best of en-US The 5 Best Air Fresheners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-air-fresheners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you are trying to cover up the smell of smoke, pets, food, or any other unpleasant odors, an air freshener can be very fast and effective. While the Environmental Working Group recommends just opening a window to get rid of bad odors, when you need something more powerful, you should have an air freshener that you can depend on.</p> <h2>What Is Air Freshener?</h2> <p>An air freshener is designed to make any area of the room smell better. It is commonly available as a spray, plug-in, oil, gel, automatic spray, beads, or candles. They are perfect for use in the bathroom, bedroom, living room, office, and any area that is frequented by pets or people. They&rsquo;re used in both homes and commercial properties because they can effectively cover up odors.</p> <p>Air fresheners tend to include a number of different chemical agents to neutralize odors and leave a clean, fresh scent behind. They have been shown to provoke allergy and asthma symptoms, so if you or someone in your home suffers from these issues, you may want to look for a more environmentally friendly option that is safer for use around allergy sufferers, children, and pets.</p> <h2>Top 5 Air Fresheners</h2> <h3>Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0014DP9Y4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DF2D5O7YH6DA5HND"><img src="" width="89" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Using the restroom can be very embarrassing for you and your guests, but fortunately, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0014DP9Y4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DF2D5O7YH6DA5HND">Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray</a> is designed to kill any embarrassing odors before you even use the restroom. It can also provide a point of humor for anyone using the restroom. You spray this in the toilet before you go so that it can create a protective barrier on the water&rsquo;s surface to trap any odors and prevent embarrassing moments from occurring. In other words, nobody should ever know you used the bathroom. You&rsquo;ll love it and your guests will be thankful you have it. The scientifically tested formula contains essentials oils and natural compounds, making it safer than most sprays. The environmentally friendly spray uses essential oils to make it safer for the planet. There are up to 100 uses in each bottle, so it should last a long time.</p> <p>This award-winning spray is Amazon&rsquo;s bestseller in solid and liquid air fresheners, as well as the top rated air freshener on Amazon, with more than 6,200 five-star reviews, so you can rest assured that it will really work to completely cover up any unpleasant bathroom smells. In fact, it has become so popular, that you can even find it at beauty stores like Ulta now. The effective toilet sprays come in various scents, sizes, and sets to meet your needs. There is even a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00HYFQABC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MSWNNX2BXALQSNTR">Poo-Pourri Flushionista Women's Gift Set</a> and <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FEJ1S30&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LJ3KHU6QWBKN6YXG">Poo-Pourri Master Crapsman Gift Set</a> to amuse your guests, and a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00HWZREQ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=BDBP344ZTG6WK6UK">refillable sprayer</a> to take with you on the go.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0014DP9Y4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DF2D5O7YH6DA5HND"><em>Currently $11.79 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004BOH6BM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=PH27VG7D3RBFACKB"><img src="" width="171" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004BOH6BM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=PH27VG7D3RBFACKB">Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag</a> can naturally remove odors, bacteria, allergens, and harmful pollutants from the air. The eco-friendly bag can also help dehumidify the room to prevent mold, mildew, and moisture. It is non-toxic, fragrance-free, chemical-free, and covers about 90 sq. ft. Filled with Moso bamboo charcoal, it can naturally absorb odor and moisture without affecting your children or pets. It is much safer to use than an aerosol spray and can improve the air you breathe, rather than compromise it. You can place the linen bag on any surface or material, in a bathroom, bedroom, closet, shoes, bags, your car, or anywhere else you need to absorb odors, eliminate moisture, and reduce harmful chemicals in the air. There is also a metal grommet in the corner, allowing you to easily hang the bag anywhere you like.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to believe that an air purifying bag can really remove all the odors from your home, but with nearly 700 five-star reviews on Amazon, the results are hard to argue. It was also selected as one of Oprah&rsquo;s favorite eco-friendly gifts. It should last for about two years, making it an incredible value. To refresh it, simply place it in direct sunlight for an hour once a month. After the two years are up, you can simply pour the bamboo charcoal into your garden to nourish your plants.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004BOH6BM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=PH27VG7D3RBFACKB"><em>Currently $10.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Air Wick Scented Oil Air Freshener</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B007VAGXE4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OKIU5K2FYWI2TP26"><img src="" width="200" height="172" align="right" alt="" /></a>As Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in electric air fresheners, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B007VAGXE4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OKIU5K2FYWI2TP26">Air Wick Scented Oil Air Freshener</a> brings continuous long-lasting fragrance into any room or office space. The plug-in is small and sleek, so it should fit in with any home or office decor. All you need to do is plug it in, insert the refill, and set it to the fragrance intensity level you like. At low setting, each refill will last about 45 days. With three refills per pack, it is an incredible value.</p> <p>You can find the plug-in air freshener in all different scents throughout the year, and this Lavender and Chamomile scented plug-in is scented with natural essential oils. If you don&rsquo;t already have one, you&rsquo;ll need to also purchase an <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0052LAMAU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LHGIWMLP4IEEW2WY">Air Wick Scented Oil Warmer Unit</a>. If you don&rsquo;t like the plug-in, there are also candles, room sprays, automatic sprays, oils, wax melts, and other types of Air Wick air fresheners to meet your needs.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B007VAGXE4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OKIU5K2FYWI2TP26"><em>Currently $6.48 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>GermGuardian Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer and Odor Reducer</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000G2BESO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VYVIG3YVSFOFTRJE"><img src="" width="99" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>As one of Amazon&rsquo;s best selling air fresheners, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000G2BESO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VYVIG3YVSFOFTRJE">GermGuardian GG1000 Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer and Odor Reducer</a> can effectively eliminate the odors from cooking, pets, smoke, mold, and more. It uses natural UV-C lighting, which can safely destroy odors and allergens like dust mites, mold spores, viruses, germs, and airborne bacteria. The sleek, compact design is perfect for small spaces, such as a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, or pet areas. It naturally sanitizes the air with no chemicals and produces no ozone or chemical sprays, so you can feel confident using it around pets and children. The plug also turns three ways, so it will fit any outlet without getting in your way. There is a fan running inside at all times, but most reviewers found it to be very quiet.</p> <p>You should not notice a significant change in your electricity bill, if any at all. There is also no filter and only one UV-C light that needs to be replaced every six to eight months, so there is virtually no maintenance. It is also backed by a one-year limited warranty for your added peace of mind.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000G2BESO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VYVIG3YVSFOFTRJE"><em>Currently $39.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Febreze Air Effects Air Freshener</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B006F4G1QW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNYF7J2O272VQ5GF"><img src="" width="58" height="245" align="right" alt="" />Febreze Air Effects Air Freshener</a> is one of the top rated air fresheners on Amazon and comes from the incredibly popular Febreze brand. It freshens the air and eliminates odors with a number of pleasing scents, such as this clean Linen and Sky scent. In fact, it claims to eliminate even the toughest odors, and prevents them from coming back. It is a clean spray that won&rsquo;t leave behind any sticky residue. This value pack comes with two aerosol spray cans, providing a great value.</p> <p>While it has a 100% natural propellant for the aerosol can, as well as no CFCs or phosphates, the product itself is not natural and contains chemicals that can aggravate allergies or asthma symptoms. If you don&rsquo;t like using an aerosol can, Febreze has all types of air freshener options, ranging from <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001B335C0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VOX6OJFJZ36A24IW">sprays</a>, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0048BDNGK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FNUMUDTA2DAJGQKM">plug-ins</a>, and even <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008RJWC5W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YU4CXUVDJPUGMRWK">Set and Refresh</a> air fresheners.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B006F4G1QW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNYF7J2O272VQ5GF"><em>Currently $11.86 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best air fresheners. As always, be sure to check <a href="">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//;;description=The%205%20Best%20Air%20Fresheners" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="The 5 Best Air Fresheners" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div style="display: none;"> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="The 5 Best Air Fresheners" width="212" height="605" /></p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Shower Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Allergen Sprays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Glass Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Floor Steamers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Ceiling Fans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping air freshener best of home household products product reviews Thu, 17 Dec 2015 10:00:03 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1622179 at 20 Great Lifehack Lists Everyone Should Read <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-great-lifehack-lists-everyone-should-read" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="numbers" title="numbers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We&#39;re big fans of lists here at Wise Bread &mdash; mostly because our readers seem to love them more than any other format of money-saving article &mdash; but we&#39;re not the only people making awesome lists to make your life better. That&#39;s why I&#39;ve scoured the Internet to find 20 of the best lists out there. Some are straight-ahead helpful in various aspects of life, while others are a bit more tongue-in-cheek in their approach to enlightenment. (See also: <a href="">Get More Creative and Efficient With Lists</a>)</p> <p>Browse through my selection and let me know what you think. (Full disclosure: Some of these are Wise Bread lists; you didn&#39;t think we weren&#39;t going to pat ourselves on the back just a little, did you?) When you&#39;re duly educated and entertained, let me know if my picks are spot on or if you have better lists to recommend by telling me so in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. 10 Facts About Life After the Apocalypse</h2> <p>I put <a href="">this list of facts about life after the apocalypse</a> at number one so you get an early sense that the rest of this list will be at least a little fun, and because I&#39;m actively preparing for the apocalypse myself &mdash; zombie or otherwise. True story. There are lots of interesting tidbits on this list, including how we&#39;ll finally be able to drink all the beer and soda we want, how mealworms will sustain us, and how professional wrestling will finally get its comeuppance. All it&#39;ll take is a nuclear winter.</p> <h2>2. 10 Things You Should Not Be Paying For</h2> <p>Everyday we&#39;re telling you to cut back on one thing or another, but there are lots of things you can do without all together. This <a href="">list of 10 items you shouldn&#39;t be paying for</a> &mdash; like, ever &mdash; includes premium TV subscriptions, newspapers, bottled water (like, EVER!), checking accounts, and gym memberships. If you can cut out this excess (considering you&#39;re currently indulging in it, that is), you&#39;ll save hundreds of dollars every month. (See also: <a href="">Ways to Make Yourself Save More Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Top 15 Jobs That Require Little or No Experience</h2> <p>I know a lot of people who spent the better part of their lives as stay-at-home moms and dads, and I have friends whose majors in college didn&#39;t prepare them well for the working world. This post on <a href="">the top 15 jobs that require little or no experience</a> might help them figure out where to look for employment if they&#39;re having a hard time finding it elsewhere, and if you have people in your life who sound similar it might help them too.</p> <h2>4. 11 Tips to Keep iOS 7 From Destroying Your Battery Life</h2> <p>I made a huge mistake updating to iOS7 a couple weeks ago &mdash; I hate, hate, hate the new calendar format, for starters &mdash; but the reduced battery is workin&#39; my nerves too. Thank goodness I found this article that gives <a href="">11 ways to preserve it</a> so I don&#39;t have to be tethered to an outlet all day. Feel free to rant in the comments about your iOS 7 experience so I don&#39;t feel like the only curmudgeon on the page.</p> <h2>5. Top 10 Ways to Get Free Wi-Fi Anywhere You Go</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Wi-Fi should be free everywhere all the time, but until the day that Richard Branson becomes president we&#39;ll have to consult <a href="">this post on 10 ways to get free Wi-Fi anywhere you go</a>. Examples include searching for hidden networks (like you did before you could afford Internet of your own, and everybody got savvy about locking their networks), use coupons (yes, they exist), and consulting a hotspot database.</p> <h2>6. 10 Romantic and Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Your Girlfriend or Wife</h2> <p>Gentlemen&hellip; if you&#39;re constantly finding yourself in the doghouse because you lack the romantic nature that your lady friend craves, this post is for you. Not only is this <a href="">list of gift ideas for your wife or girlfriend</a> romantic but it&#39;s also populated with inexpensive ideas that will win you a lot of points without dropping too much coin. (See also: <a href="">25 Thoughtful, Frugal, and Personalized Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>7. 8 Everyday Products You&#39;ve Been Using Wrong</h2> <p>This video list on <a href="">eight products that you&#39;ve been using wrong</a> will blow your mind. Did you know that the pop tab on a can of soda is a straw holder? Did you know that you can keep your aluminum foil roll from coming out of the box by pushing in built-in tabs on the side? Did you know that Chinese takeout boxes fold out into plates? You&#39;re welcome.</p> <h2>8. Top 10 Tricks for Getting Better Sleep</h2> <p>I&#39;m always looking for new ways to get off to dreamland faster, and I hit the jackpot with this list of <a href="">10 tricks to getting better sleep</a>. My personal favorites are to prepare a worthy bed &mdash; nothing beats the feeling of climbing into a seriously comfortable bed &mdash; and to cool yourself off at night. I always sleep better when I cuddle up in my own private igloo at night. My husband doesn&#39;t always love it, but that&#39;s what blanket and body heat are for, right? (See also: <a href="">Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>9. 16 Common Product Combinations You Should Never Mix</h2> <p>When I saw this list, it reminded me of that &quot;Who&#39;s the Boss?&quot; episode where Tony mixes ammonia and bleach and passes out on the kitchen floor. Most of us know that we shouldn&#39;t play amateur chemist with those particular solutions, but what else should we be warned against? Turns out vinegar and bleach is a volatile compound, as is Red Bull and milk. Take a look at what other items are incompatible in this list of <a href="">16 common product combinations you should never mix</a>.</p> <h2>10. 10 Simple Ways to Get Your Life Together</h2> <p>Are you feeling a little out of control lately? Too much chaos around you? Take back the wheel with this <a href="">list of simple ways to get your life together</a>. Tips range from super-easy solutions like making your bed (strange how such a simple task makes you feel so good, isn&#39;t it?), getting a haircut (I always feel freshly confident after a new &#39;do), balancing your checkbook, and cleaning out your wallet or purse.</p> <h2>11. 21 Cheap and Effective Tricks to Keep Your Home Safe</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Can&#39;t afford a monthly security subscription? Don&#39;t fret. You can potentially keep harm away from your home by instituting a plethora of <a href="">cheap and effective tricks to deter burglars</a>, which include installing dummy cameras; remembering to remove flyers from your doorstep; keeping your landscape well groomed; and perhaps the most genius one of all, pretending to say goodbye to someone in your home when you&#39;re on your way out.</p> <h2>12. The 5 Steps to Take to Get Your Finances on Track</h2> <p>What I like about this <a href="">list on how to get your finances on track in five steps</a> is its simplicity. There&#39;s no financial mumbo jumbo to decipher, and, most importantly, it doesn&#39;t talk down to you. We all get in a bind at times, but this piece will help you better manage your money puzzle without stressing too much.</p> <h2>13. 10 Best iPhone Apps to Help You Save</h2> <p>Chances are you have no lack of money-saving apps clogging up your iPhone, but do you have the best of the best? These 10 are <a href="">the best according to British personal finance blog Quid Corner</a>, and as it turns out they use the same apps we do.</p> <h2>14. 5 Ways to Stay Out of Debt in 2013</h2> <p>Sure, the year is coming to a close, but any way you can stay out debt is relevant now and forever. The tips in this piece on <a href="">how to stay out of debt in 2013</a> include limiting your expense (it&#39;s easy to go overboard at holiday time, especially), rethinking big-ticket items (even during those holiday sales), and reeling in your trips to restaurants.</p> <h2>15. How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</h2> <p>I had to include this list of <a href="">how to answer the 23 most common interview questions</a>, because it&#39;s still one of the most popular posts on Wise Bread six years after it originally was written (although it was updated just last month). If you&#39;re preparing for an interview, this is the post to consult so you can enter your potential new employer&#39;s office with confidence.</p> <h2>16. Top 10 Grooming Mistakes</h2> <p>My grooming habits are probably a little more comprehensive than many guys&#39;, but I don&#39;t know it all. Which is why I was happy to stumble upon this list featuring the <a href="">top 10 grooming mistakes</a>, including forgoing moisturizer; skimping on the sunscreen; and the one that&#39;s very near and dear to my heart (or should I say head): balding denial. (See also: <a href="">Quick and Dirty Skin Care for Men</a>)</p> <h2>17. 15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Most of us spend money &mdash; and lots of it &mdash; when we travel, but what if you could make money as you make your way around the world? It&#39;s totally possible &mdash; and there are more than a dozen ways to put some cash into your pocket while on vacation &mdash; according to this <a href="">list of 15 ways to make money while you travel</a>.</p> <h2>18. 7 Things You&#39;d Rather Not Know About Hot Dogs</h2> <p>The title of this list is completely accurate. I&#39;d rather not know <a href="">what I now know about hot dogs</a>. Tread lightly, lest your summer barbecues be ruined forever.</p> <h2>19. The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in America</h2> <p>I warned you in the intro that not all the lists that I deemed to be the 20 best on the Internet would be pretty. This <a href=";utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_content=hgh&amp;utm_campaign=Sept2013-hgh">list of the 25 most dangerous cities in America</a> is a prime example, but it&#39;s a must-read for anyone thinking about relocating to new city&hellip; whether it was before or after clicking through all 25.</p> <h2>20. 12 Important Things to Check When Inspecting a Potential Home</h2> <p>The <a href="">subhead to this article is &quot;Or live in misery FOREVER&quot;</a> &mdash; and anyone who&#39;s ever bought a home knows how true that is. The tips range from checking cell phone reception &mdash; which I should have done before moving to New York City (I live in the center of the freakin&#39; universe and I can barely make a call) &mdash; to making sure there are delivery joints nearby (you pull your hair out on a lazy Friday night if you haven&#39;t done your due diligence in this regard) to taking a peek inside the cabinets and underneath the sink to see what&#39;s going on. The latter is an issue my husband and I faced when we recently moved into a new home. I&#39;m glad we caught it before we closed on the property so it wasn&#39;t another pricey fix that we had to make after signing on the dotted line.</p> <p><em>Well that&#39;s my list of my favorite lists. Is yours on there?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Reverse engineer the best time of your life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips best of lifehacks lists Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:36:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1083925 at Reverse engineer the best time of your life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/reverse-engineer-the-best-time-of-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="hiker silhouette" title="Hiker Silhouette" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="373" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody has a &quot;best time&quot; of their life. Maybe it was the summer you spent hiking the Appalachian trail, or a semester abroad during college, or the second half of the first year at a new job (after you'd mastered the work and before it became routine). But why should the &quot;best time&quot; of your life be some time in the past? With some clear thinking and some effort, you can recapture what was great then for today.</p> <p>Reverse engineering means figuring out a design from a working example. (As opposed to regular engineering, where you start with theories and principles of what ought to work and then create a design from scratch.) If you're trying to build some something new or better, then regular engineering is probably the way to go. But if you've got a working example that's exactly what you want more of, then reverse engineering is often cheaper and often produces a better result. And what is more precisely &quot;what you want more of&quot; than the best time of your life?</p> <h2>The best of times</h2> <p>What makes one time better than another? It's different for everyone, of course--otherwise your high-school guidance counselor would have given you a pamphlet with all the answers. Certain threads show up repeatedly, though, so we've got a pretty good idea of the sorts of things that matter. The key is to figure out the right mix--and any elements that are unique to you.</p> <p>Note that it's okay to have more than one &quot;best time.&quot; In fact, the mark of complete success will be when a question about the best time in your life prompts you to say, &quot;How can I pick a best time, when all the times were so very good?&quot;</p> <p>The place to start is with some deep thinking about those &quot;best times.&quot; What was so great about them?</p> <p>Were you <strong>doing important work?</strong></p> <p>At a superficial level, many people remember a lazy summer or an island vacation as the best time of their life: They had minimal responsibilities. This is great for a few weeks, but it doesn't wear well. Much better is to do <a href="">work that matters</a>. And yet, there is also much to be said for <strong>responsibilities that don't weight too heavily</strong> on you. In this as in many things, it's important to strike a balance--and my advice is to look at your own experience for clues to the right balance for you.</p> <p>Were you <strong>part of a team?</strong></p> <p>Often the best times of your life will be times when you were doing something as part of a common endeavor. Sometimes you will be part of a team working together on a common project. Other times you might be part of a community of people working individually on related projects. One of the best times of my life was the six weeks I spent at the <a href="">Clarion science fiction and fantasy writers workshop</a>. We were all working on our own stories, but also working together to learn how to write great fiction.</p> <p>Were you <strong>optimally challenged?</strong></p> <p>Whether at work or at play, people thrive when confronted with tasks that are difficult enough to be challenging, but not so difficult as to be frustrating--or, at least, not constantly frustrating. Here again, what's optimal is different for everyone, both in terms of the level of difficulty (which should match your ability) and in the degree of frustration. Some people thrive in an environment where their successes are preceded by months of failure, while others prefer to achieve some level of success every day.</p> <p>Were you <strong>self-directed?</strong></p> <p>Another reason that vacations tend to be remembered fondly (besides the minimal responsibility) is the maximum freedom: They could set their own agenda--or have no agenda at all. Closely related to this is being in control, at least of the things that matter most to you. Of course, having someone who's both wise and clever be in charge has upsides of its own. There's a whole spectrum on the continuum from being micro-managed to being footloose and fancy free. The best times of your life were probably spent when you were in about the right place on that continuum.</p> <p>Were you <strong>respected by your peers?</strong></p> <p>There aren't many things more important than having your peers think well of you. Parents and teachers sometimes say &quot;It doesn't matter what other people think,&quot; but that's a lie (even though self-respect is even more fundamental). Of course, you have to be careful when happenstance throws you in with a bunch of creeps, slackers, or losers. Choose your own peers; don't let circumstances choose them for you.</p> <p>There are lots of other factors to think about. You were probably <strong>doing new things</strong> that interested you. You were probably <strong>learning new things</strong> and <strong>developing new skills</strong>. Perhaps you were <strong>interacting with people</strong> who were different from you. Perhaps you were <strong>advancing a cause</strong> that you believed in. Perhaps the challenges you faced were divided between <strong>physical and mental</strong> in a way that kept you both fit and alert. No doubt there are many factors I haven't thought of--including a few that are unique to you.</p> <p>Think about what it was that made the best times of your life so great. If you're a list-making sort, make a list.</p> <h2>Times versus moments</h2> <p>Some of the best times of our lives are not so much periods as they are moments. Those can rarely be recaptured. You only get one first kiss; the birth of your first child happens once at most.</p> <p>Sometimes a great moment can color the times around it. If you sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the championship game, that will likely make that whole season seem especially good in memory.</p> <p>Even in the moments, though, there are the clues as to what makes one time better than other--and that's what we're looking for. What it is about some particular moment that makes it great? Often it will be the sort of thing mentioned above: You overcame a challenge, your contributions to a group effort were recognized, you took a stand and turned out to be right.</p> <h2>Make these times like the best times</h2> <p>When you're just making a naked comparison between, let's say, the months you spent backpacking in Europe and your current life working in a cubicle (or the year you spent sailing around the world the world and your current life as a stay-at-home mom) it seems pretty tough to make these times more like those times. That's why we looked at the characteristics that went into making those times great. What you want to do now is introduce those characteristics into your life today.</p> <p>At the most basic level, this is easy: Do more of those things that you used to do then. (Make time by doing less of what you're doing now.) If your &quot;best times&quot; were, as many people's are, when you were a student or just out of school, you probably had less money then than you do now, so doing more of that stuff won't strain your finances.</p> <p>Of course, the specific things may be hard to manage--there are things you can do when you're living in a garret on the Left Bank that just aren't practical if you're living in a suburban split-level. But the specifics aren't so important as the characteristics. And you wouldn't want to repeat the specifics anyway--you've already done that.</p> <p>At the next level, start making more fundamental changes to your life. If the work you do isn't important, look for new work. Look around your current workplace for work that's worth doing and see if you can't arrange to do more of it. If there's no important work going on there, look around for places where there is. In any case, look for important work that you can do regardless of your job--volunteer work, artistic work, household work, etc.</p> <p>Some of these changes may take a long time, but this is one of the cases where even small incremental changes are worth making. If what sucks about your life now compared to when it was great is that you're not in control of how you spend your time, take control of one hour a week--anybody who's not a prisoner can do that.</p> <p>If your problem is that your work is not respected by your peers, start by looking at where the problem is. If it's in the quality of your work, then you can work on improving your skills. On the other hand, if it's because your so-called peers are a bunch of sneering jerks, look for new peers.</p> <p>Over time, you can make quite big changes--new job, new career, new home, new school, new course of study, new skills, new friends, new colleagues. If the ones you have now don't remind you of the ones you had during the best times of your life, start making changes. Start making <strong>these</strong> times more like <strong>those</strong> times.</p> <h2>Two kinds of balance</h2> <p>A lot of the best of times is a matter of balance. You want the right amount of responsibility, not too much. You want enough collaboration for the team to succeed, but enough solitude as well. You want to strike a balance between thinking and doing.</p> <p>Besides that, though, often the best times in your life are best because they're a change that gives you much more of what was lacking in your life. A vacation is great because it gives you leisure that was lacking. Your first job is great because it gives you money that was lacking.</p> <p>Sometimes you can find a perfect balance--just the right amount of leisure in your everyday life such that you never feel a need for a vacation. Other times, though, a series of changes is better than trying to find a single perfect spot. Serious runners don't try to find the one perfect workout and then do it every day. Instead, they mix it up. One day a week they do a long run. Three or four days later they do a fast run. In between they schedule short and medium runs or rest days, to give them time to recover. In some aspects, maybe the best of times will always be like this--only best for a while, after which you need to move on to something different. That's okay.</p> <p>Trying to engineer your life would be tough, which is why I recommend reverse engineering. Working from first principles about what makes a great life would be possible, but seems problematic in many ways. Fortunately, everybody has a time in their life that was the best so far. Use that as a model. You don't need to be a slave to it--if the best time of you life so far was high school you can probably do a lot better now--but it can show you one example of how to put things together to make a great life.</p> <p>Reverse engineer your way to saying that &quot;right now&quot; is the best time of your life.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Save Money on Travel Accommodations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The Cost of Full-Time Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Will &quot;forced frugality&quot; last?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle Art and Leisure best best of engineer engineering life reverse engineer Fri, 01 May 2009 09:33:35 +0000 Philip Brewer 3107 at Best of the Week <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-of-the-week" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman browsing laptop" title="woman browsing laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here are the can't miss reads from Wise Bread this week.</p> <p><strong><a href="/the-business-of-ebay">The Business of eBay</a></strong></p> <p>eBay powerseller Amy covers seven potential pitfalls new eBay sellers should know before getting started.</p> <p><strong><a href="/the-most-powerful-weapon-against-debt-your-mind">The Most Powerful Weapon Against Debt: Your Mind</a></strong></p> <p>Don't underestimate the effect negative thinking has on your bank account. Will turns common negative thoughts into contructive positive thinking.</p> <p><strong><a href="/frugal-is-more-than-a-way-to-spend-money-part-1">Frugal Is More Than a Way to Spend Money</a></strong></p> <p>Sarah asks the question, &quot;Nintendo Wii or student loans?&quot; Frugality is all about priorities.</p> <p><strong><a href="/micro-donations-for-darfur">Micro-Donations for Darfur</a></strong></p> <p>Micro-donations as little as $1 enable the cash strapped to give to good causes.</p> <p><strong><a href="/get-financially-organized">Get Financially Organized</a></strong></p> <p>Want to know where all your money goes? Jonathan provides a couple of pointers for getting our financial house in order.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Greg Go</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year&#039;s Resolution Stick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Less Awkward Ways to Ask a Friend for Your Money Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to Launder Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks best of round up Mon, 11 Dec 2006 14:29:16 +0000 Greg Go 68 at