A series of short articles on everything, from practical ways of getting things done, to how to handle your feelings and find peace in a hectic world.

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54. How To Do More Things Well

A number of years ago I worked for a woman in a very senior position. Like many people who find themselves in senior positions, her arrival there had been something of a surprise to her. She was not one of those people who take out a pair of binoculars early in their career, take a good look at the summit of their particular mountain and resolve, by hook or by crook, to get there. She was more somebody who put one foot in front of the other, climbing gradually up the career ladder until, one day, somebody suggested that applying for this very senior post was her next logical next step. Once there, she struggled. This was not surprising as it was a tough job and tough decisions needed to be m

53. The Unexpected Benefits of Laughter

Whether you're working in the public or private sector, times are tough at the moment. Tough financially, because most of us are less well off than we were a year ago, and psychologically, because a threat hangs over many of our jobs, and the economy at large is in similarly precarious straits. It is strange that, although we are more affluent than we have ever been, even with the recession, according to surveys our sense of well-being goes down and down. It makes you wonder whether affluence not only fails to make us content, but may actually make us less content. It has been shown that well-being does increase with average income, but only up to around �15,000 per person per year. After

52. How to Make Better Choices

We spend our lives choosing: important things like our careers, our partners, our houses, but also much smaller, day to day choices, such as whether to have another potato, to walk upstairs or take the lift, to ring a friend or watch X-factor, to read a book or go to bed. Some of our choices are good for us, some neutral, some less good. This week's tip is about how we make choices and how we could improve our chances of making good choices. We are all Choice Architects, say American economists Thaler and Sunstein, in their book 'nudge'. This is a book from which David Cameron has drawn heavily for his policies on health and other areas of government, so well worth a read. It's interes