Redditors are sharing their favourite “life pro tips” in an AskReddit thread, and we’ve collected the best below. Strung together, they feel like a mundane modern Art of War: Briefly-worded tactics and strategies for fighting the good fight. Learn tricks for falling asleep, starting hard tasks and calculating percentages.
“Blink [your] eyes rapidly for a minute before bed to tire yourself out,” says wag234. (Results, say other redditors, are mixed.)
“Don’t put it down, put it away,” says Decim8r. The most important rule of a tidy home.
When you get up in the night for the bathroom, says dhp2d, keep one eye closed until you’ve turned off the bathroom light. Then switch eyes, to use the one that’s still acclimated to the dark.
Using your hands like a squeegee, wipe the water off your body before you get out of the shower, says a-r-c. Essential for hairy people who otherwise end up with a sopping wet towel and a lake on the bathroom floor.
“If you spread your cheeks as you sit down, you have a lot less wiping to do,” says repliers_beware. I’m not sure how this works, but some redditors really seem to like it.
“Open a bag of chips and roll the bottom in so it creates its own self-standing bowl,” says oxfouzer. “People are always impressed.”
Similarly, says MrBrotatoHead, when you put messy stuff in a Ziploc, roll the top outward first, to leave the zippy part clean until it’s time to close the bag.
“When the power goes out, search for Wi-Fi networks on your phone to see if everyone's power is out,” says sunnytimes68.
As soon as you get home, says mystifiedmeg, set a 10-minute timer and tidy up. You can do this when you aren’t tired from being out, and the timer will still help the cleaning feel like less of a slog.
“Saran wrap/cling wrap goes in your freezer. That makes the product actually work,” says CeadMileSlan. “It won’t stick to itself & crumple when you try to tear off a sheet.”
To quickly cool a bottle or can of beer, says RandyOwl, wrap it in wet paper towels and stick it in the freezer for five to 10 minutes. But don’t forget it or it might explode on you!
“Use pistachio shells to open the really hard to open pistachios,” says Almidas.
Ethaniac blew our innumerate little minds: “X% of Y is equal to Y% of X. It’s made my mental maths so much easier.”
Do you ever send emails too early, or do you frequently regret not giving them a once-over? Write your whole email before you fill in the “To:” field, says million_monkeys.
“The comma and period keys move YouTube videos one frame backward and forward, respectively,” says Poppamunz.
“If you are nervous about any kind of public speaking, volunteer to go first,” says Pinki3663. You get more time to relax, less time to worry, and you get graded on a curve because everyone else is worried about their turn.
TheHeroHere shares the dumbest productivity tip that really works:
Have to get something done and don’t want to start it? Count down from 6 and force yourself to do it. I have no idea why it works, or why the number 6 was chosen, but I applied it to the menial tasks in my life I don’t want to do and it’s worked extremely well.
“If something takes less than 15 minutes just do it right now instead of putting it off,” says downwithwindows. How about two minutes?
When addressing someone else’s mistake, focus on the mistake, not the person who made it, says katie001x. “The attachment didn’t come through,” not “You didn’t send the attachment.” This keeps the momentum toward the solution, not toward defensiveness. (LizTheTired says there’s more of this advice in the book Change Your Questions, Change Your Life.)
On large projects, “focus on the path in front of you rather than the top of the mountain,” says ClassicManAC.
In The World
“Instead of saying ‘I know,’ say ‘You’re right,’” says joemac1505. They’re right.
“If I’m planning on buying something but last minute decide against it, I take the money and put it in savings,” says macabremaven.
“If you get a prepaid Visa gift card, save it with like $1 or $2 and use it to sign up for free trials without having to worry about using your actual credit card,” says -eDgAR-.
“Get a dashcam,” says ColorsByVest. It’s useful if you’re ever in an accident and need to show what really happened, but CBV found it also made them a safer driver. “With the dashcam, I drive like there’s an insurance broker riding shotgun and a jury in the backseat.”
“If you want a perfect high five, look at the other person’s elbow,” says SammyWatkinsIsMyHero. Share this high-five how-to so people know how cool you are!
This social tip from twopacktuesday might be awkward, but we’ve all been trapped in a conversation so boring that we just might try it: “If someone won’t shut up, drop something. They’ll pause when you go to pick it up. Use that opportunity to speak, as you pick up whatever you dropped.” Better than faking a phone call.
We’ve used this to get many blog posts started: To break out of writer’s block, “write one sentence and see where it goes,” says PolarbearSafari. “Don’t overthink it or criticise the ideas, just jump in and do it.” As stereophony puts it, “Create something today even if it sucks.”
To avoid the footpath shuffle when you’re crossing someone’s path: Look at the direction you want to go, says waldothewalnut. When approaching a group, slow down and they’re more likely to make room for you, says SeniorSoil. And avoid eye contact, says Panda_Bowl. Be a slow-moving object with a predictable path.
“Check the pressure in your spare tire and know how to use the jack before going on a trip,” says Back2Bach, making me nervous about my first-time car rental next month.
This beach tip saved pingpongnunmul’s life: “When you’re caught in a riptide, swim PARALLEL to shore, not directly forwards, in order to escape.”
Donglosaur has a good tip on flirtation signals:
A long time ago I remember reading a thread about signs that someone is interested in you, the one I remember the most clearly is that they’ll look at you if they see or hear something funny. It helped me resolve exactly one potentially uncomfortable situation in my life, making it by far the most useful advice I have ever gotten from reddit.
Of course, that look might just mean they care about your opinion. Don’t go wrecking homes because your friend looks at you like Jim Halpert looks at the camera.
Constantly losing your kids on family outings? Try this tip from Never_Been_Missed:
If you’re at a large park or event with your kids, take a picture of them just as you walk in the door. If by some chance they get lost, you have a picture that shows exactly what they look like and what they were wearing.
There are hundreds more tips in the Reddit thread. So instead of following any of the productivity tips, waste your morning reading them all!