5 Life Pro Tips of the Week – Part 240

Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.

1. If you ever need a program you want for free (for example a video/photo editor) don’t search for “free,” search for “open source” to avoid limited trial versions, adverts, and malware.

2. If you are invited to someone’s home, don’t come too early. They might not be ready and you ruin their planning.

3. The official LEGO website has a section where you can freely download instructions for any set they’ve ever made.

If you’re ever buying LEGO sets secondhand, a lot of sellers will increase the price because they include the original instructions, or even sell the instructions separately. But if you go here you can download PDFs for many instruction manuals, all for free. Of course, if you really want that physical booklet go for it, but if not the LEGO company’s got you covered

Or if you just have a jumble of bricks you’re pretty sure are a set, this is a good resource to help you recreate your old sets. and the search interface is very good.

4. When one of your employees does something very well, email them explaining what they did and what positive impact it had, and cc your boss. This will build their reputation and also your own.

Your boss likely doesn’t know them as well as you do; this allows them to get kudos from higher up.

Explaining the positive impact of your employee’s actions allows your boss to understand more of what your team does. It also forces you to think about the positive impact in a way you may not have.

And this process makes it easier for you to recommend your people for raises/promotions/other recognition because you’ve already helped build/spread a positive reputation for them.

Then save the email (and your boss’s response, if they respond) in your employee’s personnel file to refer back to when you’re writing their annual performance review or award!

Do this for things they do that are exceptional – not ‘thanks for how you always show up for work on time’ but ‘thanks for saving that valuable client who was about to leave but you discovered how to resolve their really complex issue/working with another division to share your expertise to help them build their new process that will help the company reach x more people/that great interview that the governor personally commented on, it made us look really good”

Also, know your people. If they are embarrassed by direct praise, then just praise them behind their back to others. If they prefer quiet recognition or a cash/time off reward, do that.

And if they do always show up to work on time, and that’s notable, mention it to them. Don’t cc others or exaggerate how big a deal it is; on the other hand just because it’s their job doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be recognized for it. “Hey, just want to say I noticed you’re always extremely punctual; may not seem like a big deal to you but it says a lot to me about how you respect other people’s time. Thanks”

5. If you have a friend to whom you confess to, during the hard times in your life, ensure that you speak to them about the good things happening too. It sucks when someone only looks to a friend when things are not going so well and makes them feel used, no matter how good a friend they are.

Also, ask them how their life is going once in a while. Don’t make it one-way traffic.

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