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6 Popular Gifts Of The 2016 Holiday Season

6 Popular Gifts Of The 2016 Holiday Season

For many, the worst thing about the holiday season is having to pick out presents for others. Sure, it’s not too hard to buy things for those we know well. Things can get a little more frustrating when we have to pick out things for family members we only really see once a year though. With that said and another holiday season done and dusted, let’s sit back and review how everyone else did by taking a look at 6 of the most popular presents of the 2016 festive season.

Google Home

One of the most popular presents among casual music lovers this year, Google Home is the latest product from Google and is a voice activated speaker. With dual microphones and Wi-Fi connection, Google Assistant can understand all of your ‘Okay Google’ commands. Its simple yet sleek design also comes with a customizable base to ensure it fits nicely in whichever room you use it. Priced at only $129, this was a very popular and affordable holiday gift.

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Xbox One S

The newest edition to Microsoft’s gaming series is the Xbox One S. An upgrade from the original Xbox One, the One S is smaller than its predecessor. Classed as the ultimate gaming and entertainment system, the new system upgrades allow it to play 4K videos and displays high dynamic range (HDR) imaging. With a price of $300, it may not have been the most enticing gift to buy for some. Of course, being an Xbox it was still always going to be a popular gift among loved ones and gamers worldwide.

Hatchimals

Hatchimals were one of the hottest items at many of this years toy expos. Naturally, they found their way onto many young girls’ Christmas lists, making them one of the most popular gifts of the season. The big egg that eventually hatches into an animal is speckled with color and comes already charged so the countdown begins as soon as you purchase it. You won’t know when it will hatch or which of the 8 creatures you have inside until it hatches. Although the color splashes on the egg seem to reflect the animal inside, the egg will begin to shake when it’s getting ready to hatch. With a retail price of $60, you may have had to pay a little more to get your hands on one of these, as they sold out in most major stores.

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Light Up Shoes

You may remember Light Up Shoes from the 90s, as something out of ‘Back To The Future’. However, if you were to go by many kids’ holiday gifts this year, it seems that shoes with LED lights on their soles are back in style.

These days though they’re a tad more advanced. With Light Up Shoes being USB rechargeable and having a 6 to 8-hour battery life. They also come with a portable remote so you can control the color and flashing style of the LED lights on the go. It’s fair to say, these sneakers made a pretty flashy and futuristic gift. They weren’t that expensive either with a simple pair costing less than $40.

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Cozmo

Speaking of remote controls, here’s one holiday gift that blew all other remote control toys out of the water. Comzo, the robot toy, is basically a super computer on wheels that’s controllable from an iOS and Android app. Apart from the ability to play games and interact with it, Comzos are also able to learn and explore on its own. It’s basically a personal robot that’s always willing to hang out and play. Costing $179, it may not be as expensive as you’d expect for getting your own robot friend. Which is why it made it under so many Christmas trees.

What popular gifts do you think will make the cut for 2017?

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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