The Secret to Learning a Foreign Language as an Adult


TIME

Answer by David Bailey, CEO of Spotnight, on Quora.

I’ve learned several foreign languages as an adult. I was able to learn French to conversation fluency in 17 days using the following techniques. Note that I had previously learned Spanish to fluency so this was not my first foreign language.

In summer of 2005 I stayed with a French friend in a tiny village in the Beaujolais region of France. No one in the village spoke English and, since my friend knew I had an ambitious learning goal, she refused to speak to me in English as well.

I set up a routine where I did the same things every day.

In the mornings, I woke up and wrote out longhand the regular and irregular verb tables for 1.5-2 hours. I managed to get through an entire pad of paper in two weeks. I still believe that writing…

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5 Top Secrets to Getting More Done


TIME

1) Be a Machine

The secret to getting more done is to make things automatic. Decisions exhaust you:

The counterintuitive secret to getting things done is to make them more automatic, so they require less energy.

It turns out we each have one reservoir of will and discipline, and it gets progressively depleted by any act of conscious self-regulation. In other words, if you spend energy trying to resist a fragrant chocolate chip cookie, you’ll have less energy left over to solve a difficult problem. Will and discipline decline inexorably as the day wears on.

Build routines and habits so that you’re not deciding, you’re just doing. When you first learn to drive it’s 1000 activities like steering, shifting, checking mirrors, braking — but with practice you turned it into autopilot and it’s no stress at all.

2) Sleep is king

Get enough sleep:

All told, by the…

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The 3 Best Ways to Tackle Procrastination


TIME

Answer by John Chan, designer and founder of Dayboard, on Quora.

1) Write a daily to do list
Long to do lists don’t get done. They make us feel overwhelmed and even guilty if we know we’ve been putting them off.

So instead of staring at 30 or 40 items at a time, make your to do list super short but turning it into a daily to do list of 3-5 items.

Having only 3-5 items does a few mental tricks:

  1. It makes us prioritize based on what we feel we can accomplish in a day
  2. It’s much more likely to be achieved
  3. Makes us feel like we’re making a lot of progress every time we complete one item (you’re crossing off 20-33% of your list off at a time!)

2) Turn your to-do into a 2-minute task to get started
We often dread getting started on a…

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Prevent a Hack on Your ATM PIN


Plato on-line

activistpost-thermo_hack‘You’ve just finished your trip to the grocery store with your debit card, making sure to hide your pin number. But before you get home, the funds in your account are wiped clear. How did this happen?

‘Thanks to an inexpensive and ingenious device that attaches to an iPhone, a new wave of cyber theft allows the holder to commit silent robbery by reading your thermal imprint. There are a variety of ways they can obtain your card number right there or later, but what they really need is your PIN.

‘Mark Rober demonstrates how easy this theft is by actually stealing someone’s PIN in the video below…’
video

5 Things You Learn About Rich People Working at a Nice Hotel
‘The rich and the famous live lives of unthinkable luxury in their gated homes far away from us commoners. But if you want to peer into their bizarre lives…

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10 Things You Should Do Every Day To Improve Your Life


TIME

1) Get out in nature

You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.

2) Exercise

We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarter,happier, improves sleep, increases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.

3) Spend time with friends and family

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (

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5 Fool-Proof Ways to End Procrastination Today


TIME

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow,” quipped Mark Twain. Waiting until later is one of life’s guilty secrets, but chronic procrastination is linked to poorer health, work and relationship outcomes. Thankfully there are some straightforward ways to put off putting-off, and the way you think about a task can impact your desire to get it done.

In one psychological study, participants were given a 15-minute head start on a math test, during which time they could choose to practice for the test, play a video game or work on a puzzle. When the math test was introduced as an important measurement of cognitive ability, those with a propensity to procrastinate spent more time playing video games or doing the puzzle than others. But when the math test was described as a fun game, there was no difference in the amount of time procrastinators…

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The Anonymous App Used by the Police to Fight Bullies and Porn


Gigaom

In an open-floor office in the Philippines, an army of people stare at computers full of Whispers. There are 130 people to be exact, each skimming twenty posts at a time on their PC screens. They click and click and click, flagging Whispers here and there to be deleted or elevated to the company’s San Francisco team.

This is how content moderation works for the world of anonymous apps, and it all happens under the roof of one outsourcing firm called TaskUs. It’s labor intensive and it’s a massive, expensive endeavor. Whisper has used a TaskUs team in the Philippines for two years, since the company’s earliest beginnings, but now it’s not the only anonymous app doing so.

Gigaom has learned that Yik Yak, the lesser known anonymous app beloved by teens, began using TaskUs a few weeks ago and that Secretunder fire to explain how it will deal with…

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