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Routines are a double-edged sword; they can boost your output, but they can also rob you of your "spark". Self-improvement site Pick the Brain advises us of the danger of getting stuck in a rut:

Going through the same routine, day after day, can be monotonous and depressing. It often leads to getting caught in a rut. To get out of it you need to temporarily change your routine. If you can, take a day off from work. Do something you don't normally have time for or something you've never tried. In the long run, taking a day off every now and then to get out of slump will make you happier and more productive.

For instance, today I plan on spending at least an hour with my newest art project - definitely out of my daily routine plan. What do you do to break your rut? Let's hear in the comments.

Stop Feeling Depressed

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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Car guy Rob Gruhl gives some great, practical advice on how to find, finance and negotiate buying a new car. Hit the play button on this (fast) five-minute clip before you purchase your next set of wheels. Thanks, Brady!


If you like to tinker around with web code, then tech site AjaxNinja's list of the best Firefox extensions for developers is just for you. These are the ones that will help you streamline various processes; for instance, you can analyse your search engine optimization efforts with Seoquake, find Alexa stats with Alexa Sparky, debug with Extended Cookie Manager, etc. I've become a wee bit of a Firefox extension junkie so I'm trying to resist the goodies on this list, however, do feel free to cherry-pick what you find useful.

10 Awesome Firefox Plugins and Extensions for Developers and Bloggers


Effectively delivering constructive criticism can be simplified by remembering the "hamburger rule," and Nate's Productivity Tips weblog introduces this timeless classic.

When offering a critique, you begin with a constructive compliment on something the person does well (Otherwise known as the fluffy bun part). You then get to the meat of the matter, which of course is the constructive criticism part. Finally, you end with another constructive compliment (i.e. the other half of the fluffy bun).

Though I learned it as the "sandwich rule," this practice is highly touted in most professional public speaking courses and very easy to remember.

The Hamburger Method of Constructive Criticism


Windows only: Free, open source application Remove Empty Directories (RED) searches your computer for empty folders and deletes the ones you don't want around anymore. Just point RED at the drive or directory you want to scan and it lists every empty folder in that directory. You can then either delete every empty folder or selectively protect the empty folders you don't want to lose. While in general it's a bad idea to run this on an entire drive—especially if that drive houses all of your applications and operating system—RED could come in particularly handy cleaning up a media folder or something along those lines. RED is free to download, Windows only.

Remove Empty Directories