8 Everyday Activities You've Been Doing Wrong

There's always a better way.

1. Taking pictures.

What you've been doing wrong:

Centering your subject and not utilizing the Rule Of Thirds.

The Rule of Thirds is very simple: when you're taking a non-portrait photograph, imagine that the scene is divided by two pairs of evenly-spaced lines: one pair running vertically, the other horizontally, as seen in the gifs here.

Frame the subject so that it intersects the two sets of lines, but place it off-center. 

See the difference between the photo on the left vs. the photo on the right? The one on the left seems to flatten out, while the one on the right has a quality of depth and dynamism that the other lacks.

The result creates a more visually interesting piece, drawing the viewer into the scene.

Up your selfie and food pic game today!

2. Tying your shoes.

What you're doing wrong:

Everything, apparently. 

The GIF above illustrates the ultimate in shoelace-tying efficiency. We know, right?

3. Using to-go cups.

What you've been doing wrong:

Underestimating the power of the lid. 

The really brilliant thing about this – and try it the next time you get an iced coffee or soft drink – is that the lid will catch all the condensation from your drink, thus sparing your desk from cup stains.

Who knew?

Your next picture of an iced-coffee better be off-center and showing the drink sitting on the lid or we'll know you weren't paying attention. 

4. Riding escalators.

What you've been doing wrong:

Standing in the wrong place, blocking people who need to be somewhere.

The ancient, unspoken, and apparently forgotten rule of escalators has been, is now, and shall ever be: stand right, walk left. 

Airports and shopping centers are popular sites for the misuse of moving stairways, making life unnecessarily painful for fellow humans in a rush to catch their connecting flight or get as far away from the mall as possible. 

Stand on the right. Leave the left side clear for people in a hurry. 

5. Peeling bananas.

What you've been doing wrong:

Peeling them from the stem.

This life-changing video by Crazy Bananas shows the easiest way to peel a banana: the method used by monkeys. 

Pinch the bottom of the banana and watch the magic unfold... Or unpeel, actually.

No more fighting with the stem. No more awkward bananafails. This is banana freedom, folks. Bananageddon has been averted.

6. Using apostrophes.

What you've been doing wrong:

Using them incorrectly in plurals and confusing contractions with possessive pronouns. 

Sounds scary, right? It's okay: everyone does it sometimes, but it's important to get squared away for the sake of professional correspondence and communication. 

In about three seconds, you'll have it all figured out. Even if you already do, this is a great way to teach other people. The trick it to understand it in such a way that it becomes something that can be visualized and conceptualized so that it sticks.

Plurals and possessives.

Examples:

There are many Ashtons in the world, but there's only one Ashton Kutcher.

Q: Whose apostrophes are these?

A: These are Ashton's apostrophes.


Possessives and contractions.

Of course, there's an exception to this rule: it's. The rules are reversed with "it."

"It's" is always a contraction for "it is" or "it has."

The possessive for the pronoun "it" is "its" with no apostrophe.

Hints to help you remember:

In contractions, the apostrophe always stands in for a letter.

There's no apostrophe in "your" because it's not your apostrophe.

7. Packing for a trip.

What you've been doing wrong:

Folding your clothes, thus creating an overpacked bag that has no chance of fitting into the overhead bin on an airplane.


By now you know that smart packers roll their clothes.

But how do you roll, say, a dress shirt?

As with all things, when it comes to packing, you must seek out the masters. In this case, some of the best packers in the world are the men and women who serve in America's military. Check out ArmyGringo on YouTube. His videos will change the way you pack forever. 

Here, he demonstrates how to fold an army jacket, but the same technique applies to dress shirts. It's actually easier with a dress shirt because the material is so much thinner.

Embrace the fact that you will have to iron or steam your clothes once you unpack them, regardless of whether or not you fold or roll them. 

Once you have seen the light, you will travel light.

8. Eating cupcakes.

What you've been doing wrong:

Attempting to eat it from the side, half-wrapped, and disrupting the fragile cake-to-frosting ratio.

This video by Crazy Russian Hacker (who we highly recommend checking out) shows how to defeat the problems inherent in cupcake design, namely the messiness and the frostingless-stump that's left over after the first bites.

And if cupcakes aren't an everyday thing for you...

You're doing that wrong, too.

(cover photo via Taras Kul)

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Related: youtube.com