From The Tips Box: Exercising, Back Massages, Greeting Cards

Readers offer their best tips for keeping your mind off the pain while exercising, getting knots out of your back without someone else's help, and keeping a secret stash of greeting cards for forgotten occasions.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at lifehacker.com.au.

Use a Metronome to Keep Concentration While Exercising

Photo by Nick Odolphie.

Matthew Thornton keeps his time and his mind straight when exercising:

Similar to the recent post about self distraction in order to help with exercise, I have found that if I have a metronome on then it helps me with push ups, since I focus on keeping in time, not on the ache. Even better is if you put some music on in the background at the same tempo as the metronome.

Use a Tennis Ball to Give Yourself Back Massages

Photo by mylerdude.

Aim4WhirledPeas keeps his muscles loose without anyone else's help:

My back tends to get pretty knotted up, and I've found a new way to deal with it (besides soliciting massages from my girlfriend). Grab a tennis ball and put it between your back and a wall (or lay down on it on the floor). As you move around, you can apply pressure and release the knots. It's so simple, but seems to work wonders.

Keep a Secret Stash of Greeting Cards for Forgotten Occasions

Photo by Clean Wal-Mart.

Anthony saves himself from certain doom by keeping greeting cards to his wife for the future:

I, like most husbands, don't intentionally try to forget to buy a card for my wife's birthday, our anniversary, or other special occasions. However, as the occasion approaches, time slips away from me and I am sometimes left without a card on the big day. This either leaves me scrambling or empty handed.

My simple way to avoid the pain that comes from procrastination is to buy 2-3 extra cards for the various important dates throughout the year and file them away in case of emergency. It only takes a few minutes and around $US20 for a fantastic marriage insurance policy.

I refill my stash once a year and haven't taken a beating for quite a while now – at least not for forgetting her cards. I also pick up bonus "Awesome Husband" points for the "Just because I love you" cards that I drop on her a few times a year.

This works even if you don't know who you're buying for — Hallmark and all those stores stock up so far in advance these days, you could make a few trips a year and stock up on cards for all sorts of holidays, so when your cousin's birthday rolls around you aren't stuck running to the newsagency the evening of.

Add Documents to your Startup Folder to Remember to Work on Them

Nicholas remembers his tasks for the day by keeping the documents themselves at the front of his attention:

I used to keep my computer running far too long without restarting, because I didn't want to close documents I was still working on. I often keep stuff open to remind me I need to work on it.

Now, I just drag a shortcut to whatever document/file/folder I'm working on into the Startup folder, and can safely shut down or restart my computer. It will automatically open the next time I start! It's a really handy reminder. I can delete it from Startup once I've done working with it.


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