How to Say No with Grace

“You don’t have to change what you want just because someone else wants something different. All you have to do is clarify — with grace and firmness — that your goals are different. And they’ll get it.”

Saying no doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems and it’s likely many of the people you say no to will actually thank you for it if you approach it in the right way.

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How to Position the Objects Around to Help You Build a Habit

“The desk, the computer on top of it, the chair you sit in, and the space they comprise are all repositories for memory. But these things don’t just store our memories; they store our behaviors too. The sum of these stored behaviors is an object’s habit field, and merely being around it compels our bodies and minds to act in certain ways.”

Here’s a take on memory, productivity, behavior and habits I’ve never heard before.

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How to Teach Yourself Anything

“For at least twelve years, you’re trained to regurgitate and apply information that’s pre-packaged for you but never trained to find that information on your own. There are no classes where the professor shows up and says ‘figure out how to build a website by tomorrow,’ and then leaves.”

We’re lucky to live in an era when it’s possible to learn anything on your own — if you know how.

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How to Send Emails to Very Busy People

“The worst emails for Very Busy People are those that are written well but have no clear ask. ‘Hop on a call,’ ‘collaborate together,’ ‘would love your feedback,’ and ‘interested in connecting,’ are all terms that infect these cancerous messages. They just signal, ‘Time Suck!’ to the Very Busy Person but look like clear asks to the sender.”

This will increase the chances your next email actually gets read — and gets a response.

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How to Work Less and Feel More Accomplished

“We all waste much more time during the working day than we realize. Putting hard limits on the hours you work, and not giving yourself the ‘out’ of being able to jump back on the laptop in the evening means you get very ruthless with how you spend your time.”

For The Interested reader Fiona Adler recently had a great idea for a blog post — she reached out to six people whose work she admired (including me!) and asked how they limit their working hours.

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