Helpful Little Tips for Life

Today I bring you a random compilation of helpful little tips — for work, for home, or for dealing with kids, etc. — that I’ve learned in life.

  1. If you’re tired at work, rotate tasks on the half hour to stay productive.
  2. If you want to save money on toys, take your kids to a thrift store and let each child choose his or her own toy.
  3. If your bath tub drains slowly, remove the plug and use a bent coat hook to pull out the endless hair that’s stopping it up.
  4. If your kid is having trouble riding a bike, remove the pedals, lower the seat, and let the kid scuttle along until he or she is ready for the pedals again.
  5. If your kids act like hooligans in stores, get a small umbrella stroller and let one of the kids push another kid (it keeps them occupied a bit more).
  6. If you need better sleep at night, turn off all sources of light (light prolongs the body’s circadian rhythm) and sleep in total darkness.
  7. If your kids resist having their teeth brushed, brush in the rhythm of a song (e.g., “monkeys up, monkeys down, monkeys left …”).
  8. If you dread folding immense piles of laundry, pop in headphones and listen to a podcast while folding.
  9. If you lose your cell phone, call it with Skype.
  10. If you have writer’s block, immerse yourself in information from books, listservs, RSS feeds, and presentations.

And one bonus tip: If something is hard to do, do it every day.

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for The 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), API documentation (code examples, programming), and web publishing (web platforms, interactivity) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS or by email. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.

6 thoughts on “Helpful Little Tips for Life

  1. Craig

    I liked your *Snippets Toward a Philosophy of Life* much better. I would try expanding on that one. Maybe you could make it even better. Or not.

  2. tr

    “And one bonus tip: If something is hard to do, do it every day.”
    I’ve believed for such a long time – and one day, I’ll actually put belief into practice… :-)
    Great list, Tom.

  3. Avani-Mehta

    “monkey up, monkey down” :) very innovative. Sounds like fun too. Joining a toy library is also a great way to save money on toys and yet let children play with a variety of them.

  4. suzi

    Ha, that’s a great one. Especially your bonus tip. As soon as I read it, I knew it was absolutely true. You just have to plow through it. Great blog–I read it and have forwarded it to my tech writing team.

  5. Joanne Unterkunft

    Hi. Those are very nice tips. I especially like the tips about dealing with kids. We just moved in to a new home and my 2 little kids were so hard to handle. They also refuse having their teeth brushed so I followed your tip and it worked!

    Thanks,
    Joanne Unterkunft

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