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Productivity 501

By Mark Shead

Five Common Client Phrases Decoded

It may be easy for two design professionals to discuss hierarchy and layout, but it can be very frustrating for a client. During my experience, I’ve noticed a few patterns when it comes to client feedback and the phrases they choose when trying to communicate.

Investment Risk and the Growth of Wealth: The Importance of Course Corrections

This is a guest post from Carl Richards at Behavior Gap. I have a problem. In fact, I think we all have a problem: We have been way too focused on returns, resulting in the utter destruction of our wealth. The investment industry has been built using tools that might be appropriate for understanding investments, but are totally worthless for investors.

Thought experiment: How would you organize Hannah Montana’s closet?

A year or two ago when Hannah Montana became the favorite topic among my young cousins, I decided to watch four or five of the episodes on the Disney channel to figure out what they were discussing. I’m not really sure I’ll ever understand the appeal of the show, but I did learn about Hannah Montana’s closet. (The link goes to a video of her closet.

Outdoor cooking with the Varde

David takes the cooking outdoors by hacking a Varde sink unit into something better than a BBQ grill. He says, "When we moved to California, our apartment had an electric stove, which we hate. Also, we wanted to be outside on the patio to enjoy the weather. We're vegetarians, so we don't actually grill that much. So we did this instead.

$8000 housing tax credit can now be turned into cash at closing according to FHA

By Xin Lu As part of the Obama stimulus plan passed in January, first time home buyers in 2009 are entitled to a tax credit of up to $8000 that they do not have to repay.

30 Days to a Better Man-Day 10: Memorize “If”

Before Google and the internet, people memorized stuff. When your grandpa went to school, memorization was the main method of learning, and he had to commit things like the Gettysburg Address and sonnets by William Shakespeare to memory. Decades ago, rote leaning went entirely out of fashion amongst educators, in favor of helping students think creatively and problem solve.

6 Amazing Techniques to Staying Happy During a Stressful Project

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Karl Staib of Work Happy Now! Most of our work happiness comes from our relationship with ourselves. For example, I’m working on a program to help people work happier.

Crappy practice is a waste of time

By Philip Brewer If you want to get good at something, you need to practice. If you're not trying to get better, and just want to enjoy doing whatever it is, there's no need to practice--do what you love and ignore anyone who wants you to do it better. But if you're going to practice, then practice. Don't do something else and call it practice.

Win a Free Amazon Kindle: The Toilet Paper National Bathroom Month Reading Giveaway

There’s nothing quite like the uninterrupted solitude of reading in the bathroom. I’m sure if you go into most men’s bathrooms in their homes, you’ll find a stack of Popular Mechanics or maybe a book or two next to the john. Believe it or not, reading in the bathroom is a manly tradition that dates back to ancient Rome.

The Simple Dollar Podcast #2 - The Fulfillment Curve

The second episode of The Simple Dollar Podcast focuses on the fulfillment curve. I talk about my own battles with overdoing it and finding a healthy balance, and relate some tips for finding good balances in your own life. Also discussed: coffee shop stereotypes, M.C.

Using Fuelly to Track Your Gas Mileage

With gas prices rising, people are beginning to talk about fuel economy again. This year, there’s an added wrinkle to my own concerns. In April, I ditched my 2000 Ford Focus for a 2004 Mini Cooper. The old car used regular unleaded, but the new one uses premium.

More about the Significance of Unhappiness for Happiness.

My post yesterday – about unhappiness – has been bothering me. I feel like I missed some important points, but I’m not exactly sure what they are.

The Deadly Well - Teaching to Learn

When you need to remember something you’ve learned, one of the best things you can do is explain your new knowledge to someone else.  When I was studying music theory, I thought I had a firm grasp on the subject.  However, when I went back and taught it to incoming freshmen, I discovered how much better I understood once I had to explain it to others. I still use this technique today. 

Exclusive First Look: SU.PR - Stumble Upon’s New Traffic Builder

I’m so excited about SU.PR, it’s hard to contain.

Resources for designing a custom tool cabinet

There’s something intensely pleasing about seeing a box of fetishistically organized woodworking tools arranged perfectly in a custom-made wooden cabinet. The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems by Jim Tolpin is a fantastic resource for any woodworker looking for ideas on how to store and organize woodworking tools.