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Unsolicited Advice

Why wait for readers to ask questions before suggesting solutions? An advice column that cuts out the middleman.

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Task prioritisation is fake

Task prioritisation is fake

Do or do not. There is no "prioritise"

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'Apartners' - what it's like to live apart from your husband or wife

On living apart from your spouse

It’s really nice knowing that, every time you see your partner, it’s because they made the choice to be with you, not just because they happened to be in the same physical location by chance anyway.

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cleaning decluttering overwhelmed help

How to clean a cluttered space when you’re overwhelmed

No matter how cluttered your space is, remember it only has 5 things in it: trash, dishes, clothing, things that have a spot, things that don’t have a spot. Don’t look at the whole morass.

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Photo of Author Dave Farland. Not everything is fixable, and that's better than the alternative.

It's okay that not everything is fixable

There's a fallacy that if we can define the solution space, a solution must exist that fits there. But the fundamental problem was, "Dave is dead."

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Chronos is clock time, whereas kairos is living time.

Chronos vs Kairos: Understanding how the Ancient Greeks viewed time will make your life richer

“Chronos” is measured and counted, while “kairos” is lived and experienced

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Is it cowardly to break up with someone via text? (No)

Is it cowardly to break up with someone via text? (No)

A text break-up is a sign that one person did not trust the other (good reason to break up, hey). Why would you automatically assume that mistrust was irrational?

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Enjoying haiku

How to enjoy haiku

One of the best things I’ve learned recently is how to enjoy haiku. Now I pass on this knowledge to you.

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frozen because i have a responsibility at any point in the future

The “I can’t start any tasks because I have an appointment in 5 hours” problem

If I have basically anything scheduled in a day, my brain goes into “waiting mode”. Like, that appointment is the next thing on the list, can’t do things out of order, so can’t do anything.

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On favour-sharking (emotional loan-sharking)

On favour-sharking (emotional loan-sharking)

Favour-sharking is when someone does a favour for you totally unasked for and possibly unwanted, in order to make you feel obligated to them.

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Expanders: People who expand your sense of what's possible in a life

Expanders: People who expand your sense of what's possible in a life

They're not necessarily role models - you might not want to be like them in a lot of ways - but when you meet them you realise your life could be a bit bigger.

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Make your personal admin tasks slightly more delightful by renaming them

Make your personal admin tasks slightly more delightful by renaming them

One a lot of people do is making their passwords something fun to type. That's the right approach: something that makes you happy but is kept secret, so you can be unashamedly dorky.

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Why optimisers are always late

Why optimisers are always late

Optimisers break stuff because they try to carry everything down to the car in one go instead of making multiple trips.

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Leaving Facebook was easier than I expected

Leaving Facebook was easier than I expected

I'd been agonising about it for literally years so I had this plan where I was going to do it and then write to you about the Experience but it was frankly such a non-event that I don't have much to say.

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"How do you know when you're actually right about something and it's not just hubris and confirmation bias?"

"How do you know when you're actually right about something and it's not just hubris and confirmation bias?"

You never know you're right, you just settle into a state of "this is how it looks to me at the moment"

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How to remember a new PIN / digit-based password

How to remember a new PIN / digit-based password

There's a set of digit mnemonics (created, as far as I know, by a Kevin Trudeau for some cassette-based memory-training course in 1995).

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"If it's rude to interrupt, how do you politely interrupt someone who (rudely) interrupts/talks over you?"

"If it's rude to interrupt, how do you politely interrupt someone who (rudely) interrupts/talks over you?"

It's part of a bigger question of, "when someone breaks the social contract, how do you operate in the new, broken environment?"

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When teaching someone how to do something, tell them how to do it badly

When teaching someone how to do something, tell them how to do it badly

Whenever you can't do something exactly as you should, when something has to give, you need the expert to tell you what to prioritise and what to do 'badly'.

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Wanting something is only barely related to enjoying something

Wanting something is only barely related to enjoying something

The brain system that makes you feel an urge to get something - whether that's food, seeing friends, a cigarette - is separate from system of enjoying something.

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“Be yourself” is terrible advice

“Be yourself” is terrible advice

The story of someone who thought of themselves as a provocateur who was just being their authentic self, and then realised they were just being an asshole and should stop it.

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Lukewarm water, not cold, is best for a burn

Lukewarm water, not cold, is best for a burn

Cold water also stops blood flowing to the area, and you need bloodflow to heal

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Technically parenting advice but mainly intended as insight into your own childhoods

Technically parenting advice but mainly intended as insight into your own childhoods

Kids are learning emotional literacy, and mislabelling emotions is confusing and makes it harder to process them.

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How to tell someone their loved one has died

How to tell someone their loved one has died

At the start of the conversation, say "I've got some really sad news about [Person] I'm afraid."

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"Don't ask a question if the answer won't change your behaviour"

"Don't ask a question if the answer won't change your behaviour"

I think it's also a sign that you're circling and seeking more information to put off making a decision.

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Write your future self an email with FutureMe

Write your future self an email with FutureMe

Write yourself an email when you've just accomplished something so later you can remember and remember how proud you were then (it's so easy to normalise level ups in your life).

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What we get wrong about fame

What we get wrong about fame

There are two requirements: a local requirement (a spark), and a global requirement (the ability of the fire to spread).