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The Best of Life Pro Tips, Part 2

A popular community on reddit is called Life Pro Tips. Users share their wisdom for living their best life. Here’s another round of tips that are meant to improve your life in one way or another. The following are drawn from the very best life tips.

  • [Productivity] Instead of feeling that you’ve blown the day and thinking, “I’ll get back on track tomorrow,” try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter. “Fail small, not big.” – Gretchen Rubin. This can also be a healthy mindset for weight loss. When you make a poor choice for a meal, determine that your next meal will be a good choice rather than feeling defeated and giving up.
  • [Career/Work] When you are fairly new in a job, if a task typically takes someone ~3.5 hours and you can get it done much quicker, don’t turn your task in right away – wait about an hour. If your manager(s) discover how productive you really are, they will quickly overwork you without proper compensation. Of course, you have to consider whether being able to complete a task dramatically faster than normal is realistic. You may want to consider if you’ve missed a key element or process, so you should probably ask your direct report to review your work and ask if you’ve missed something. Anything that requires a lot of attention to detail will be time consuming.
  • [Job Interview] When a job interviewer asks, “What’s your biggest weakness?”, interpret the question in practical terms rather than in terms of personality faults. Avoid answers like “I work too hard”, or “I let people take advantage of me”. Instead, think about the position you are applying for and mention and consider sharing that you don’t ave experience with a particular software program or that you “don’t have much knowledge about [single specific aspect of job] yet, so it would take me some time to learn.” These are real weaknesses that are relevant to the job, but they’re also fixable things that you’ll correct soon after being hired. Personality flaws are not (and they’re also none of the interviewer’s business).
  • [Relationships] A marriage proposal should NOT come as a big surprise, despite what you may have seen in the movies. The topic of marriage should be thoroughly discussed well before you propose. Contrary to the dramatic scenes in movies, in real life your significant other should be well aware of where the relationship is heading.
  • [Relationships] Many problems in marriage are really just problems with being a bad roommate. Learn how to be a good roommate, and it will solve many of the main issues that plague marriages. This includes communicating about something bothering you before you get too angry to communicate properly. In the words of that guy in my dorm shredding into his roommate: “Your mom has done everything for you your entire life and it shows”
  • [Career/Work] No matter how much your workplace pushes “team building” and “family culture” – remember, they’re not your friends and it’s still a workplace. One user shared how they worked at a small business that put huge emphasis on everyone being friends and building a strong team, but it just means it hurts more when someone inevitably stabs you in the back. It’s better to build relationships outside of work or in places where there aren’t any politics or power imbalances. Another user shared about interviewing for a job, and during a tour of the business, the person being interviewed suddenly got a call on their work cell phone. They apologized to the interviewer, and silenced the call without answering and said “I’m on vacation today, so it’s ok”. The guy doing the interview said “oh no, there is no such thing as vacation, when your work cell rings, you better answer it.” That was a huge red flag. The user decided against a follow-up interview and instead, they chose a job with a written “vacation means vacation” policy.
  • [Parenting] Strict parents can turn their kids into more effective liars because children who are afraid to tell the truth learn more deceptive behaviors to avoid getting in trouble. Set reasonable rules and expectations for your child, Reward positive behavior and Accept mistakes as a chance for learning. Angry parents can be akin to torture. People will say anything to make the torture stop. Truth has nothing to do with it. It’s about protecting yourself.
  • [Social] When someone gets interrupted while telling a story, invite them to continue after the interruption is over with an, “as you were saying about (x)” or something similar. It can be uncomfortable for the person to start back up and this makes them feel like you valued their words.
  • [Career / Work] The days of pensions and 30+ year careers with the same employer are gone. So always be prepared to leave your employer because they are prepared to leave you. You are replaceable at work, but never replaceable at home. Remember where you should keep your loyalties and heart.
  • [Career / Work] Don’t bother giving more than a two or three week notice. Consider the story of a conscientious employee who gave an extended notice (several months). He was going back to school but wanted to give plenty of notice so the employer could hire and adequately train a replacement. The employer decided two was was enough, and the employee now had an expected loss of income. Had this person waited, they would have continued to be paid. While not all employers are so cold hearted, most have little interest in helping you, just helping themselves.
  • [Social] Ask yourself “what does it matter to me” the next time you find yourself judging someone for their clothing, interests or hobbies. The more you train yourself to not care about the personal preferences of other people, the more relaxed and nicer you become as a person.
  • [Personal Growth] Stop engaging with online content that makes you angry! The algorithms are keeping you angry, turning you into a zealot, and you aren’t actually informed! We all get baited into clicking on content that makes us angry, or fuels “our side” of a contentious topic. The problem is that once you start engaging with “rage bait” content (politics, culture war, news, etc) the social media algorithms, which aren’t that bright yet, assume this is ALL you want to see.

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