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30-Something Everyday Tasks You Might Be Doing 'Wrong'

My breakfast this morning — blown, not peeled.
Matt Thompson
My breakfast this morning — blown, not peeled.

I prepared my breakfast of hard-boiled eggs a bit differently this morning. I added a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water. When the eggs were done, I cooled each one in ice water, then cracked both ends of the shell, held it in my fist and blew. Each time, the shell shook a bit and whistled, then out popped the egg, shell-less and delicious.

This egg-peeling trick, demonstrated below by Internet-famous life hacker Tim Ferriss, was one of dozens posted to the question-and-answer site Quora, in response to the question, "What are common activities people do wrong every day but don't know it?" (A pop-up will request that you sign in, but you can read all the tips even if you skip it.)

While many of the 30-something videos listed deal with food prep, the full list covers a fun variety of everyday activities, including adjusting your rearview mirrors, popping a zit and taking off a T-shirt. These types of tips are what websites such as Lifehacker specialize in, but I haven't come across many lists as varied and useful as this one.

I've long been utterly certain I could never be a credible beat-boxer. But this beat-boxing tutorial gave me hope (and got me tongue-twisted):

I wash my hands several times a day, so "shake and fold" has been a revelation:

Not all the tricks I sampled worked for me on the first try, though. I attempted this nifty tie-tying maneuver:

... and while I tied the tie, the knot was an inelegant elongated tube that I would not be excited to wear. (Like most things, I'm sure I could make it better with practice.)

And of course, there's more than one way to peel an egg. (Try slicing it in half and scooping out the innards, to name one approach.) The common ways of performing these tasks aren't necessarily "wrong."

But as you get started on your New Year's resolutions, perhaps you'll also find a trick or three in here that might permanently alter the way you approach something.

Check out the full list here.

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As Director of Vertical Initiatives (and Mischief) at NPR, Matt Thompson works with teams across the company to guide the development of topic-focused verticals covering race, ethnicity and culture; education; and global health and development.