complaining Reasons why People Complain [2] ^ Ragsnair: Why Do We Seek Validation and Approval? function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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Spend 50% LESS Effort On Your Plants With These Smarties

21. November 2017 - 12:19

Gardening seems like such a relaxing hobby: retired women and men seem to love it with a passion, and lots of families like to take on gardening projects together. You just have to plant the seeds, water regularly, and wait patiently. What could be easier?

Yet a lot of people fail to grow plants successfully! If you take a closer look, there are actually a lot of things that you have to take care of…the humidity of the soil, the amount of sunlight that the plant takes in – which might impact where you plant it – and how much water the plant does and can actually absorb. This “hobby” is actually extremely time-consuming and very easy to fail if you overlook the small details.

So: here at Lifehack, we’d like to introduce you to 10 smart gardening tools and apps so that you can closely monitor your plants, with half the effort. Below, check out our descriptions and the helpful product reviews we’ve collected.

1. Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit

This reusable herb garden kit is perfect for busy home cooks who just don’t have the time or perhaps the space to keep up a garden. It’s also incredibly easy to use, because there are no fussy pumps, plant food, or extra parts that you have to worry about. Just get convenient plant cartridges to place in the container, fill up the water reservoir, and plug the device in!

“One word, Amazing!! This plant grower is perfect, it comes with a little app that helps you keep track of your garden. The herbs grew in a question of days and it looks very stylish. Overall, super happy with my purchase and would definitely reccomend!” – Amazon reviewer Andrea Herrera

2. Coltura LED Sunshelf

The Coltura LED Sunshelf is the answer for those aspiring gardeners who don’t live in the appropriate climates or have sufficient space to grow a garden. The light panel provides the plant with the exact amount of light it needs to thrive – blue light stimulates root growth and photosynthesis. Not to mention, it looks totally stylish as an end table for your living room!

“The designer gave me everything I desired for growing plants indoors. It looks like a beautiful piece of furniture but functions exactly as you would want to grow indoor plants. Love the wood accents, the tray to protect the wood are not visible.” – Ginger, a reviewer on www.gardeners.com

3. LED Grow Light

This light is perfect for those who business professionals just want to dip their toes into cultivating plants: it’s best for providing light to individual (or just a few) tabletop, indoor plants. This LED Grow Light would work perfectly in an office, in the kitchen, or anywhere else at home! You can clip, screw, or stick the light anywhere for ease of use.

This is a great product for small plants if you are not looking to spend much money. I have used this now on my Wandering Jew and my African Violets with great success. The Wandering Jew had been badly chewed by my cat and I had to move it to my dimly lit cabinet top where it continued to wither. I purchased this and a few weeks later the Jew had tripled in size and was doing quite nicely. When my violets quit blooming, I can place this light on them for a few weeks and my blooms are back. You are only going to be able to light one plant at a time with this, but the light is very flexible and good for this purpose. I have had no issues leaving it on while sleeping or at work. As others have said, make sure you are m not looking directly at the light and you will be okay! – Amazon reviewer Technically Honest

4. Parrot Pot – Smart, Connected Flower Pot

The Parrot Pot is an automatic watering system for anybody who doesn’t have the time to constantly monitor their plants – parents, grandparents, students, and busy workers. As the perfect “Plant Sitter,” it can optimize water consumption unattended for up to a month; in addition, it can take accurate, real-time measurements about your plant’s health.

“This [pot] doesn’t just notify you when it is time to water, it does it for you, by pumping water up from a reservoir at the bottom and spraying it onto the top of the plant soil. This means all you really have to do on an ongoing basis is fill the water tank every so often. The pot can go up to a month without a refill. This is especially good for people who travel. What do you do when you get notified that you need to water a plant back in North Carolina while you are in a hotel in Wales? That’s right, nothing. This pot waters itself while you are gone.” – Amazon reviewer Sean Logue

5. Lechuza 13380 Cube Color 14 Self-Watering Garden Planter

This self-watering garden planter is perfect for students, with its stylish look and affordable price point. You don’t need to repot when you have the Lechuza Cube. Instead, drop the grow pot into the Lechuza planter and fill the water reservoir. Perfect for indoor use, college students and young professionals saving up can still enjoy the benefits of gardening.

“I buy Lechuza all the time for their quality. I will buy again!” – Amazon reviewer T

6. Covery 3 in 1 Soil Tester Moisture Meter

The Covery soil tester is a must-have for every gardener, especially those beginning gardeners who want to move into a more regular habit. For its modest $10.99 price, this product will help you determine: when you need to water, whether your plant is getting enough sunlight, and whether the pH of the soil is ideal for plant growth. No batteries needed!

“I really thought my husband was throwing money out the window by purchasing the less expensive soil tester. I was proven wrong. The Covery is accurate along side a professional who came and told us the very information this inexpensive meter told us.” – Analiese Nunamaker, Amazon reviewer.

7. ThermoPro TP55 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Humidity Gauge

This digital thermometer doubles as a humidity gauge, giving every indoor plant owner the information they need for successful plant growth. Powered by AAA batteries (included), ThermoPro’s digitial hygrometer and thermometer has a backlight and touchscreen for easy reading. It also displays the trend of each reading, which is useful so you can adjust temperature and humidity ahead of time. Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit readings, depending on what you prefer!

Many people use ThermoPro for purposes beyond gardening!

“This product is great. Love the accuracy that it gives. Needed it for my baby’s room as well as for my room to know the temp of the room and the humidity. So far so good…I can actually tell when the room is dry and then I use the thermo pro to confirm and it does so accurately! Wonderful product at a reasonable price. I brought three of them.” – KiaCam, Amazon reviewer

8. Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Honeywell humidifier is beloved widely by people with dry homes! And it’s just as useful for dry homes where plants could use a greater level of humidity to thrive. With QuietCare Performance, this humidifier is extremely quiet and works hard in the background at three possible levels. It runs up to 24 hours before you have to change the filter.

“I finally find a humidifier I can use. At medium speed, it brings up the humidity (from 16 to 25%) in my room and the noise is not too loud so I can sleep.” – NANNAN N LEE, Amazon reviewer

9. House of Plants: Living with Succulents, Air Plants, and Cacti

House of Plants is the perfect example of total plant newbies and urban hipsters alike, written by Rose Ray and Caro Langton and beautiful photography by Erika Rax. In this wonderfully practical guide, you will learn exactly how to take care of succulents, cacti, and air plants, which are very fashionable now. The authors explain how to nurture and enjoy your plants, as well as how to arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way in your home.

“Useful book to a beginner of indoor gardening. Fun ideas and with instructions on how to make them. Would recommend if someone has seen enough inspirations online and wants to get a book for trusted information.” – Review by an Amazon customer

Featured photo credit: Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Your Life Needs Strategy and Tactics, Just Like Any Games

21. November 2017 - 11:00

Southwest Airlines has been around since 1966, and is generally considered one of the better airlines in the industry. While some airlines focus on big, potentially expensive amenities, Southwest focused its business model on cheaper flights and painless “commuter”-type flights for people who wanted to get from A to B with no fuss. Over time, Southwest’s business model has increasingly become the industry standard for airlines.[1]

Southwest’s broader strategy was cheaper, easier-to-get flights. But strategy is meaningless without tactics. (Some call this “execution.”)

To get cheaper flights, they reduced flight attendants, changed flight models, limited carry-on baggage, and even changed the process of boarding.

Strategy is the what part of thinking about organizational mission: long-term goals. Tactics are the how part: the best practices, specific plans, milestones, resources, and generally how you’ll execute the overall strategy.

You need both in life.

The Art of War: Strategy vs Tactics

One of the most famous books ever written, The Art of War, has a quote along these lines:

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

That book was written more than 2,500 years ago. The context still applies, though. You need both strategy and tactics. You can’t just long-term plan, and you can’t just execute. Both ultimately end up nowhere.

Strategy and tactics are all over the business world these days. New books on business strategy seemingly come out every day, and the overall “leadership industry” — often teaching executives how to think about strategy and tactics — is somewhere around $44 billion.[2]

Think about some well-known strategies, for example:

  • Facebook wants to be immersive in people’s lives; they want to be the great connector of our time. That’s the broader strategy. One tactic was to acquire other platforms where people spend a lot of time, i.e. WhatsApp and Instagram.
  • Muji wants to make their products simple. Tactically, they only focus on one feature at a time, and their shops use a simple color tone in design.
  • Nintendo wants to design engaging games that are easy for anyone to pick up and play (strategy). This is why you see them focus more on progressive games instead of complicated role-play games.

Strategy Makes Things Clear

The pros are that having a strategy sets a clear goal and makes it easier to align the efforts of different parties — because the shared goal is the strategy. This ideally creates more long-term stability.

Unfortunately, strategy isn’t easy to measure because it’s long-term (most businesses focus short-term) and it combines a number of different tactics (cross-departmental measurement can be hard). Strategy is also less flexible and it’s harder to make big, strategic decisions and changes. It usually requires a lot of time and input from multiple people, which can slow down a business as it attempts to innovate.

Tactics Make Things Concrete

Essentially the reverse of the above — tactics are quick wins where results are often easy to see and track. There are less concerns about flexibility.

But as noted in The Art of War, a focus solely on tactics lacks the bigger picture. It’s short-term and unstable, which can cause frustration. This is when you have a job where it seems like all you do is execute but you’re never sure what or why the outcome is.

When Strategy or Tactic Is Left Out

Think of Apple, one of their initial strategies was to make computers portable and universal, which they largely achieved. One of the tactics over time was bringing phone weight down and making that portable, which led to the iPhone. Now the iPhone is on its 10th iteration, it’s essentially a portable computer that can perform lots of different functions, but Apple is having a mini-crisis of strategy. While they have lots of cash, the strategy needs to be updated. They can’t keep producing similar phone products. Their growth has stunted a bit because the tactics outpaced the strategy and the strategy isn’t updated.

Now think of a personal example. Let’s say you were taking a test in high school and you knew the format would be lots of short questions and a few long ones. The short ones, in total points, are worth more. If you want a high score, your strategy might be to focus on the short ones (practice there and do them first on the actual test), and then do the long ones when time permits. That’s your strategy, and your tactic is doing the short questions first.

If you had no strategy for this test, you’d go in blind without an idea how to approach the test. If you had no tactic, you’d spend your time in the wrong parts. Either way, you wouldn’t get the highest score.

Making it Optimum: Strategy x Tactics

Strategy and tactics together allows you to have long-term focus with short-term execution.

You should use this dual approach regularly in daily life. If you’re trying to reach your target on closing more deals, your strategy can be to focus on high-spending groups. Your tactics would be to spend 80% of your time locating these high-spending groups and connecting with them — or calling the people who have connections with this group. You don’t focus on low-spending groups.

But how do you align strategy and tactics so you have both?

First, you need to understand purpose.

Sometimes our to-do lists get filled up with tasks that have no purpose. What are you achieving by carrying an action out? Is it helping you achieve your strategic outcome? Is it helping you achieve any of your goals? This component of a tactic serves two purposes:

  1. It ensures that every tactic helps you achieve your strategic outcome.
  2. It ensures you’re not wasting time on tasks that provide no return.
Then you need a scheduling component.

For example, many of us become beholden to our email. To avoid that, decide when and how often you’re going to process messages. Actions move you towards your goals, while scheduling ensures actions are executed. It also keeps you balanced and not as overwhelmed.

Finally, you need to understand how measurable results work.

When you complete something, can the result be measured? There’s usually no need to track these results meticulously for every task, but when you’re unsure whether a task is working for you or just wasting your time, measurement provides hard answers.

To understand more about how strategy and tactics align and work together, check out this article: Tactics & Strategy: Do you know the difference?

Featured photo credit: 3plusplus via 3plusplus.net

Reference [1] ^ Investopedia: Southwest Airlines’ Business Model Could Soon Be the Industry Standard [2] ^ The New Yorker: Shut Up and Sit Down function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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You Can Dump Your Goal Now If It Doesn't Challenge You

21. November 2017 - 10:00

“If you reach for the stars, you might not get one, but you won’t end up with a handful of mud either” – Leo Burnett

Set a high goal, at the same time achievable for you to stimulate the brain, because we are thrilled to accomplish new and challenging tasks. Set a goal based on what your future self can achieve, not the present-self.

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Are You The Boss Of Your Emotion?

20. November 2017 - 22:00

It is easy to feel negative and act negatively when facing challenging situations.
Feeling positive means adjusting your attitude to conquer the challenge, more eager to empower others, leading to good results, and good leaders. Don’t let failure overpower you, act positively in difficult times.

quotes

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The Ugly Side Of Social Media You Didn't Know

20. November 2017 - 21:00

As of the third quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.07 billion monthly active users. There is no way we can deny that social media is a part of our lives in this age. Whilst social media trends continues to sky-rocket, there are also downsides that individuals are starting to realise which results in some wanting to do away with it, or going on social media fasts to steer clear of addiction. What is the reason behind this craze that has taken the world by storm? And why should we care about how much or little social media consumption we are getting? Here is a selection of 5 books that reveals the uglier side of social media usage, exploring how social media has changed our thinking, and how we should perhaps stay away from it?

1. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

“Is Google making us stupid?”, Nicolas Carr rang the alarm we all have deep down in our minds, that the internet is changing our thinking. The way we are finding for information has become so different as the internet makes it so easy for us to find rapid bits of information from varied sources, that perhaps we aren’t using our brains to its full potential. This book explores not only how social communication methods and channels have changed, but how our brain is affected by this phenomena. Expect this to be your new informative read, and learn about the unrevealed connection of the internet and us.

Reading Duration: 6hrs 16mins

Get The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains on Amazon at $10.30

2. The Facebook Diet: 50 Funny Signs of Facebook Addiction and Ways to Unplug with a Digital Detox by Gemini Adams 

A fun, quick read for all the severely addicted to social media people out there. With 50 cartoons illustrating “You Know You’re a Facebook Addict When…?”, you can enjoy having a laugh at your embarrassing, cringe-worthy moments when you find yourself agreeing to those examples. This makes for a good reflection of your social media habits. Loaded with digital detox tips, get ready for a week or more of social media fasting!

Reading Duration: 3hrs 1min

Get The Facebook Diet: 50 Funny Signs of Facebook Addiction and Ways to Unplug with a Digital Detox on Amazon at $9.99

3. Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday

Social media can build, or destroy something in 1 day. One rumour can cost a company millions of dollars. The former Marketing Director of American Apparel and media manipulator, Ryan Holiday reveals the hidden agendas in the media industry, and how some big blogs can control and distort news. This book sheds light into how the media industry really works, giving you new insight into the content that you have been viewing. You wont look at your favorite blog or website the same way again after reading this insider’s insight!

Reading Duration: 6hrs 36mins

Get Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator on Amazon at $11.65

4. Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect by Matthew D. Lieberman

Can you believe our need to connect with people is more fundamental than our need for food and shelter? In this book, Lieberman explains scientifically why are we engineered to be social animals, turned many traditional theories upside down, and prove that our psychological need weighs more than our biological need. Interestingly, Lieberman also addresses the way of management, minimising social distraction, and opposes the traditional method, giving insight to innovative solutions to improve our productivity at school and business environment backed up by science.

Reading Duration: 7hrs 56mins

Get Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect on Amazon at $13.29

5. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman

Back then we had TV, now it has evolved to smartphones. Technology evolves, people don’t, the author addressed ways media has shaped our lives back in 1985, and alert us to be aware of the influence brought by media (specifically Television). The relevancy never disappears, and the same theory is applied by many authors, suggesting the same effect social media has brought to us. Visual media (including social media and TV) have transformed us, into visual animals, craving for more drama, flashing pictures, and music, lowering our attention span, turning us from the literate-oriented culture into a new age, leaving us to debate the good and the bad. Get your hands on this decade-old read, and reflect it in 2017.

Reading Duration: 4hrs 17mins

Get Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business on Amazon at $10.87

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Nothing Beats Shaving Kit For Being The Best Christmas Gift For Men

20. November 2017 - 20:00

We’ve already seen some folks put up holiday lights and decorations. Oh, yeah, the holiday season is just around the corner, and it’s high time we focus on what sizzling gifts we want to pick for our loved ones.

Well, selecting the right gift for our menfolk isn’t always a walk in the park because they have completely different mindsets from us. We, the ladies, are often drawn to the intentions of the gifts – whether your better half pays attention to what you like or hints you’ve been dropping year-long.

Men are entirely different species. Don’t get me wrong, but men are target-oriented and practical. They fancy gifts that can either help them with everyday life problems or things they can quickly identify with.

When it comes to gifting men this holiday season, nothing beats the allure of a shaving kit. It’s quite practical and will undoubtedly make a great addition to a mantuary. Trust me; you can never go wrong with a top-notch shaving kit this Christmas. It’s something men have identified with for decades.

That being said, here at Lifehack, we would like to introduce you 10 different shaving kits for you to choose from this coming holiday season.

1. Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 3100

The shaver is washable with one touch open and has nifty pop-up trimmer. Its Comfort Cut Blade System coupled with 4-Direction Flex Heads guarantees a smooth, easy shave.

  • Long-lasting Li-Ion Battery for 45 minutes of cordless shaving
  • 4-Direction Flex Heads
  • Comfort Cut Blade System with round edges that glide smoothly over your skin

Get Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 3100,at Amazon for $39.95

2. Philips Norelco Multigroom All-In-One Series 3000

The multipurpose trimmer features tempered steel cutting blades that self-sharpen. With 13 attachments and 2x more cutting blades, it provides a clean, straight-line shaves.

  • 13 attachments for all your shaving needs
  • DualCut Technology for more precision
  • Easily detachable Blades and Guards for a quick rinse

GetPhilips Norelco Multigroom All-In-One Series 3000 at Amazon for $16.45

3. Wahl LifeProof Foil Shavers for Men

This shock-resistant, high-impact, dual foil, rechargeable Li-Ion battery, waterproof shaver boasts popup precision ground trimmer that’s ideal for trimming, shaving or wet/dry shave

  • Flex Foils for more comfortable shave
  • High-Impact Shockproof Housing
  • Precision Ground Blades for No-Snag Trimming

GetWahl LifeProof Foil Shavers for Men at Amazon for $49.97

4. Wahl Smart Shave Rechargeable Lithium Ion Wet / Dry Water Proof Foil Shaver

The shaving kit comes with long-lasting Li-Ion battery that goes months between charges. With dual foil rechargeable Li-Ion, intelligent design, waterproof features, and popup precision ground blades; this trimmer is best for trimming, shaving, and wet/dry shave.

  • Advanced long-hair cutter & Dual Foils
  • Precision Ground Blades for No-Snag Trimming
  • Wahl Lithium Ion Advanced Technology with Quick Charge and Meter LED Indicator

GetWahl Smart Shave Rechargeable lithium ion wet / dry water proof foil shaver at Amazon for $79.99

5. Braun Series 3 310s Men’s Electric Foil Shaver

Engineered and designed in Germany, the shaver features 3 pressure-sensitive elements that read and adapt to every facial contour. It boasts 2 rechargeable NiMH batteries for longer, smoother shave.

  • 2 rechargeable long-life NiMH batteries
  • 3 pressure-sensitive elements for comfortable and efficient shave
  • Waterproof up 5m

GetBraun Series 3 310s Men’s Electric Foil Shaver at Amazon for $39.97

6. Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 2100

With CloseCut Blade System coupled with 4-direction flex heads, and One Touch Open, the shaver offers a close, easy, and comfortable shave.

  • CloseCut Blade System for a close shave
  • 4-direction Flex Heads
  • One Touch Open for easy rinse under the tap

GetPhilips Norelco Electric Shaver 2100 at Amazon at $29.95

7. Remington PG6025 All-in-1 Lithium Powered Grooming Kit

The shaving kit comes complete with 8 attachments and storage pouch for easy travel. It features self-sharpening, surgical steel blades and Li-Ion rechargeable Batteries for cleaner shave and long-lasting durability.

  • 8 attachments tailored for every grooming need
  • Self-sharpening, surgical steel blades
  • Li-Ion Batteries for 65 minutes+ cordless shaving

GetRemington PG6025 All-in-1 Lithium Powered Grooming Kit at Amazon at $15.98

8. Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3010s Men’s Electric Foil Shaver

With Specialized Micro Comb and 3 pressure-sensitive shaving elements, Braun Series 3 captures more hair every stroke and offers skin comfort and efficiency.

  • German Technology by Braun
  • 3 pressure-sensitive shaving elements
  • Specialized Micro Comb

GetBraun Series 3 ProSkin 3010s Men’s Electric Foil Shaver at Amazon for $49.97

9. Philips Norelco Shaver 4500

The shaver comes with integrated popup trimmer ideal for moustache and sideburns. With DualPrecision heads and Aquatec Technology, Shaver 4500 is great for quick and comfortable shaving, trimming, and wet/dry shaves.

  • DualPrecision heads for comfortable and quick shave
  • Aquatec Technology for both dry and wet shaves
  • Integrated pop-up trimmer

GetPhilips Norelco Shaver 4500 at Amazon at $59.95

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Ditch Your Bucket "List" and Create Your Own Bucket "Map" Now

20. November 2017 - 17:00

When you wander around your city, you might find interesting places you’d like to try. Perhaps you’re travelling, and your friend gives you lots of recommendations for your destination. It’s common practice to bookmark the restaurants and attractions you want to check out in the future.

As you plan your next adventure, you may have a list of must-try places on your phone. Unfortunately, having the addresses for these places in list form makes it hard to visualize your route. You need a map of places you want to go. Instead of making a bucket list, you need a “bucket map.”

You need a personalized adventure map

Instead of spending all your time trying to sift through notes with recommendations, you can use Mapstr to make a map of attractions for yourself. Mapstr allows you search for places on your bucket list and pin locations that interest you. You can categorize the places to make them easy to find.

This app not only helps you stay organized, but you can also share maps with your friends.

Why Mapstr is a must have on your phone

Whether you’re going on a trip and want to make the most of your time, or you’re exploring your city, Mapstr makes it easier than ever to decide where to go next.

1. Add places that you want to visit

To add a new place, click the plus sign at the bottom of the page. You’ll have the option to search a location’s name or drop a pin. For this example, my friend has just recommended a place where I can buy comic books and gaming items. If I know the location, I can pin it. Otherwise, I’ll need to search for the name.

After typing in the name of the location, Mapstr took me to a page with the address and some pre-existing information about the location, such as pictures and a phone number.

The space below the address allows you to tag this business as a specific type of service. I categorized this as a shopping location and included the brief description so that I could remember my interest in the location.

2. Create custom tags for faster search and organisation

In addition to the preset tags, “shopping,” “friend,” “hotel,” “restaurant,” and “to try,” you can use the space below those options to create your own tag. For example, if I loved going to comic book stores on the weekends, I might want to create a “comic books” tag so that I can find similar stores quickly.

Type the name of the custom tag where it says “create a new tag.” You can even select a color to distinguish your custom tab from the presets. As you can see, I have tagged this place as an area that is good for shopping and comic books.

When you’ve settled on the tags you want to use, hit the check mark in the top right corner to save your location.

After you’ve added locations, you can search them by either clicking on the map, or checking the list. In the top left hand corner of the app’s home page, you will notice a menu button. Clicking on the menu button gives you a list of categories.

You can select one or more of those categories to display the places of interest. If I wanted to go hiking, I could filter my map to only show locations I have labeled as hiking trails. This is so much easier than searching through pins.

3. Share your map with friends

One of the coolest features of Mapstr is that you can share your maps with your friends. You can also make custom maps to share with your family when they come to visit so that they know where to find the best spots in town.

To share your map, click on the icon that looks like two people in the top right corner of the screen.

This opens the “My friends” tab. You can add new friends by clicking on the plus sign icon to find people, share your profile with others, or invite friends.

You can also share your map on social media by clicking on the sharing icon with the arrow on the bottom right.

Using Mapstr makes planning easier

When it comes to creating a personalized map of places you want to see, Mapstr offers a much better interface than Google Maps.

Mapstr lets you tailor and share maps from Google to meet your needs. The customizable tabs and photos make it so much easier to sort through attractions and plan your trips.

Download Mapstr to organize must-see locations

Mapstr has the functionality you’ve been wanting in Google Maps but didn’t realize you were missing. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting an amazing recommendation again. Now you just have to make time to try all the places on your map.

Mapstr is available for free for iOS and Android devices. Get it today and start planning your next outing.

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The Secret Place Where All Great Ideas Are Born

20. November 2017 - 13:00

Where do great ideas come from? The cliched view is that they come fully formed in a flash of inspiration. You’ve probably seen this in films or on TV, a character might be working over night trying to come up with a big idea, and suddenly their idea hits them.

However, the reality is actually far more complicated. The truly great ideas, are the product of processes. They are the product of what a person sees and gets in touch with every day that combine to influence a thought. A random thought turns into an idea, then the idea is worked on.

Consider twitter, twitter was originally not conceived as as a social network, but instead as an alternative to SMS messaging. The original 140 wasn’t a creative gimmick, but was instead reflected the technological limitations of the mobile phone format (at the time).[1]

Uber came from a conversation between friends where they were complaining about how hard it was to find a decent taxi.[2]

The idea for Airbnb came when the founders were struggling to pay rent, and needed a way to earn some extra money. Most of the hotel rooms in the city were booked up thanks to a local conference, so they thought that they could exploit this by providing extra space in their apartment for overnight guests.[3]

All of these ideas came to revolutionize their respective fields, and none of them came fully formed at the very beginning. Our view of how great ideas are born is thus inaccurate and is even potentially harmful.

We murder good ideas that are incubating

Usually when we hear about these ideas, it is when they are at their most successful. We don’t see the weeks, months, and years where the initial idea was developed, or the successes and early failures of the business. As a result we naturally assume the ideas were fantastic and fully formed from the start.

We assume that is where good ideas come from.A study has shown that the human brain favors any action or option which uses the least amount of energy.[4] So where it might be more useful to come up with ten different ideas for us to work on, we struggle to come up with one to save up energy. So we try very hard to come up with a fantastic idea.

But even if we do come up with an idea, we have no idea whether it is good or not because it doesn’t have concrete details on how it’s going to work. Without the details and a plan to take action on the idea, we judge its failure early before it can incubate into something great. Unless an idea is executed, our brains are unable to determine whether an idea is going to be great or not.

Think about the companies mentioned at the beginning of this article. The idea for each one of them came from the creators trying fulfill a need, they found themselves faced with a particular problem (like failing to find a good taxi as in the case with Uber), and as a result they came up with a random idea directly related to it, that random idea became the solution to it.

But if we think we will come up with the next big idea without placing ourselves in the right context, and don’t allow for ideas to come to us naturally, then it is guaranteed that they won’t come to us at all. Instead we get stuck.

The truth is, good ideas are random

One day you might come up with ten ideas, of those ten, one might be an okay idea. We might often instinctively reject an idea that we judge to merely be “okay”. However, an okay idea can become a fantastic idea with work, and ideas that are truly great from the start are so rare that they might as well not exist.

It’s like with novel writing. A truly brilliant book tends to be the product of months if not years of hard work, of endless re-writes. But as we read the novel at the time it is finished, we assume it was great from the start.

There is a famous story about Jack Kerouac, an American novelist, who wrote his famous novel On the Road over a three week period, almost without stopping for a break. For this to have been possible, surely the idea must have been brilliant from the start right? Well, this famous story isn’t true.

Sure, he once typed up a draft of it in three weeks. But from him coming up with the idea, to finishing the book took over seven years. The ideas for the story came to him naturally while he was travelling, or at times he wrote about things that actually happened to him. There was never a point where he suddenly had this brilliant idea that he was able to quickly turn into a masterpiece of literature.

All that is needed is the right stimulation

Great ideas then come from what we see, what we hear, the people we speak to, and most importantly, a great idea can come as the solution to a problem, (like what we saw with Twitter, Uber, and Airbnb). This can be tricky, it can often be easy to be disheartened when faced with a problem.

But that’s what innovation is, true innovation comes from either resolving a problem or finding a gap in the market which can be filled by a great idea. So next time you are faced with a problem, see this as an opportunity. Even if a solution exists, you might be able to think of a better one.

Read more about how you can come up with a great idea by finding a problem and solve it: Albert Einstein’s Problem-Solving Formula that Still Works Like a Charm

Your next great idea might not seem great at first. It might just seem like an okay idea, a mediocre one, or even a bad one, all ideas need work. So don’t judge any at first, let ideas come naturally and write them down. It doesn’t matter how bad they seem, just write them down.

Don’t worry about organizing them either, in fact it’s good not to. You might miss a good idea while you’re working on the organization. Organizing at this stage will just mean that you’re giving yourself an extra job to do which may slow you down or even make you lose motivation.

If you want tips with this stage, check out this article: How Simply Jotting Down Ideas Can Make You Smarter

Remember, great ideas don’t come fully formed, so don’t try to force them.

Reference [1] ^ Lifewire: The Real History of Twitter, In Brief [2] ^ Gulf Elite: Startup From The Bottom: Here Is How Uber Started Out [3] ^ Get Paid for Your Pad: The Airbnb Founder Story: From Selling Cereals To A $25B Company [4] ^ The Globe and Mail: Humans are hard-wired for laziness, study finds function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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What it Feels Like To Be The Child of Your Children?

20. November 2017 - 12:00

Arguments between parents and children are normal, especially during the teenage years. Parents want to protect their kids, and kids are struggling to find their place in the world. This is a frustrating situation for both parties, and if they can’t talk about it, there are bound to be fights.

Imagine what would happen if teens and their parents could trade places

Freaky Friday (2003), starring Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis, explores that idea. The two play a mother and daughter who are always at odds with one another. A magic fortune cookie causes them to swap bodies. They get first hand experience in what it’s like to walk in each other’s shoes.

Both sides of the argument are valid

Freaky Friday forces mother and daughter to work together to understand each other. Too often, parents and children are vilified by one another because they don’t hear each other out.

Parents must understand that kids need to make their own decisions. Instead of preventing kids from doing anything, parents can guide them toward making good choices.

Kids have to know that their parents are trying to protect them. Adults are often learning to grapple with boundaries for their kids for the first time as their kids are becoming more independent. Open and honest communication is key.

Seeing the other side of the argument makes you think

Although I wasn’t a wild teenager, I got into arguments with my parents. Most revolved around how much freedom I could have. I didn’t want to get into trouble– I just wanted to live my life.

It was frustrating, but now I know that they were protecting me. As an adult, I appreciate them for the sacrifices they made for me.

This movie gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. It has an awesome message, but the plot is predictable.

Take time to appreciate your family

You don’t have to switch bodies to respect and understand one another.

Watch Freaky Friday and tell your parents that you love them.

The post What it Feels Like To Be The Child of Your Children? appeared first on Lifehack.

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Finding Your Sweet Spot When Up In The Air

20. November 2017 - 10:00

I’m sure everyone loves travelling, and if you have the opportunity to, you will very likely find yourself having to take a plane in order to reach your travel destination. It’s no sweat if you’re on a 5 hour or less flight. But the challenge comes when you have to take long haul flights, or worst still, red eye flights.

Unless you’re flying on business or first class, chances are it’s going to be an uncomfortable journey on economy. So how can you make the most of your long journey on the plane without feeling sore and cranky from having no sleep once you arrive at your destination?

The Telegraph featured an article What’s the best way to sleep on a plane? where a list of top tips were given to help travellers taking the dreaded long haul flights find some added comfort. Here are 2 less common tips that may help you get a better rest when onboard a long flight.

Pick a quiet spot for your peace

Research by easyJet revealed that the most in-demand seat on a plane is near the front of the plane – presumably for the perceived ease of disembarkation. Those seeking peace and quiet may wish to avoid the front, however, as this is where parents with babies will often travel, and where flight attendants will be clattering around with drinks trolleys. The other area to avoid are seats near the toilet as that would mean loud door banging, and people hovering around you as they wait to use the toilet.

So consider the back of the aircraft. Window seats obviously reduce the chance of being disturbed and also give you somewhere to rest your head.

Don’t drink too much on the plane

While the soporific effects of booze are well known, it is suggested to avoid caffeine-laced drinks and alcohol on a flight. Try drinking herbal tea instead. It is also a good idea not to eat too full or heavy a meal so as to prevent bloatedness or indigestion.

For more tips, check out the full article here

The post Finding Your Sweet Spot When Up In The Air appeared first on Lifehack.

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Get Your Wake Up Time Right is More Important Than Sleeping Tight

19. November 2017 - 22:00

Do you wake up every morning feeling tired and drained? No one likes to start the day feeling lethargic, but so many of us wake up exhausted even after a full night’s rest! If you’ve ever had to drag yourself out of bed in the morning to face the day, you’ll know how demoralizing it is to wake up feeling just as tired as you did when you went to sleep.

Waking Up at Different Stages Of Sleep Determines Your Energy Level

Everyone sleeps in cycles. Throughout the night, your sleep ranges from “light sleep,” in which you are easily woken, to “deep sleep,” which entails rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. If you are woken from a deep sleep, you will feel tired, whereas if you are roused from a state of light sleep, you will wake up feeling refreshed. Each cycle lasts for approximately 90 minutes, and is made up of four phases in total.

When your sleep cycle is broken at the wrong time, your concentration and productivity will suffer [1]. You will struggle to remain focused on important tasks. To make matters even worse, a lack of good-quality sleep makes it hard to regulate your emotional state [2]. To feel at your best every day, you need to wake up at the just the right moment in your sleep cycle.

Waking Up At The Right Time Is Your First Step To Great Productivity

Fortunately, the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock App wakes you up at the right time every morning, so you can feel energetic and healthy throughout the day.

The app uses the accelerometer and microphone in your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to monitor your sleep stages and analyse your unique sleep cycle. All you need to do is place the device on the floor or near the bed. Even if you share a bed with someone else, it will still accurately assess your sleep cycle!

Screenshot from Appfreakblog.com

The app then uses the data to calculate the perfect moment to wake you up, refreshed and ready for the day ahead. You set the time you need to wake up, and the app plays an alarm up to 30 minutes before your chosen time. The exact time will depend on where you are in your sleep cycle.

Visit the App Store to download your copy now, and look forward to many happy mornings ahead! The basic version is free, whereas the premium version comes with additional features such as the ability to back up your data online and a heart rate monitor.

Reference [1] ^ In the Loop: Why you are waking up tired [2] ^ WebMD: Sleepiness: Cognitive and Emotional Effects function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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Failure is The Worst Decision Trigger

19. November 2017 - 12:00

It’s easy for us to give up when things didn’t go well as expected. We look at our failure and think, “Maybe this is not what I can do and I should stop spending time on it.”

Of course, quitting is easy, that’s why it’s so tempting to give up when things go wrong. However, ask yourself, is this what you want in the future?

If you really want it, don’t give up. Don’t make stupid decision based on 1 failure, get back up and work on it again.

The post Failure is The Worst Decision Trigger appeared first on Lifehack.

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Read The Instructions Before Proceeding With Life

19. November 2017 - 11:30

We would all love to be able to have the answers to life’s boundless questions. A road map for life. Yet that is not possible. We can only strive to be the best versions of ourselves and confront the problems or questions that lie ahead of us without causing harm to others or ourselves. So how can we ‘live well’ on a daily basis?

If there’s a manual for life, what would it be?

A Manual For Living by Epictetus is just what it is. A manual. A book that you can refer to for instructions or guidance on how to live a meaningful life.

In A Manual For Living, Epictetus focuses on how to practically apply oneself on a philosophical level. It is a book that points out different scenarios or situations in life, and how individuals should reframe their mindset or view it from a different perspective. One that will allow them to be more accepting of the cards that have been dealt to them and finding meaning and happiness on earth.

Accept that you don’t have total control

Some things are in your power and some are not—do not confuse the two and do not desire the things that are not in your power. It is our opinion of things that determines how we feel about a particular event, not the event itself. Think carefully about how you spend your life because people often spend their lives chasing things that are neither as desirable nor as important as they seem.

Remember, if you think the things that are in the power of others are in your own power, then you will be hindered, frustrated, and annoyed. If you desire to do great things, then remember that you must give those things your undivided attention and leave other things alone for the time being.

Before setting your sights on a goal, make sure that it is a goal that is within your power — that is, something you actually have control over — and if it is not within your power, do not let it concern you.

These are but some of the values and wise words of wisdom that can be found in the book which will no doubt add great value to your life. If you have already heard those words, let it be another resounding reminder of why it is so important to live by them.

Reading duration: 1 hr 59 mins

Get A Manual for Living from Amazon at $7.98

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Never Expect A Fast Track To Success

18. November 2017 - 22:01

No success happens in one night. It’s about repetitive practice and contribution towards your goal.

It’s easy for us to under-estimate the power of small actions. Just remember every action you do contributes to your goal, every step forward is a progress and they worth your celebration.

Don’t give up and keep going!

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Never Leave Your New Born Babies Out Of Sight Again

18. November 2017 - 21:00

As a modern parent, you probably have to juggle several tasks in addition to looking after the baby. Career demands and other daily tasks make it impossible to be physically present near the baby at all times. After the paternity/maternity leave, you will have to leave the baby in the care of a baby sitter. Is the baby asleep or agitated? Is the baby happy?

When you are around the house with the baby, you will need to step out from time to go to the bathroom, or even attend to a meal on the stove. Those few minutes when you are away can feel like hours. As a working mom with a babysitter, you will spend the hours at work agonizing about the baby, for there are plenty of horror stories about baby-sitters.

A baby monitor allows you to keep an eye on the baby even when you are not physically near the baby. Here are some of the top recommended baby monitors in the market, to keep your worries away.

Lollipop – Smart Baby Monitor With True Crying Detection

  • Audio mode – This is the only wifi baby monitor with audio only mode. This ensures you can detect your baby’s cry at any time.
  • True crying detection –  This baby monitor will differentiate between a true baby’s cry and other noises like giggles
  • Real-time streaming – In the house, the streaming is by wifi, and by cloud services when away from home.

Get it at Amazon for $149

Babysense video baby monitor

  • Auto infrared night vision – This allows you to keep an eye on the baby in the dark without disturbing him/her with lights
  • 2-way talk communication- Soothe your baby with your voice even while you are away from home
  • High tech add-ons – Room Temperature Monitoring with Eco Mode Voice Activation, High/Low Temperature Alerts, Alarm/Timer Setting, Sound Activated LED Indicators, 2x Digital Zoom with Digital Image Pan/Tilt option

Get it at Amazon for $74.99

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

  • Interchangeable zooming lens allows you to customize your zooming
  • 2-way communication allows you to comfort your baby without being present
  • Large 3.5 inches display for clearer definition

Get it at Amazon for $165.05

LeFun Wireless Surveillance Camera

  • Plug and play – Quickly install and start viewing on your PC, laptop or tablet
  • View from Long distance – Can see up to 30 feet in darkness
  • High security – Works with high tech encryption to keep your data private

Get it at Amazon for $47.99

Hello Baby Wireless Video Baby Monitor

  • High clarity – Unmatched audio and video clarity
  • Camera expandable – The parent unit can work with 4 cameras allowing monitoring several babies
  • Long life battery – Energy saving VOX mode enables up to 12 hours monitoring

Get it at Amazon for $69

Smilism baby monitor

  • HD display – 2.4 inch TFT color display so you can see your babies clearly
  • Energy saving mode available – Turns on whenever voice from the baby is detected

Get it at Amazon for $87.99

Mykit 360 Degree Panoramic Camera

  • The Only baby monitor with 360 degrees view monitoring 100 square meters
  • Wifi enable so you can go wireless
  • Multiple view mode to switch up to 5 monitoring modes

Get it at Amazon for $42.98

By purchasing our recommended baby monitors, you can focus at work and don’t need to worry about your new born babies ever again.

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