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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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