General Tips en-US 16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="angry driver" title="angry driver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever gotten into such a tizzy in the car that your head nearly exploded? You're not the only one. reports that <a href="">66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving</a> &mdash; or &quot;road rage&quot; &mdash; and half of drivers who are on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves. (See also: <a href="">12 Ways You're Driving Your Coworkers Insane</a>)</p> <p>You can help prevent road rage, however, if you drive responsibly and recognize the common catalysts for most incidents. In no particular order, here are 16 highly contentious vehicular sins you might be committing that have the potential to escalate to a dangerous level.</p> <h2>1. Driving Slow in the Fast Lane and Refusing to Move Over</h2> <p>It's hard choose the most offensive of all driving offenses from this list, but this one is definitely near the top. There's nothing that will have me calling you all kinds of names not fit for church if you're driving five miles or more <em>under</em> the speed limit in the left lane of the highway. And on two lane highways? It's called the &quot;passing lane.&quot; If you aren't passing, move right!</p> <h2>2. Keeping Pace With the Car Next to You So No One Behind Can Pass</h2> <p>Yeah, you know this guy. He's driving the exact speed as the car next to him so nobody behind can pass. Not only is this really creepy &mdash; I don't want some stranger staring me down for an extended period of time while I'm driving &mdash; but it's also downright rude. Speed up or fall back so I can escape this torture already.</p> <h2>3. Riding Your Brakes for No Apparent Reason</h2> <p>What's that ahead of you? Oh, nothing? You just want to press on your brakes every 10 seconds because you feel like 25 in a 35-mile-per-hour zone is too fast? Or maybe you're just a poor driver who needs to be reevaluated by the DMV. Whatever the case, get with the program pal; people are losing their patience.</p> <h2>4. Endangering Lives Because You're Fiddling With Your Phone</h2> <p>Everybody thinks that they've mastered the skill &mdash; and maybe you have &mdash; but you also have to consider the unpredictability of other drivers on the road who can do any number of things to affect your own driving. The National Safety Council reports that<a href=""> more than 25% of all automobile crashes are associated with cell phone use</a> these days. And if you're not paying attention, the potential outcome of this situation can be worse than you've ever imagined. If you're at fault, you might be paying for it for the rest of your life. Listen to Oprah, folks; don't text (or talk or browse the Internet) and drive.</p> <h2>5. Flying Into a Rage for No Good Reason</h2> <p>Did the driver that offended you really do something so bad that you now have to go to confession this weekend? Probably not, so why did you react so aggressively?</p> <p>Author Rachelle Henry thinks that it's important to <a href="">not project your feelings onto others</a> &mdash; especially when in the car &mdash; if they really didn't do anything wrong. &quot;When I had a job that I hated, every morning during my morning commute someone managed to upset me by doing something 'stupid,' and I would become irrationally angry,&quot; she says. &quot;When I no longer had that job and was happy, I let things roll off of me.&quot; It's all about perspective, my friends. Evaluate your happiness level to see if there's a reason you're lashing out prematurely.</p> <h2>6. Failing to Use Blinkers When Changing Lanes</h2> <p>How am I supposed to know that you'd like to get in front of me or that you'd like to glide across three lanes of traffic in an attempt to avoid missing the exit if you don't have a blinker on? I don't &mdash; which makes for an excellent case in court when you cause a crash.</p> <h2>7. Speeding Up When You Spot Someone Trying to Merge</h2> <p>It never fails that as soon as I turn my blinker on to merge into another lane, the person trailing behind me in the intended lane suddenly gets a lead foot. It's one of those give-me-strength moments that are best handled with regulated breathing and a long count to 10.</p> <h2>8. Turning on Your Blinker Two Seconds Before You Turn</h2> <p>It would be nice to know that you'd like to make that right turn more than a few seconds before you make it. But what do you care, right? If I rear-end you, it's my fault regardless. Don't be that person.</p> <h2>9. Weaseling Your Way Into the On- or Off-Ramp at the Last Second</h2> <p>Listen, I live in Manhattan, where traffic is treacherous nearly 24/7, so I understand the plight of not wanting to wait in line for another dreadful few minutes to take the next exit. But have some compassion. The folks ahead of you have been waiting <em>longer</em> than you, so it's a real you-know-what move to cut them off so you can get home quicker.</p> <p>It might also be helpful to know that you could become fodder for someone else when you act a fool, like so many people did for Kerri Kochanski, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1482319403&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=X4O4CXRKNHQFHKUS">1,001 People That Suck</a>, which features an entire chapter on road rage. &quot;One day I was so aggravated by a driver who cut me off,&quot; she says. &quot;Instead of stalking and confronting the driver, or turning my anger inward, I decided to write a book about this person &mdash; and other anonymous people who do rude, crappy things and get away with it. Maybe they wouldn't suffer a consequence from their actions, but at least they would be 'officially' labeled as 'people that suck.' And that would make me feel better, and it would prevent me from landing in jail.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Blasting Your Horn Prematurely</h2> <p>The light <em>just</em> turned green. Give the driver a break before you fly into a blaring, obnoxious fit because they didn't take off like it's the Daytona 500 the moment the light changed.</p> <h2>11. Rubbernecking</h2> <p>We're all guilty of this, which is the problem. Rubbernecking jams up the road so badly that the delay can last for miles &mdash; even when the accident is on the other side of the road. As soon as you pass it, however, it's a wide-open highway. Why, whhhhhy do we do this to ourselves?</p> <h2>12. Bicyclists Who Don't Follow the Rules of the Road</h2> <p>I've seen bicyclists who have purposefully gone the opposite way of oncoming traffic, those who have blown through red lights with absolutely no regard for drivers, and riders who take up a regular traffic lane with their 14-miles-per-hour nonsense and don't give a lick that anybody's behind them. Note to all the bicyclists out there: You're riding a bike; the rest of us are driving cars. One hurts a whole lot more than the other, so be courteous and obey the rules.</p> <h2>13. Holding Up Turning Traffic When You're Not Turning in a Turn-Only Lane</h2> <p>Many times this is a mistake, so I'll just impart on you that it's important to pay attention to the signs painted on the road ahead of you. If you're not turning, you shouldn't be in the turn-only lane holding up everybody else. That's a real good way to get beeped to death in some places.</p> <h2>14. Multitasking at the Wheel</h2> <p>We've already discussed how you shouldn't fiddle with your phone while you're driving, but there are other distractions that can cause problems on the road. Here's a quick list of no-nos: Eating, putting on makeup, reading a newspaper (I have seen this in action and I was in total shock), doing anything with the person in the passenger seat that would be deemed illegal if you got caught, doing anything with yourself that would be deemed illegal if you got caught. Focus on safe driving so everybody gets home with all the parts with which they started the day.</p> <h2>15. Standing in a Parking Space to Save It</h2> <p>I believe in first-come, first-served, so if the vehicle is not around to claim a spot, you shouldn't have your body in it so nobody else can take it; that's not how this works.</p> <p>Last holiday season I encountered a girl in a parking space that she refused to give up to four nice ladies in a car that pulled up because her &quot;mother was on the way.&quot; She also claimed that her mother was handicapped, at which point I showed her the very available handicapped spot just across the street. She didn't want to hear any of it, refused to budge, and basically wore the four nice ladies down until they moved along. Of course, when her mother showed up (who was driving and also flipped the ladies off), the only handicap she appeared to have was an incredibly rude daughter.</p> <h2>16. Swooping Into a Parking Spot That Has Been Claimed by Another Driver</h2> <p>This is another personal situation I've dealt with, and maybe you have too. I drove around a busy parking lot on a Saturday afternoon for what seemed like forever until I finally found a spot. I put my blinker on and waited for the car to pull out so I could pull in. Before I had a chance, however, a car swooped in from the opposite direction and slid right in. And wouldn't you know that she had the audacity to start screaming at me when I expressed my frustration at her for being selfish and inconsiderate? Soooome people!</p> <p><em>Do you have driving scenarios that are likely to send someone into road rage that you'd like to add? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments section below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Lifestyle Personal Development general tips lifestyle personal development Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1216065 at 10 Things Interviewers Really Want to Know When They Ask These Questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-interviewers-really-want-to-know-when-they-ask-these-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't take your interviewer's questions at face value. Often, the reasons why she's asking you these questions is not just to hear your answers, but to read in between the lines and find out what your intentions are and how your character is. We've listed a couple of the most <a href="">popular interview questions</a> below and what the interviewer <em>really</em> means when they ask you these questions.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="">9 Costly Interview Mistakes That Can Lose You That Job Offer</a></p> <h2>1. Tell Me About Yourself</h2> <p>Okay, you should ace this question because it's the most basic and expected question out of every job interview. We want to see how you carry yourself and how articulate you are. We also want to know what you think are the highlights of yourself and your career and what's special about you.</p> <h2>2. What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?</h2> <p>You know this question is coming, let's see how honest and thoughtful you can be. Not to mention how prepared you are. Please don't give us the clichés like, &quot;My weakness is I work too hard.&quot; We can see right through that. <a href="">This question</a> can reveal how self-aware you are and how proactive you are when a problem arises.</p> <h2>3. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?</h2> <p>We want to make sure you're here for the long haul and you've really thought about this. It takes resources to train a new hire, so ideally, we would like you to stay a while. Your answer will clue us into your ambition as well, and if you've truly thought about what your career track with us will be like. It's a chance for us to hear your strengths and your goals.</p> <h2>4. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?</h2> <p>We want to make sure you really want to work for us and that you did your research. We don't want to hire people who just want this job because it's a job.</p> <h2>5. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?</h2> <p>Was there drama in your last company? We're actually curious to see if you left your company on good or bad terms. Obviously, most of you will catch on to this question, but your answer can also give us an insight into your relationship with your former company and how you work. If you badmouth your previous employer, no matter what the circumstance, we'll probably take it as a red flag. We also want to make sure that you're not going to leave our company for the same reason.</p> <h2>6. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?</h2> <p>This is my opportunity to see if you have been paying attention and how passionate you are about this position and company. It's also a test to see how much homework you've done on the company and the position. This can be your chance to wow us, and it can be one of the most memorable things about a candidate.</p> <h2>7. [Insert Incredibly Hard Problem]</h2> <p>We want to know how you think on your feet and what your thought process is like. You <a href="">may not be able to answer this question</a>, but we want to see how you deal with the stress of not being able to answer the question and to see if you can at least tell us the steps you would take to find the answer. This shows good initiative and problem-solving skills. We're not looking for someone who would give up as soon as something hard comes their way.</p> <h2>8. [Insert Surprising Question]</h2> <p>Okay, you may be completely thrown off by this question, but we want that to happen. It may elicit a more genuine reaction and that's what we really want to see. Perhaps, we can catch a glimpse of your personality.</p> <h2>9. What Would Your Co-Workers Say About You?</h2> <p>We want to know how you think others view you. It says something about how self-aware you are, and it can clue us into how your relationships with your former co-workers are.</p> <h2>10. What Are Your Hobbies?</h2> <p>We want to know what you are like as a person outside of your job. This is a good time to bring up your side projects and impressive hidden talents. What you do with your free time can be a big reflection of what kind of employee you will be. For example, having a successful Etsy store can show us that you're productive, driven, passionate, and creative. This is your chance to stand out and share something personal about yourself that will make us remember you.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn to read the truth behind these common job interview questions, so you can respond with the answers that get you hired. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href=""><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a></li> <li><a href="">5 Things to Bring to a Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="">13 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Job Hunting Job Interview questions underlying meaning Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:00:05 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1203902 at 6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends talking" title="friends talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Friendship is one of the best and purest pleasures of life. There's nothing quite like having a good friend who walks beside you through the thick and thin, who knows you inside and out, and who helps make your life richer and more meaningful.</p> <p>But&hellip; that takes a lot of work. When you're run down, exhausted, sick, or otherwise unable to put the energy and effort into your friendships in the ways you want to or the ways you've done before, it's easy to start to wonder if your friends will all run away. (See also: <a href="">50 Fun, Free Ways to Have a Great Time With Friends</a>)</p> <p>While a true friend won't leave you when you're in distress, even if you have absolutely nothing to give to them or the relationship, it can ease your anxiety to know that there are some easy, effortless things you can do that make you a better friend. These can make both you and your friend feel better about your relationship, even when things are hard.</p> <h2>1. Be Yourself</h2> <p>It's easy to feel like your friends want you to be a certain person or act a certain way. However, real friends just want you to be you. And, honestly, what could be easier? To be a good friend, stop worrying. Stop worrying about how you're coming across, about what they might be thinking, and about whether they might rather be with someone else.</p> <p>Instead, give them the gift of you. Stop making the whole thing harder than it is. Offer yourself, and you may find that your friends are freed to do the same, which makes any relationship stronger.</p> <h2>2. Ask Them How They Feel</h2> <p>We have all heard about how empathy is important and how it makes relationships stronger, and most of us have experienced it with some friend, at some time. However, empathy often takes so much energy! Fortunately, <a href="">it's easy to show empathy</a> even when you're not feeling it or you don't know how to start.</p> <p>When a friend is sharing something that they're struggling with, ask them how they feel about it. After they've shared how they're feeling, tell them, &quot;That sounds like a rough place to be,&quot; or, &quot;It sounds like this is difficult for you.&quot; This helps them feel heard, with little effort on your part.</p> <p>While you shouldn't fake empathy when you really don't value it, these phrases can help you seem empathic even when you're tired, stressed, or otherwise too drained. It takes almost no effort to say these phrases, and you can decide later if you really have the energy to listen well, or if your friend just needs permission to vent.</p> <h2>3. Stop Giving Advice</h2> <p>We want to help our friends, and we feel like we should. However, we will help more by simply listening, which frees us from the burden of figuring out all of their problems.</p> <p>Giving advice can feel good in a friendship, but it takes quite a bit of energy to think up solutions for their problems that might actually work. And, in fact, this is not your job. Most people are perfectly capable of managing their own lives, when they're given the chance to do so. When you stop giving advice, you won't expend as much energy owning their problems, and they will find that they have the power and ability to solve things on their own.</p> <p>Quitting advice can also save your friendships from becoming unbalanced. If you give all the advice and they always receive it, it's hard to have a real friendship. You become a counselor, and they may feel like they don't have much to offer you. When you quit giving advice, you not only save your energy but you might salvage a relationship, too.</p> <h2>4. Tell Them You Enjoy Their Presence</h2> <p>When you're tired, it's easy to act and feel down in general, and your friends may not know that this has nothing to do with them. Reassure them by telling them that you enjoy them, that your life is better because they are there, or that their friendship makes a hard time better.</p> <p>Doing this will make you a better friend even when you're not tired, and it never takes much effort. Friendship can be confusing and difficult to navigate even in the best of times, and it's always better to tell people exactly where they stand, especially when doing so will help them relax in your presence.</p> <h2>5. Smile</h2> <p><a href="">Smiling is contagious</a>. When you see someone smile, your brain wants to do the same in return. So you smile. And when you smile, all sorts of good things happen in your body and your brain. You release endorphins, which make you feel better, and you look more attractive to others.</p> <p>Guess what? When your friends smile, they experience the same effects. Thus, offering your friend a smile (which their body almost forces them to return), does them a huge favor and probably makes them feel better about their relationship with you, even if they aren't sure why.</p> <h2>6. Say &quot;Please&quot; And &quot;Thank You&quot;</h2> <p>It's perfectly acceptable to ask your friends for help. In fact, it might even be <a href="">good for you</a>. When you do ask for help, though, be sure to use &quot;please&quot; and &quot;thank you.&quot;</p> <p>These words are more than just polite niceties. When used with a genuine tone of voice, they <a href="">show your friends that they are important to you</a>. &quot;Please&quot; shows that you value your friend and his or her resources &mdash; time, energy, money, etc. &mdash; that you are asking for, and that you understand they will have to give of themselves to meet your request.</p> <p>&quot;Thank you&quot; indicates similar things. Saying these words means that you accept the gift your friend has just given you, whatever it is, and that you appreciate it and are grateful, both for the gift and for them.</p> <p><em>How do you show your friends you care when you're worn out? Have you ever had a friend do something that was effortless for them but meant a lot to you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development friends friendship relationships Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1211248 at 6 Painless Ways to Split the Check <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-painless-ways-to-split-the-check" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends smartphone resturant" title="friends smartphone resturant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2014, also known as the year we all ought to rid ourselves of the long, awkward shuffle of money and pencil-drawn arithmetic that happens each time the bill comes after a nice dinner out with friends. Why? Because there's an app for that &mdash; actually, there are six of 'em &mdash; and you've already proven you need it. Plus waitresses across the globe are tired of splitting the bill between three cards and a crumpled up fistfull of cash. (See also: <a href="">Who Should Pay for the First Date?</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top six apps made to relieve the burden of shared expenses. (Note: If you're the type to try and dodge paying for the guacamole everyone tasted, there's not an app out there that'll help you with that.)</p> <h2>1. Splitwise</h2> <p>This free web and mobile app helps friend <a href="">settle up everything from shared vacation expenses to the electric bill</a>. It's an organizer that allows large groups of people to collectively break down all types of expenses and see what they owe. All data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed and shared from anywhere. The app also offers users mediation tools including a fairness calculator to help settle disputes.</p> <h2>2. Divvy</h2> <p>Divvy is a quick and easy three-step debt settler app for iPhone users. It works like this: Snap a photo of the bill with your phone, drag each item to the name of the person who ordered it, and <a href="">see how much everyone owes</a>. Bonus: You can check that you've been charged the correct amount for each item before itemizing the order. Divvy is 99 cents in the App Store.</p> <h2>3. Cover</h2> <p>Some of the top restaurants in New York and San Francisco are now allowing customers to pay with Cover, a free bill-paying app that allows groups of people large and small to split and pay the check <a href="">without ever having to flag down the waiter</a>. Never again will you be stuck waiting for the bill. Simply tell your waiter that you'll be paying with Cover when you sit down to dine at any of the <a href="">113 restaurants that support the app</a>. Cover is free, available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and works best if everyone at the table is signed up.</p> <h2>4. Billr</h2> <p>Groups of up to 16 people can use this app to <a href="">sort and split the bill, plus add gratuity</a>. All you have to do plug in the price of each dish. You can then show each person their individualized bill on your phone screen or send out a text message that lists the breakdown of everybody's debts. Billr is $1.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.</p> <h2>5. Advanced Bill Splitter</h2> <p>This Android-friendly app is free and performs much like its Apple supported counterpart Billr. Simply plug in everyone's order, including split items like that bottle of Malbec, and the app will spit out <a href="">personalized meal totals for each diner</a>. Much easier than breaking out the calculator.</p> <h2>6. Receipt Ninja</h2> <p>Perfect for road trips and weekend getaways with friends, Receipt Ninja lets you track and break down shared expenses on multiple receipts. It's a great way to <a href=";hl=en">divvy up gas, tolls, lunch, and hotel charges all in one fell swoop</a>. You can also export the data in spreadsheet form straight to Excel. And it's supported by both Apple and Android mobile devices. There's a free version, but if you want to avoid those annoying ads you'll need to cough up $2.99 in the App Store.</p> <p><em>How do you settle up at the end of the evening? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Painless Ways to Split the Check" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping dining out friends and money restaurant check restaurants splitting the bill Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1210859 at 6 Ways to Trick Salespeople <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-trick-salespeople" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="car salesman" title="car salesman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You have to deal with a salesperson to make a big purchase.</p> <p>It might be a refrigerator, a car, or even a house. Very often, you feel dissatisfied with the way a negotiation went. You may walk away feeling like you got taken for a ride, and that you had no defense for the wiles of the salesperson. (See also: <a href="">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>)</p> <p>Well, it's time to stop thinking about defense. It's time to turn the tables and start owning the outcome of your big purchases. To jumpstart your negotiations, learn these six ways to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople.</p> <h2>1. Buy Them a Cup of Coffee</h2> <p>Apply the <a href="">rule of reciprocation</a> on salespeople.</p> <p>When you first encounter a salesperson, greet her with a small gift (something as small as a piece of gum) or do a small favor for her (open the door). The idea is that you are binding the person to return the favor.</p> <p>No matter where in the world you are, this is a trick that works in negotiation. No matter how cheap your gift is, it will dramatically improve your chances of getting what you want. For example, in a study restaurant servers who presented the check with a mint and then paused to give the customer a second mint and tell them that this one is just for them got a <a href="">20% increase in their normal tips</a>.</p> <p>Ideally, buy them a mug of coffee, a cup of strong tea, or a can of Coke. Turns out that consumption of <a href="">caffeine makes people much easier to persuade</a>. Just don't use the drinks from the waiting room; instead bring one from outside that &quot;is just for them.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Talk Fast at the Beginning</h2> <p>Right after you hand that free cup of coffee, get the talking going&hellip; fast!</p> <p><a href=";fa=main.doiLanding&amp;doi=10.1037/0022-3514.34.4.615">Fast talkers are perceived to be more persuasive</a>. The sweet point is about 195 words per minute, fast enough to force salespeople to focus, yet slow enough for them to still understand you. If you talk beyond 195 words, people start judging if you really know your stuff.</p> <p>If you keep a fast pace, people don't have enough time to come up with counter arguments. So, channel your inner <a href="">John Moschitta</a> and start practicing that fast talk.</p> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>3. Slow Down Once They Agree</h2> <p>However, once you have the salesperson agreeing with you, start slowing down. If you <a href="">talk too fast to somebody that agrees with your message</a>, then you have the reverse effect as talking fast.</p> <p>Even when somebody welcomes your ideas, you need to give them time to evaluate your speech and agree with you more.</p> <p>This is when you slow down from 196 words per minute to about 144. If you talk slower than that, people start perceiving you not as persuasive again.</p> <h2>4. Curse Smartly</h2> <p>If you think that good negotiation skills and cursing don't go together, let me tell you that's some BS.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that you're going to open a can of potty mouth and spread it all over the place. The key is to <a href="">use the word &quot;damn&quot; towards the beginning or end of your speech</a>. The tactical use of this word significantly increases not only the persuasiveness of your speech, but also the perceived intensity of your words in the mind of the listener.</p> <p>Researchers theorize that the smart use of curse words gives the impression that you are being candid and not following somebody else's agenda.</p> <h2>5. Look &quot;Eye-to-Eye&quot;</h2> <p>Take a cue from waiters and waitresses on how to get what you want.</p> <p>A study from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration found several <a href="">techniques employed by servers to increase their tips</a>. One that stands out for our purposes is &quot;seeing eye-to-eye.&quot;</p> <p>This means to:</p> <ul> <li>Establish eye contact throughout your conversation;</li> <li>Bring your face closer to that of the salesperson;</li> <li>Position yourself so that your eyes are at the same height;</li> <li>Mimic the salesperson's body language and posture.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Learn the Four Square System</h2> <p>Think of good salespeople and you're likely to think of car salespeople.</p> <p>You might not like some of their techniques, but in the end they do a decent job at getting you to buy a car. A cornerstone of their technique is the four square system.</p> <p>The main idea of this worksheet is to take the attention from the total price and focus the entire conversation on the monthly payment. Any good car salesperson knows that you can wiggle the monthly payment without lowering the total price. For example, you can:</p> <ul> <li>Increase the number of payments;</li> <li>Provide a bigger down payment;</li> <li>Accept a bigger value for a trade-in.</li> </ul> <p><a href="">Read this confessional from a car salesman</a> on how to work the four square worksheet so that you can use it towards your advantage, or simply &quot;flip the table&quot; by demanding that it is not used in your negotiation at all.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite way to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Trick Salespeople" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping deals haggling negotiation sales salespeople Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1210856 at Successful Men Carry These 7 Things Around With Them — Do You? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/successful-men-carry-these-7-things-around-with-them-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="businessman smartphone" title="businessman smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To succeed in this world, it takes smarts, confidence, likability &mdash; and a handful of portable items to help you stay organized, current, fit, and performing at the top of your game. (See also: <a href="">Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the things every man should keep within reach if he hopes to share a seat among the best.</p> <h2>1. Mobile Devices &mdash; Complete With On-the-Go Juice</h2> <p>You've got to stay connected, even when you're on the run. Smartphones, tablets, and whatever other gadgets help you keep up with email, news, and your loved ones' birthdays are essential. But what good are they when they're out of juice?</p> <p>A successful man needs to be powered up &mdash; at home, at the office, and in places where wall outlets don't exist (like the backseat of a taxi). That's why portable chargers are every successful man's must-have device.</p> <p>We recommend <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A35KPQQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3FNUBTEJ6JFRFBSI">IOGEAR's GearPower portable battery line</a>. (Pros: Allows for multi-device charging. Cons: Too big for your back pocket.)</p> <p>Or try the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AANQLRI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QKI72NMISGX5P7L4">Jackery Giant</a> (Pros: Cheaper than most competing brands. Cons: It's a bit heavy.)</p> <h2>2. A Slim Wallet</h2> <p>The successful man is too sophisticated to be shoving crumpled up bills and receipts in his pockets. A slim, sleek wallet with room for cash, credit cards, and business cards is a necessity for any man to be taken seriously.</p> <p>We recommend this <a href="">timeless bi-fold design</a> available at Target. (Pros: It's inexpensive and fits as many cards as will fit in your pocket. Cons: It doesn't allow much room for anything beyond the basics &mdash; cash and about a dozen cards if you double-up.)</p> <p>Or carry this <a href="">English-made travel wallet</a> by Corter. (Pros: Fits your passport, boarding passes, and a small notebook. Cons: Good luck fitting it in your pocket.)</p> <p>Whatever you choose: keep it light, and store your receipts elsewhere. George Constanza is not a wallet role-model.</p> <h2>3. A Memorable Business Card</h2> <p>The successful man knows his business card isn't merely an old-school status symbol to pass around at board meetings. It's his trademark &mdash; a snack-size version of his personality and business merits smartly packaged on a well-designed rectangle. Trumping even the Twitter feed, the business card is the most influential marketing tool he has. It's something he offers every new friend, acquaintance, and business connection. That's because the successful man knows everyone has something to offer. You can never tell whether it's the guy in the corner office or the bell boy down the street who will lead to that next big client, sale, or promotion.</p> <h2>4. A Nice Watch</h2> <p>It doesn't need to break the bank. But the successful man knows a good-looking wrist watch is more than a vanity piece. It's a symbol of maturity, reliability, and taste. It puts him on the same plane as as Tony Blair, who reportedly owns dozens of them, and President Barack Obama, who sports a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002C40I18&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YTHHGH5QZNRI3KCN">Jorg Gray 6500 Chronometer</a> designed specifically for the Secret Service.</p> <p>&quot;Watches are <a href="">one of the few items that a man can wear that he believes display true character</a>, signal that he is a member of a particular club &mdash; whether it's an Audemars Piguet or a Swatch &mdash; and indulge in a little dose of extravagance without, generally, drawing criticism,&quot; writes Jeremy Langmead of the Guardian.</p> <h2>5. A Healthy Snack</h2> <p>The successful man needs fuel to perform his best. And he knows it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins.</p> <p>The natural fiber in apples and bananas can help keep focus between meals. Nuts like almonds and dried fruit like raisins are high in protein, which prevent energy levels from dropping during that mid-morning slump.</p> <h2>6. A Goal List</h2> <p>The successful man knows that dreams remain dreams until he sets them as goals. One way to forge the transition is to <a href="">create a big, bold, unfiltered list of them</a>. Once he has identified all the things he wants to accomplish, he's better poised to script a roadmap detailing what he needs to do to get there. Then all he's got to do it stick to it.</p> <p>Don't be afraid to declare your goals aloud to friends and family. Michael Phelps asserted to the news media his goal to win the gold in the 2012 London Olympic Games &mdash; something he accomplished twice, making him the most decorated Olympian in history.</p> <h2>7. A Gym Membership Card</h2> <p>Exercise is a staple of the successful man's regular routine. And not because he's trying to get chiseled abs. A <a href="">good workout boosts energy</a>, relieves stress, and releases those feel-good endorphins that make him feel like he can most certainly conquer the world &mdash; and smile while doing it.</p> <p><em>What's in your wallet? (Or pocket, or satchel, or briefcase?) Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Successful Men Carry These 7 Things Around With Them — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips accessories goals success things to carry Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1209129 at 8 Giveaways That People Were Just Talking About You <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-giveaways-that-people-were-just-talking-about-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="gossiping" title="gossiping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Call me paranoid, but I know when people have been talking about me. Even though people are known to lie all the time (especially little &quot;white&quot; lies), human nature isn't very comfortable with telling untruths. Talking about someone behind their back, and then having to see them face-to-face, often feels like a deception. This is why it's often very telling that you were the subject of their conversations. Most people, in fact, have a &quot;tell.&quot; (See also: <a href="">How to Tell If Someone is Lying</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few of them, along with what you should do when they've been made.</p> <h2>1. Uncomfortable Silence</h2> <p>If your co-worker is a non-stop talker in most situations, an uncharacteristic lack of speaking when you enter the room may mean she was talking about you. A lack of communication from a whole room is almost always a dead giveaway. One way to break up the awkwardness and possibly get more information is to joke about silence. A simple &quot;it's always quietest when I enter a room&quot; comment will at least put the responsibility to respond back on the shoulders of your co-workers.</p> <h2>2. Overacting</h2> <p>On the other end of the spectrum is this horrible cover-up for gossip. Nervous laughter, animated movements, and loud talking is one way people try to &quot;go about their business&quot; when almost getting busted in a good round of idle chatter. A simple, &quot;It's so lovely to see you enjoying yourself&quot; can feel like hot coals on the head of the busybody. And it delivers the point.</p> <h2>3. Failure to Delete</h2> <p>While many instances of talking behind someone's back happen IRL (in real life), email and social media is full of backbiting and petty slander. The horror of discovering that a chain of email gossip was forwarded on &mdash; intentionally or not &mdash; to the subject of the conversation has happened in many offices and has even landed the chatterers in the unemployment line. If you suspect that someone is talking about you via email or social media, you often have to look no further than the bottom of a long, long thread of replies.</p> <h2>5. The Company They Keep</h2> <p>If someone you know or respect is surrounded by three or four people who are known to dislike you, the chances they are giving you a glowing review aren't good. That will also say something about your acquaintance's choice in friends (and whether you should reconsider your relationship).</p> <h2>6. Rapid Scatter</h2> <p>Did everyone suddenly have somewhere to go when you came upon them? Not a good sign. While this is mostly limited to horribly formulaic sitcoms, it can still happen in the real world. When the room empties out as soon as you enter, it's a good sign that you were the topic of interest moments earlier (or you really need a shower).</p> <h2>7. Sickening Sweetness</h2> <p>Many two-faced people wear both sides of their faces very, very well. When they are mean, they are brutal; when they are nice, they are disturbingly so. If you happen upon someone who offers to pour your coffee, asks about your day, and goes on and on about your blouse or hair &mdash; and you're not particularly close &mdash; something is up. They could be going for your job at work, or they may have just wrapped up a session about your shortcomings. In any case, they should not be trusted.</p> <h2>8. Gossip About Others</h2> <p>Blabbermouths rarely stop blabbering; people who love to talk about others usually show no discrimination, either. If you are friends with someone who can't stop their busy-body behavior in front of you, it's not likely they shut it off when you're not around. Your best bet is to never trust a gossip, as they almost always talk about those closest to them, and the next time could be about you!</p> <p>Whether you choose to confront a gossip is completely up to you. It may be good to air out any concerns you have, especially where your personal life is concerned. When it comes to the workplace, however, things are always a bit more tricky. Confronting a boss or a boss's favorite could come back to bite you. Unless the talking behind your back is truly scandalous (resulting in damages), you may be better off to ignore it and write the person off as someone to never, ever put your trust in again.</p> <p><em>How do you know when someone is gossiping about you? Dish in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Giveaways That People Were Just Talking About You" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips backbiting gossip lies trust Sat, 13 Sep 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1209128 at 6 Easy Tricks to Become Instantly More Likeable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-tricks-to-become-instantly-more-likeable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends talking" title="friends talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people attract new friends and opportunities like a magnet. It's in their DNA. (See also: <a href="">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a>)</p> <p>But likability can also be learned by about 90% of people, according to Rohit Bhargava, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1118137531&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=726ZQUCKEFE5SK6H">Likeonomics</a>. The benefits are astounding: better relationships, stronger networks, more career success. That's because people want to be in the company of likable people. And they want to help them out.</p> <p>And we want to help <em>you</em> out, so read on for six simple tricks to grow your appeal and charisma.</p> <h2>1. Raise Your Eyebrows and Turn the Corners of Your Lips Up</h2> <p>People who seem honest and trustworthy are well-liked and <a href="">it all boils down to the shape and features of the face</a>. People with square jaws, broad chins, high cheekbones, full lips, and brown eyes tend to be perceived as genuine and therefore more likeable.</p> <p>&quot;Whether we like it or not, previous well-documented research has shown that people tend to perceive certain personality characteristics or traits in individuals based on the structure of their face,&quot; said Daniel Gill of the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow. &quot;This means some people can be judged to be untrustworthy or domineering simply by how they look &mdash; a square jaw and large brow conveying dominance, for example. It can have implications for things like mate selection and job opportunities.&quot;</p> <p>But if anatomy isn't in your favor, there's a simple facial expression you can employ to boost your appearance of trustworthiness: <a href=";auto_play=true&amp;section=mm-featured">raise your eyebrows and curl your lips into a slight smile</a>. Researchers say people who activate this expression on their face are more likely to win the affections of people they encounter.</p> <h2>2. Smile Only When It's Genuine</h2> <p>Research shows that <a href="">a spontaneous smile engages certain muscles around the eyes</a> that aren't triggered when a person flashes a courtesy smile. That means a genuine smile has greater social currency than a forced one because other people can actually detect whether it's authentic or fake.</p> <h2>3. If You're a Woman, Wear Makeup</h2> <p>Harvard researchers found that <a href="">women who wear makeup are perceived to be more confident, competent, and attractive</a>. In a word: likeable. Sarah Vickery, a Procter and Gamble scientist who helped author the study, explained to the New York Times that cosmetics &quot;can significantly change how people see you, how smart people think you are on first impression, or how <a href="">warm and approachable</a>, and that look is completely within a woman's control, when there are so many things you cannot control.&quot; All it takes is a coat of blush, lip gloss, and a whisk of mascara.</p> <h2>4. Make Good Eye Contact</h2> <p>One of the most effective ways to connect with another person is to look them in the eyes. It's a major cue that you're present, listening, genuinely interested, and honest in your own remarks. <a href="">Failure to look another person in the eyes</a>, on the other hand, is an indicator of untrustworthiness, embarrassment, and an overall lack of confidence. These are qualities you'll want to steer clear from on your journey to becoming more charismatic.</p> <h2>5. Don't Sit With Your Arms and Legs Crossed</h2> <p>People who take on relaxed resting poses that occupy a great amount of space are generally perceived as powerful, which is an attribute other people tend to be attracted to since the human brain equates power to competence. Not only that, but research shows that people who take on expansive, open poses aren't just perceived as being more powerful &mdash; <a href="">they actually begin to feel more powerful, too</a>. So stand tall, stretch your shoulders back, and resist the urge to pull your arms in tight against your torso. You are important, so don't be afraid to take up space.</p> <h2>6. Help Others &mdash; No Strings Attached</h2> <p>Adding value to other people's lives is really quite simple. And it can go a long way to help you organically grow your network of acquaintances and friends. So connect friends with friends who can help one another achieve a common goal. Lend out the lawnmower. Pick up an acquaintance from the airport. The key is this: <a href="">Don't expect or ask for anything in return</a>. The favors and help you dole out will come back to you down the road when you need them.</p> <p><em>How do you make yourself more likeable? Please share in comments &mdash; we'll like you if you do!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Easy Tricks to Become Instantly More Likeable" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development charisma charm friendship likeable Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1209021 at 6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="meditation nature" title="meditation nature" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money, work, the economy, family responsibilities, personal relationships, and health are today's top triggers of stress, according to research by the American Psychological Association. No one is immune, but luckily we all have the power to reduce the amount of stress we experience in day-to-day life. Yet research shows only 37% of Americans feel they are doing an <a href="">adequate job of managing their stress</a>.</p> <p>Believe it or not, stress relief doesn't have to be so hard. There are lots of little tools and tricks you can use as you go about your day to help release those tightly wound tensions in the body and mind. No hypnotists or expensive yoga retreats required. (See also: <a href="">20 Free or Really Cheap Ways to Reduce Stress</a>)</p> <p>Read on for a roundup of our six favorite de-stressors that are simple, effective, and guaranteed to make you feel a little bit lighter on your feet.</p> <h2>1. Breathe Deeply</h2> <p>Stop what you're doing and take a couple slow, deep breaths. Now take a few more. This easy, ancient practice of deep breathing slows the heartbeat, relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and <a href="">induces a sense of peace and calm</a>. It's the body's built-in stress regulator. Yet in our fast-paced society, conscious breathing often takes a back seat.</p> <p>Here's a quick refresher based on pranayama, a method of <a href="">breathwork used in yoga that's proven to enhance relaxation</a>: To start, sit in a comfortable seated position on the ground. Close your eyes and inhale deeply, filling the lungs with oxygen. As you breathe the air in, allow your stomach, back, sides, and rib cage to expand. When you're ready, exhale slowly until you've completely emptied the lungs, as if you were wringing out the air like water from a wet towel.</p> <h2>2. Keep a Tennis Ball Handy</h2> <p>You won't need a racket for this muscle relaxing trick. To start, lie flat your back with your gaze toward the ceiling and tuck a tennis ball under your low back, just to the left of your spine. Close your eyes, breathe, allow gravity to sink your body down, and let the ball press in to your muscle tissue. After a few moments, roll the ball an inch higher on your back, slightly to the left of your spine. Repeat this process until you've reached your shoulder area, then repeat on the right side of the body. Experts say this routine will rejuvenate muscle tissue, loosen knots, and help the body and mind relax.</p> <p>Here's another tennis ball trick. Poke a hole in the ball and you've made yourself a stress relief ball. Simply grip the the ball and squeeze it tight when you feel tension and anxiety building. This little hand pulsation exercise can also help <a href="">lower your blood pressure</a>. It's the perfect stress relief solution when you're on-the-go.</p> <h2>3. Power Down Your Gadgets</h2> <p>Sure, technology has its benefits, but it's also making us sick. Literally. <a href="">Stress, depression, and vision impairment</a> are just a few of the negative consequences of spending too much time on our phones, tablets, and computers. Luckily, there's a simple fix: unplug. After work, on weekends &mdash; whenever you can. By disconnecting from email, text messaging, and social media, you can actually increase your connectivity to the people around you. And you'll feel a heck of a lot better while you're at it.</p> <h2>4. Make Time to Meditate</h2> <p>It only takes <a href="">25 minutes of meditation for three consecutive days</a> to reduce stress. It may seem daunting at first, but meditation is a practice anyone can do. The goal is to give the mind a break from its constant hustle.</p> <p>Here's a short how-to guide for first-timers: Concentrate on a single focus, be it your breath, a one-word mantra, or the flicker of a lit candle. <a href="">Empty your mind of all other thoughts</a>; if outside thoughts arrive, simply acknowledge them and let them go. Start with two or three minute intervals, eventually working your way up to a full 25-minute practice.</p> <h2>5. Spend Quiet Time in Nature</h2> <p>The <a href="">sounds of birds chirping, rain falling, and bees buzzing</a> are proven to lower stress and evoke a feeling of calm. If you can't get outside, find a source of water indoors. The sound of running water &mdash; be it from a rolling brook, waterfall, or kitchen faucet &mdash; is scientifically proven to boost happiness and relieve tension.</p> <h2>6. Walk for 30 Minutes</h2> <p>A brisk walk is one of the best exercises for you. And it only takes 20 minutes for your brain to start releasing endorphins and dopamine &mdash; those <a href="">feel-good hormones</a> that make you happy. Not only is walking good for the heart and lungs, it reduces fatigue and improves alertness. This is particularly beneficial for those among us who are stressed out, since stress can deplete the body's energy and the brain's ability to concentrate.</p> <p><em>How do you de-stress? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development de-stress relax stress Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1207216 at Multitasking Sucks Even More Than You Thought <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/multitasking-sucks-even-more-than-you-thought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="mother multitasking" title="mother multitasking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College students, corporate executives, and busy moms rely on multitasking to complete their long list of things to do each day. There are papers to read, emails to send, places to be, and much to be accomplished. (See also: <a href="">The Simple Way Multitasking Can Actually Work</a>)</p> <p>However, a recent study has found that <a href="">multitasking actually lowers your IQ</a>, decreases your productivity, and reduces your ability to make decisions.</p> <p>Imagine for a moment that you are at home, you have kids at the table working on homework, occasionally asking questions about places they are confused, dinner is cooking on the stove, the laundry is going and needs to be pulled out of the dinner before it wrinkles, the baby is getting dangerously close to doing something he's never done before and the phone rings.</p> <p>Your brain is in a few different places.</p> <p>You are multitasking.</p> <p>You are getting things done.</p> <p>However, that multitasking has decreased your brain function slightly and reduced your ability to make a clear decision. So when the nice lady from your child's school calls and asks you to chair a fundraising committee, you commit without being able to give it thorough thought. Later in the evening, when your mind is clearer, you realize what you've committed to and how difficult it is going to be for you to accomplish.</p> <p>Multitasking may feel like the way to accomplish your mile long to-do list but it is actually diminishing the core of your productivity &mdash; your decision making abilities and your brain function.</p> <p>So, what can you do instead?</p> <p>To increase your productivity, focus on your tasks completely, and clear out your to-do list, you need to create an action plan.</p> <h2>Making and Executing an Action Plan</h2> <h3>1. Make a List</h3> <p>Put the most important items on your list at the top. These should be items that must be completed today, followed by items that can be put off, all the way down to items that you'll probably put off until tomorrow but would feel amazing if you completed them today.</p> <h3>2. Highlight Quick Tasks</h3> <p>Those items that only take a quick minute or two to complete, like replying to your mom's email or rescheduling your dentist appointment get highlighted. If you aren't sure how long it will take, for example there is a good possibility you'll be on hold with your credit card company, don't highlight. Just those items you know won't take very long.</p> <h3>3. Turn Off All Distractions</h3> <p>That means your phone gets silenced and placed somewhere so you don't see notifications pop up on the screen, your email gets turned off, Facebook is closed out, turn off the television and get the kids set up with something that will keep them occupied for awhile if needed.</p> <h3>4. Set the Timer</h3> <p>A timer is your best friend when you want to be productive. It gives you a boundary for when you should be working. Set the timer for 20 minutes. During that time, focus all of your mind on one task. Do not allow yourself to become distracted during those 20 minutes.</p> <p>If the timer is still ticking after you've finished a task, move on to the next one on your list. If you only have three or four minutes left on the timer, do one of the items that has been highlighted.</p> <p>Don't forget to cross things off as you complete them. It may seem silly but the simple act of drawing a line through something can be very rewarding.</p> <h3>5. Take Frequent Breaks</h3> <p>After 20 minutes has passed, stop working and reset the timer for five minutes. During this time do not focus on work. Get up and walk around. Fill your water glass. Check on the kids. Do a little jig in the living room to get your blood pumping. Breathe deeply a few times before refocusing on another 20 minutes of work.</p> <p>After three cycles of work, take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes. This is the time when you can check Facebook, check your phone, or gossip with a friend in the next cubicle. Don't forget to have your timer set and do not go over your break time.</p> <h3>6. Assess Your Progress</h3> <p>After your work day (or hour) is complete, assess your to-do list. Determine if there are items that need to be rearranged or crossed off. If it is the end of the day, write a new list for tomorrow before you leave for home.</p> <h2>Productivity Hints</h2> <p>There are a few things you can further do to increase your productivity.</p> <h3>1. Keep It Simple</h3> <p>This is especially true for tasks like organization. Break up larger tasks into smaller, simple ones that will get you moving faster through the project. If you are working on organizing a space, don't get up and relocate every item you touch. Instead, put them into categories (like donate, toss, recycle or living room, kitchen, bedroom) that can they be put away later.</p> <h3>2. Group Like Things Together</h3> <p>If you have a number of similar tasks that need to be done, do them at the same time or one after the other. For example, if you have three phone calls to make, make them in the same 20 minute time frame, or if you have files that need to be delivered throughout the office, deliver them in the same trip.</p> <p>This also works for errands you are running. Combine them so you aren't running across town multiple times wasting your time and energy.</p> <h3>3. Set Yourself Up for Success</h3> <p>Whether it is putting a sign on your door that says &quot;do not disturb,&quot; putting your phone in another room, or hiring a babysitter to occupy your children for two hours, find ways to decrease distractions. This will ensure that you are successful with completing your tasks.</p> <p>If the only danger in trying to do too many things is that you're not able to do any of them terribly well, then it might not be enough to stop multitasking and start focusing on each task individually. Now that we know that it can also make you dumb, it may be time to start slowing down and truly live in the moment.</p> <p><em>Are you still multitasking? Why? If you aren't, what are you doing instead to get things done?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Multitasking Sucks Even More Than You Thought" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Productivity multitasking organization productivity tasks to-do lists Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1207211 at 10 Little Words That Will Get You the Best Price, Every Time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="car sales negotiation" title="car sales negotiation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a bargain hunter and writer, I find the power of words to be nothing short of amazing. The difference between getting a deal and walking away with the same price everyone else does is often just a word or two. (See also: <a href="">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>)</p> <p>There are plenty of words and phrases you should have in your shopping lexicon, but there are 10 you should never leave home (or shop online) without.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Please&quot;</h2> <p>Remember the old phrase your parents and teachers used to say? &quot;What's the magic word?&quot; Well, when it comes to getting discounts and bargains, please is genuinely magic. The Internet and texting age has all but killed a lot of pleasantries. Even please has been reduced to PLS in a message. So when you make sure you say &quot;please&quot; with every request you make, be it in person, on the phone, or if necessary, via email, you are showing deference to the person you're dealing with. This will go in your favor, and will result in a much easier negotiation process when you want to get a deal.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Thanks&quot;</h2> <p>When talking to a sales associate in a store, be sure to say thanks for everything they do. If they have to get up on a ladder to reach on item you'd like, go out of your way to thank them. If they need to look something up on the store's inventory system, thank them for their time. Say it with enthusiasm and authenticity; a dry &quot;staring-into-space&quot; thanks will have the opposite result. But, if you do this throughout the transaction, you are laying the foundation for a discount when the time comes to ask for one. (See also: <a href="">25 Ways to Say Thanks</a>)</p> <h2>3. &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>This tiny word is incredibly powerful in the price negotiation process. In particular, it can be Kryptonite to salespeople at car dealerships. Put yourself in their shoes for a second. You work on commission, you've just spent two hours giving test-drives and fine advice to someone who is ready to buy. You sit down at the negotiation desk, and start to hash out a plan that will sell the car and make some money. And then, when you think you have the fish completely reeled in, it starts getting away. &quot;NO&quot; is a horrible word to hear after a long time in the sales trenches. The only way to respond is to either let the customer walk away (and watch two hours of your time go up in smoke), or invite them back to the table for further discussion. I have used this on every major purchase I've made, including every single car I bought. Only once did the salesperson let me walk away; when I got home, there was a message waiting for me on my answering machine asking me to consider a better deal.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Free&quot;</h2> <p>When you're buying something worth more than a few bucks, there is never any harm in asking for something for free. A friend of mine in college, Duncan, did this whenever he purchased anything, and he had a very high success rate (it didn't hurt that he was very charming fella indeed). &quot;No matter what you buy, ask them to throw something in for free, even if it's only worth pennies to them,&quot; he'd say. If he bought a tape deck, he'd ask for a free pack of blank tapes. If he bought a case of beer, he'd ask for a miniature bottle of scotch. The day he bought a used car, he asked for free tinting. Even if they said no to his request, they would often give him something, even if it were just a can of soda or a chapstick. Free is free. It never hurts to ask.</p> <h2>5. &quot;Maybe&quot;</h2> <p>Back in the day, when I was nipping at my dad's heels, I would ask for something and be given the answer &quot;maybe.&quot; It was so irritatingly non-committal that it left me knowing as much as I did before I asked the question. And it's just as powerful a word to use when negotiating for a better deal on something. When the salesperson asks if you'll take it, &quot;maybe&quot; is a fantastic way to reply. The natural response from your adversary will be something like &quot;why are you hesitant?&quot; and this leaves the door wide open for you to hammer home some points about price, reliability, and a warranty.</p> <h2>6. &quot;Manager&quot;</h2> <p>Whether you're dealing with someone on the phone (we all know how that can be), or you're in a physical store, asking to talk to the manager is a great ace to have up your sleeve. Most of the time, the person you're dealing with ether does not have the authority to offer a deal, or simply doesn't want to. The manager, on the other hand, has the keys to the deal safe. They can usually override the system and get you the discounts that regular hourly employees cannot give you. By asking to speak to the manager, you can often get the person you're dealing with to step up his or her game and get you a better deal themselves. You may sound a bit pushy, but be polite at all times and it will pay off.</p> <h2>7. &quot;Cash&quot;</h2> <p>If you pay in cold, hard cash you can usually get an instant discount. By simply stating &quot;I will pay you the full amount, right now, in cash if you drop the price by 10%,&quot; you can get a very quick deal. It will usually only work on high-ticket items &mdash; no one cares if you pay cash for your $5 latte. But if you're looking at cars, motorcycles, smaller pieces of real estate, high-end clothing, or expensive audio visual equipment, the magic word &quot;cash&quot; can work wonders for you.</p> <h2>8. &quot;Competitor&quot;</h2> <p>Perhaps this isn't the specific word, but the idea is there. When you're shopping around, it pays to let people know that you are looking. Better still, drop the other store's name, particularly when shopping for the big ticket items. &quot;I was over at your competitor's store, AAA Supplies, and they offered my a 5% discount. Can you beat it?&quot; There are two psychological tricks at play here. First, no one likes losing business to a competitor. And second, by asking to beat someone else's price, you're offering up a challenge. There's a sense of accomplishment achieved by meeting your offer.</p> <h2>9. &quot;Now&quot;</h2> <p>I personally love the word &quot;now&quot; when it comes to discounts. I use it all the time, from eBay shopping to deals in local stores. The immediacy of the word puts people into action, and they will often drop their price knowing you are ready to do the deal right now. On Craigslist, you can say &quot;I'll pick it up right NOW if you lower the price by $10.&quot; Boom, they want it gone quickly and will be happy to oblige. In a store, say &quot;what's on offer right NOW that you can show me?&quot; It puts the power of negotiation in your hands, and if they come back with &quot;no&quot; or &quot;nothing,&quot; you can easily renegotiate or just walk away. You can also say &quot;I want to cancel right now&quot; to watch the offers come flooding in from service companies like phone, cable, and Internet.</p> <h2>10. &quot;Offer&quot;</h2> <p>Finally, there's a word you can use that, if positioned correctly, can get you a deal almost every time. That word is &quot;offer.&quot; On its own, nothing special. But combine it with a phrase like &quot;what's the best offer you can give me on this?&quot; or &quot;make me a serious offer and I'll buy it right now&quot; and you're putting the ball in their court. They will very rarely come back with &quot;I can't&quot; or &quot;no.&quot; It's usually something to counter your question, perhaps with &quot;well how much do you have to spend?&quot; or &quot;what are you looking to pay?&quot; Either way, they have just opened the door to a negotiation. Walk through it, and get your deal. This works on something as big as a house, or as small as a bag of onions at a farmer's market.</p> <p><em>What magic deal words work for you? Please share in comments &mdash; now!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Little Words That Will Get You the Best Price, Every Time" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living General Tips bargains deals discounts haggling negotiating price Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 1207217 at 11 Creative Ways to Use Golf Balls Around the House <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-creative-ways-to-use-golf-balls-around-the-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="golf ball" title="golf ball" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I used to play golf several times a week, but now I never find the time. As a result, I have a lot of golf balls laying around the house.</p> <p>But there's no need to let those old balls clutter your home. With a little creativity, you can turn a typical golf ball into a nice home furnishing or even a nice accent to your garden.</p> <p>Consider these creative ways to put your old golf balls to use around the home.</p> <h2>1. Massager</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//"></iframe></p> <p>Take one or two golf balls and roll them over any muscles that might feel tense. You can even place a pair of golf balls on the ground and then lay on them for a great back massage. During a recent road trip across the Midwest, I found myself using a golf ball to relieve tension in my neck as I drove. Golf balls also work great <a href="">on the arches of your feet</a>.</p> <h2>2. Light Dimmer Switch</h2> <p>Using just a drill and a long screw, you can turn a boring round dimmer switch into a golf-inspired dimmer <a href="">similar to this one</a>. You can use the whole ball, but it could also work if you cut the ball in half.</p> <h2>3. Vase Filler</h2> <p>People fill vases with everything from colored gems to sea shells to pinecones and peas. Why not golf balls? Select a mixture of colored and white balls to create a fun accent to any room.</p> <h2>4. Drainage for Potted Plants</h2> <p>Line the bottom of a pot with some golf balls and then place dirt on top. The golf balls will allow water to drain more easily, so there's less danger of over-watering. With the improved drainage, plant roots are less likely to rot.</p> <h2>5. Critters for the Garden</h2> <p>A look on Pinterest shows <a href="">a number of do-it-yourself projects </a>featuring golf balls transformed into small animals, including insects, spiders, and frogs. A little paint and some small wires are all you need to make whimsical decorations for your flowerbeds.</p> <h2>6. Christmas Ornaments</h2> <p>Golf balls are the perfect size and weight for some fun decorations to hang on your tree. It's easy to glue three balls together to make a snowman, or just decorate one ball to <a href="">make a face of Santa </a>or other characters.</p> <h2>7. Meat Tenderizer</h2> <p>Sure, you could pound your steak with a fancy kitchen mallet, but if you don't have one handy, take a golf ball and roll it over the meat with some hard pressure. (Just make sure your golf ball isn't one you just retrieved from a scummy pond.)</p> <h2>8. Table Cloth Weights</h2> <p>So you're all set up for the picnic, but the table cloth keeps blowing away in the wind. You can solve this problem by sewing each of the four corners of the table cloth around a golf ball. It's just enough weight to keep the shoo-fly pie and watermelon off the ground.</p> <h2>9. Coat/Hat Rack</h2> <p>Glue or drill a few golf balls to some small pegs, then attach to a plank of wood <a href="">for a sporty spot</a> to hang your jacket or cap.</p> <h2>10. Bath Tub Plug</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//"></iframe></p> <p>If your stopper is missing or broken, you may find that a golf ball fits perfectly into your drain. And <a href="">according to one YouTube user</a>, the ball will gradually roll back into the drain on its own once you remove it, thus preventing heat from escaping your home.</p> <h2>11. Laundry Ball</h2> <p>We're delving a bit into the realm of pseudoscience here, but there are some companies <a href="">who have sold specially designed balls</a> with claims that adding them to your laundry cycle will clean your clothes without the use of detergent. The claims of these products have been largely debunked, but even some skeptics say <a href="">the mechanical action of a ball in the laundry</a> may have a positive effect. In which case, an old golf ball will work just as well.</p> <p><em>What do you do with your golf balls when you aren't spoiling a good walk? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Creative Ways to Use Golf Balls Around the House" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips coat rack crafts golf balls massager ornaments quick fixes tub stopper Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1207212 at 20 Little Ways to Make Your Stuff Last Longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-little-ways-to-make-your-stuff-last-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="charging laptop" title="charging laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days it seems that almost everything we buy is disposable, meaning it's often easier to replace something when it breaks rather than put in the effort to maintain or fix it. However, there are many good reasons to put some work into making your things last. Not only are you saving money and keeping something out of the landfill, but you also get to keep the things you love longer. Potentially, prolonging the life of your things is a good reason to splurge on better-quality, but fewer goods. (See also: <a href="">Home Maintenance and Repair: What's an Emergency and What Can Wait?</a>)</p> <p>So here's how to do it.</p> <h2>1. Clothes</h2> <p>Make your clothes last longer by using a few simple tricks such as washing in cold water, buying dark colors that camouflage stains, and not machine-drying delicate clothing. Buy an inexpensive lint shaver to keep the pilling down on knit clothing. (See also: <a href="">Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a>)</p> <h2>2. Vacuum Cleaner</h2> <p>Empty the bag before it gets full (or the canister for bagless vacuum) and clean the filter regularly. Use scissors or a seam ripper to get rid of the hair and threads stuck around the carpet roller to keep your vacuum running smoothly.</p> <h2>3. Dryer</h2> <p>During your <a href=",,20052014,00.html">dryer maintenance</a>, it is extremely important to empty the lint trap and the dryer vents regularly, as dryers are a common cause of fire. Check the vent every six months to remove excess lint buildup, and every year remove the exhaust vent to clear it fully. Your dryer will last longer and your clothes will dry faster (plus no pesky fires).</p> <h2>4. Washing Machine</h2> <p>To keep your <a href="">washing machine in tip-top shape</a>, be sure to use the recommended type of detergent for your washing machine. Make sure the washing machine can dry between uses by leaving the door open (and for front-loaders, you may need to dry the door). Check hoses and fittings every month or two to ensure nothing is loose or leaking, and replace rubber hoses with braided metal ones.</p> <h2>5. Dishwasher</h2> <p>Manually clean out your dishwasher's filter every week or two to keep the it running smoothly. Use these other <a href="">dishwasher maintenance tricks</a> to make your dishwasher run better and last longer.</p> <h2>6. Coffee Maker</h2> <p>Cleaning your coffee maker every month or two will make your coffee taste better and delay the inevitable day that you throw out that calcium-encrusted machine. Just run equal parts vinegar and water through a brew cycle and follow with several cycles of plain water.</p> <h2>7. Water Heater</h2> <p>You might want to brave the trek down into the bowels of your basement to <a href=",,20351985,00.html">check your water heater</a> once a year. This is one appliance where regular maintenance makes a big difference. Yearly flush the water from the water heater to prevent sediment build-up (which can shorten the machine's life considerably), and check the anode rod to see if it needs replacing. Without an anode rod the hot water will quickly corrode and rust out the inside of your water heater.</p> <h2>8. Tile and Grout</h2> <p>Keep mold and mildew down on tile and grout in the bathroom by spraying regularly with a vinegar-water solution. Keep grout clean by using a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007BF0M6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YU7JCZ3R2L6JDHXS">grout cleaner product</a>.</p> <h2>9. Shower Curtain</h2> <p>You actually can wash a vinyl shower curtain with a couple of towels in the washing machine (the towels help to scrub it clean). Add normal detergent and a cup of vinegar to help kill any mildew. Do this once a month to keep your shower curtain looking new. Be sure to run the fan and close the shower curtain between showers so it gets a chance to dry out.</p> <h2>10. Bathroom Exhaust Fan</h2> <p>It's important to clean the bathroom exhaust fan every once in a while (at least every six months) to help it run more efficiently and to keep the air moving, which inhibits mold.</p> <h2>11. Drains</h2> <p>Keep shower drains clear of hair by investing in a cheap hair strainer that fits over the drain. Keep drains clog-free by regularly pouring baking soda or vinegar (or both) down the pipes and chasing with hot water, as well as doing other preventative maintenance. Ultimately, your pipes will last longer if you avoid using harsh de-clogging chemicals. (See also: <a href="">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a>)</p> <h2>12. Garbage Disposal</h2> <p>To keep your garbage disposal working longer, be sure to grind up waste along with plenty of water. Never use Drano or de-clogging chemicals in the garbage disposal. Instead, keep it clean by flushing it often with soapy water (or vinegar), and grinding up a couple of ice cubes every few weeks.</p> <h2>13. Herbs</h2> <p>Learn how to store herbs to make them last longer. For example, <a href="">storing leafy herbs</a> with their stems in a glass of water keeps them fresh longer, and before they go bad, you can freeze them in ice-cube trays with a little olive oil.</p> <h2>14. Groceries</h2> <p>You can also keep food fresh longer by using a <a href="">few nifty tricks</a>, such as spraying your guacamole with cooking spray, or storing ginger in the freezer.</p> <h2>15. Furniture</h2> <p>Give your wood furniture a new lease on life by using a finish restoring product (such as the aptly named <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000LNSIM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NSA6SCUWGDX6GPW">Restore-a-Finish</a>), or by sanding and staining or painting. Keep the finish pristine by using coasters and placemats, or opt for a heavy-duty clear finish such as polyurethane. (See also: <a href="">Make Old Furniture Shine With These Simple Refinishing Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>16. Sofa</h2> <p>If the cushions are still good on your old sofa, slipcover it to get longer and more attractive use out of it. For heirloom quality furniture, professional upholstery, while not cheap, can give the furniture another 40 years of life for less than the cost of a new, cheaply-made sofa.</p> <h2>17. Mattress</h2> <p>Flipping and rotating your mattress every three months can extend its life. If you buy a new mattress, be sure to install it correctly (on its box spring or platform) for better longevity.</p> <h2>18. Leather Couch</h2> <p>Keep your leather sofa (or other leather upholstery) from cracking prematurely by cleaning it regularly and buffing in a conditioning solution. You can use this product on leather car seats as well. Keep leather upholstery out of the sun if possible to extend its life.</p> <h2>19. Wood Floors</h2> <p>Keep your wood floors looking nice for longer by keeping them clean of sand and debris that can scratch the surface. Put felt pads on the bottom of chairs that might drag over the floor. Be sure you know what kind of <a href="">finish is on your floors</a> before applying a polish or wax, as different finishes may be damaged by different products.</p> <h2>20. Electronic Device Batteries</h2> <p>Keep your laptop running longer by not keeping it plugged in all day. Instead, use up the battery, charge it fully, and then unplug it. With most electronic devices, batteries will last longer if you let them die before recharging them, and avoid using them while they are charging.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your stuff lasting longer and looking like new? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Little Ways to Make Your Stuff Last Longer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips last longer maintenance product life repair Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1207023 at 109 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Start Doing Today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="donating clothes" title="donating clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we often forget to think of others. But a small gesture of kindness can not only make someone else's entire day, but it can also make you feel good. So why not spread the love and try a random act of kindness today? Here are 109 ideas to get you started:</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="">29 Habits of Extremely Considerable People</a></p> <p>1. Help an elderly person cross the street.</p> <p>2. Help a younger sibling with homework or <a href="">college and scholarship applications</a>.</p> <p>3. Let a car merge in front of you and do it with a smile.</p> <p>4. Participate in a beach cleanup.</p> <p>5. <a href="">Adopt an animal from the shelter</a>.</p> <p>6. Help <a href="">rebuild destroyed homes and communities</a>.</p> <p>7. Pay the toll for the car behind you.</p> <p>8. Introduce yourself to neighbors and bring <a href="">baked goods or sweets</a>.</p> <p>9. Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give to a co-worker.</p> <p>10. <a href="">Wash your roommate's dishes</a> for them.</p> <p>11. <a href="">Smile</a> at people.</p> <p>12. Open the door for someone.</p> <p>13. Help someone with their bags or luggage.</p> <p>14. Offer to take a picture for tourists.</p> <p>15. Leave a nice note for your partner.</p> <p>16. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you.</p> <p>17. Share your class notes with a classmate.</p> <p>18. Help a friend <a href="">move</a>.</p> <p>19. <a href="">Talk to someone new</a> and make a new friend.</p> <p>20. Make your roommate's bed for them.</p> <p>21. Help a lost tourist find his or her way</p> <p>22. Pick up litter and put it in a trash can.</p> <p>23. <a href="">Make a homemade treat</a> for your pet.</p> <p>24. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you've made.</p> <p>25. Mentor someone.</p> <p>26. Give a generous tip to your waiter.</p> <p>27. Use a reusable water bottle or cup to help the environment.</p> <p>28. <a href="">Plan a vacation</a> for your parents.</p> <p>29. Bring a welcome gift to new neighbors.</p> <p>30. Respond to emails or texts promptly.</p> <p>31. <a href="">Befriend a lonely person</a>.</p> <p>32. Reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while.</p> <p>33. Compliment a stranger.</p> <p>34. Eat and buy local.</p> <p>35. Let someone take your parking spot.</p> <p>36. <a href="">Plan a scavenger hunt</a> for your kids.</p> <p>37. Buy or <a href="">make a DIY toy</a> for your pet.</p> <p>38. Volunteer to give a tour of your school.</p> <p>39. Don't honk at cars (or people).</p> <p>40. Bring <a href="">sweet treats</a> to the office to share.</p> <p>41. Treat yourself to a <a href="">nice long bath</a>.</p> <p>42. Donate your blood at a blood drive.</p> <p>43. Sit with someone who is eating alone.</p> <p>44. Read to the elderly.</p> <p>45. Tell your parents you love them and how much you appreciate everything they have done for you.</p> <p>46. Let someone go in front of you at the cashier.</p> <p>47. Donate clothes and shoes to the needy.</p> <p>48. Clean up after someone in the lunchroom or cafeteria.</p> <p>49. Give your partner a <a href="">massage</a>.</p> <p>50. Recommend your favorite restaurant to a tourist.</p> <p>51. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.</p> <p>52. <a href="">Wash your partner's car</a> for them.</p> <p>53. <a href="">Let go</a> of old grudges.</p> <p>54. Help your kids <a href="">build a tree house</a>.</p> <p>55. Do your sibling's household chore.</p> <p>56. Praise a child to the parents while the child is present.</p> <p>57. Hold the elevator door for others.</p> <p>58. Offer someone a piece of gum.</p> <p>59. Bring misplaced shopping carts back to the designated area.</p> <p>60. Organize a study session for your classmates.</p> <p>61. Send a photo in a frame to your parents (or grandparents).</p> <p>62. Offer to babysit your friends' kids for free.</p> <p>63. Donate your locks of hair.</p> <p>64. Tell someone you've fought with that you're sorry and that you forgive them.</p> <p>65. Sign up to be an organ donor.</p> <p>66. Leave extra time in a parking meter.</p> <p>67. Pay for your friend's tab.</p> <p>68. Return a lost item to the owner.</p> <p>69. Visit a nursing home and make a new friend.</p> <p>70. If it rains a lot in your area, give an umbrella to a homeless person.</p> <p>71. Be kind to someone you dislike.</p> <p>72. Encourage someone who is working hard at the gym.</p> <p>73. Vacuum the floor for your roommate.</p> <p>74. Take a shorter shower to conserve water.</p> <p>75. <a href="">Make a donation</a> in your name to a charity you care about.</p> <p>76. Bring homemade food, like a <a href="">lasagna</a> or <a href="">casserole</a>, to a new mom or single mom.</p> <p>77. Teach a child how to ride a bike.</p> <p>78. Bring a homeless person some food and a drink.</p> <p>79. <a href="">Send a care package</a> to your children, friends, or elderly parents.</p> <p>80. Email your boss or professor and tell them how much you love learning from them.</p> <p>81. Say &quot;good morning&quot; and &quot;thank you&quot; to public service workers (bus drivers, police officers, mail carriers, and firefighters).</p> <p>82. Help a friend <a href="">hunt for a job</a>.</p> <p>83. Let your friend vent and listen to her problems.</p> <p>84. Make a playlist for your friends.</p> <p>85. Let someone else take your seat on public transportation.</p> <p>86. Praise the work of others.</p> <p>87. Tell a street performer how amazing he or she is.</p> <p>88. Share your umbrella with someone who didn't bring one.</p> <p>89. Cook a meal for your partner.</p> <p>90. Help someone carry groceries to the car.</p> <p>91. Offer to work late for a co-worker who needs to leave early</p> <p>92. Donate books to the local library or bookstore.</p> <p>93. Let go of the stress in your life by having an at-home spa day.</p> <p>94. Volunteer at an animal shelter during adoption events.</p> <p>95. Sponsor a child in a developing country.</p> <p>96. Write a letter to your former schoolteachers and tell them how much they influenced you.</p> <p>97. Ride your bike to work or school.</p> <p>98. Help someone change the tires.</p> <p>99. Sign up for a bone marrow donation.</p> <p>100. Volunteer at a disabled student's learning center.</p> <p>101. Fold the laundry for your partner.</p> <p>102. Offer your seat on a plane so a family or couple can sit together.</p> <p>103. Support your own and your friends' kids at their recitals and games.</p> <p>104. Be proud of all your accomplishments.</p> <p>105. Participate in a fund-raiser or donation.</p> <p>106. Tell your partner that he or she looks extra handsome or beautiful today.</p> <p>107. Offer to pick up your friend's children after school.</p> <p>108. Offer to pet-sit for your friend for free.</p> <p>109. Hug someone you love like you mean it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It doesn&#039;t take a lot to brighten someone&#039;s day. Here are more than a hundred of them! </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href=""><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href=""><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="">The 30-Day No-Fail Happiness Challenge</a></li> <li><a href="">8 Sleep Hacks That Will Put You Right to Bed</a></li> <li><a href="">8 Ways to Trick People Into Thinking You Have Good Social Skills</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips charity courtesy kindness nice Fri, 05 Sep 2014 21:00:04 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1199637 at Confident People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/confident-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="home office" title="home office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How do you measure confidence? The way you walk? The way you talk? How many friends you have? Maybe.</p> <p>How about the things in your home? While there is no one true measure of confidence, there may well be some objects that confident people all seem to possess. So take a look at this list, and if you're lacking many of these, walk, nay, strut to your local homewares store immediately. (See also: <a href="">Ambitious People Have These 10 Things in their Homes &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Power Wardrobe</h2> <p>I know from experience that when I feel like I look good in the clothes I'm wearing, I'm inherently more confident. I'm sure you've felt that way at one time or another as well.</p> <p>To feel confident in what you're wearing on a regular basis, however, writer David Bakke suggests that you invest in a power wardrobe so you can dress for success every day. A good way to get started on building your power wardrobe is to take inventory of your closet and get rid of anything that doesn't make you feel your best. And make sure that what you're buying to replace it fits properly, accentuates your assets, and detracts from problem areas, whether they're real or just figments of your self-conscious imagination. (See also: <a href="">Build a Work Wardrobe for Any Job on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. Books &mdash; Especially Inspirational Ones</h2> <p>Your intelligence makes you more confident whether you realize it or not. Think back to your school days when you had a pop quiz and you were fully prepared to ace it. You were confident, right? It's safe to assume then that there's a correlation between the knowledge you possess and the confidence you have in yourself &mdash; in certain situations, at least &mdash; which often manifests itself in adulthood in the books you choose to keep on your shelf. In particular, if you have inspirational books (or books that inspire you) or books on self-improvement, it's a safe bet that you're facing the day with your head held high.</p> <p>Kristy McCarley, CEO of the faith-based fitness startup Shazzy Fitness, agrees. &quot;I've found that every successful entrepreneur I've ever met is also confident, and the common denominator is a passion to read,&quot; she says. &quot;Confident entrepreneurs are not intimidated by new situations or new challenges and regularly seek sources of information to learn and grow. Look at any confident business owner and I guarantee you'll find that they have a set of books that have inspired them and a list of books they plan to read in the future.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Vision Board</h2> <p>A vision board is a collage of images, photos, quotes, affirmations and other positive items that provide you with happiness and motivation. A vision board is helpful if you're using the Law of Attraction (the belief that positive thoughts attract positive results) to set and meet goals, small or large. Rob Henson, who runs a consulting business with his wife, says that their vision board is crucial to their confidence. &quot;It reminds us of what we are striving for,&quot; he says about the vision board. &quot;Everything we want out of life is on that board. Why are we confident? Because each year we get to take something off the board because we worked hard to make it happen. That means we also have room for a new goal as well.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Organization</h2> <p>I know a lot of messy people. Disheveled, disorganized, and, in some cases, in complete disarray. It goes without saying that they're not the most confident people I know, and it's easy to see why. How can you be confident if your home is a mess? Where are those important files when you need them? Would you be embarrassed for your friends to see the way you live? Being unorganized is the antithesis of self-confidence, and, in fact, <a href="">clutter may be the result of lacking confidence</a>, among other things.</p> <h2>5. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>Those of us who aren't so physically fit try to cover up our bodies as much as possible because we feel self-conscious and embarrassed. We can change that by joining a gym, or better yet, keeping exercise equipment at home to make fitness goals more accessible and convenient. And there are other benefits to exercising outside of an improved self-image. Pilates pro Kim MacKenzie says, &quot;Exercise boosts endorphins and when you feel good about your body, you tend to feel better about yourself, and thus be more confident.&quot;</p> <h2>6. A Million-Dollar Check</h2> <p>Life coach Jason Nik, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1481906089&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UOF6S2EYLIQEXUGB">The Warrior's Odyssey</a>, has made it his job to build client confidence. He recommends confident people who know they'll achieve financial success to write checks to themselves and frame it to help them stay motivated.</p> <p>&quot;In my experience, confident people have things in their homes that show the success they know they will achieve,&quot; he explains. &quot;For example, confident people that know they will become wealthy in the future write checks to themselves. Before actor Jim Carrey became successful, he was broke but confident he would succeed. So he wrote a $10 million check to himself. He later became the first actor to receive a $20 million [per-film] salary.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Items of Personal Interest Proudly Displayed</h2> <p>These items could include musical instruments, artifacts from their travels, photos of friends and family, and things made with their own two hands, among other things. The message here is that confident people aren't afraid to place snippets of their lives around the house for everyone who visits to see. These items hold significant sentimental value for one reason or another, and they're proud to have them.</p> <h2>8. Religious Icons</h2> <p>In many cases, people of faith have confidence in their deity to do right by them, which in turn makes the individual more confident in themselves. To honor their faith and remind themselves why they're faithful to begin with, they keep meaningful religious symbols and items in their home.</p> <h2>9. Awards, Degrees, and Certificates</h2> <p>Sure, many people graduate college and go on to earn awards, but that doesn't make yours any less significant. Confident people realize that, and they're proud to display their accomplishments where everybody can see them. Some people will interpret this as being insecure &mdash; &quot;why do you have to remind others of how great you are?&quot; they're thinking &mdash; but haters are gonna hate. Let 'em. You've earned your success, and you should definitely strut your stuff about it in the privacy of your own dominion.</p> <h2>10. Guests</h2> <p>Confident people often like to entertain and host parties and guests on a regular basis. I'm confident in my social etiquette and hosting skills, and I love having people in my homes whenever I can. I want people to see my art, to enjoy my little luxuries, to have an opportunity to relax while I whip up a delicious meal. Their delight makes me happy and boosts my confidence even more. This is what I'm working for &mdash; to have a life of which I can be proud &mdash; and one that I can share with others. Because, really, what else is there?</p> <p><em>Do you have suggestions on what confident people have in their homes? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Confident People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development confidence esteem self confidence things Wed, 03 Sep 2014 17:12:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1199894 at