Stop! 15 Simple Things You’ve Probably Been Doing the Hard Way

In our daily lives, we often fall into the trap of doing things the hard way without even realizing it. Many simple yet effective solutions can save us time, effort, and even money, from household chores to work-related tasks.

The topic came up on a Reddit thread when Felis_disapproves asked the question, “What’s something you did ‘the hard way’ for the longest time because you didn’t know there was a much easier way?”

Several thousand Redditors held their hand up and admitted making life difficult for themselves that is, up until someone showed them the easier way. 

Here are the top voted resposes.

1. Microsoft Excel 

BlankExpression24 gave the number one voted answer. They said “Literally every single thing I’ve ever learned to do in Excel stems from a situation like this.”

Pravin-singh recounted, “I worked at a big US telecom company where my job was to get two spreadsheets, match records, and send the results weekly.”

They went on, “No one in my team had heard of VLOOKUP. The person before me did this manually, and it took her an entire week, so I was given only this task, nothing else.”

“Everyone on my team was in a different town, so it didn’t matter if I went to the office or not. So I lived a fully-paid retired life for many months and left only because of boredom.”

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2. Cleaning the Microwave 

One Redditor stated, “Cleaning the Microwave. I struggled to scrub all the dried-up bits off then a friend told me to just put a small dish of water in it and turn it on for a couple of minutes. Everything wipes right out.”

Another added, “Microwave a ball of wet paper towels ~3m. use dry towels to grab it with, and you have a little portable steam cleaner that lasts about 45 seconds.”

3. CTRL + Backspace 

Redditor chrisdante05 suggested, “CTRL + backspace to delete entire words instead of letter by letter.”

DaKingofCheckerz gave another tip, they said, “Ctrl+delete does the same but in the opposite direction. You can also use CTRL+Shift+Arrow keys to select entire words instead of individual characters.”

4. Clearing the Dishwasher 

One Redditor revealed a very helpful tip. They said “My dishwasher is across the kitchen from my utensil drawer. So for years, while unloading the dishwasher, I would stuff as many utensils as I could in my hands.”

They elaborated, “I’d inevitably drop some, and there are a few knicks in my hardwood floor from dropping forks and spoons.”

They continued, “One day at work, a coworker unloaded the dishwasher, removed the utensil basket, and carried it over to the utensil drawer. I never felt so dumb.”

Another user, misanthrope937, noted, “If you want to take a step further: after unloading, put the basket in the sink and load dirty utensils accumulated during the washing cycle if there are any.”

5. Showering

Redditor, DTux5249 offered, “Up until the end of high school, every time I’d take a shower, I would turn on the water while standing in front of the showerhead and brunt the cold.”

They went on to say, “I was informed by a friend that he turns the shower on first, then steps in once at temperature. But did I make his day when I told him I was dumbfounded?”

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In reply, Theral stated, “I have a colleague who always steps into the shower at work, then turns the shower on and screams about the cold.”

They continued, “Once I asked her why she didn’t turn the shower on first, then step in. She answered, “Why would I do that?”

Later, they clarified that the shower at work is because they have a gym at their employment.

6. Copy and Pasting 

Redditor _miia responded to say, “Copy pasting on a computer by meticulously highlighting, right-clicking, then selecting the copy option. I didn’t know about CTRL+C/V for way too long!”

Eudaimonium added, “Double-click-drag to highlight by word, not by character. Try it.”

7. Digital Art 

Lachtaube said “As a digital artist, I started by coloring inside my lines with my stylus, meticulously not missing any blank pixels inside the lines. Then on a new layer, add the shading, doing the same thing but being careful to make it look like a shadow on the figure.”

They continued, “Three years later, I learned there’s a toggle on the magic wand tool, so when you select a space, it chooses only that contiguous space and not jump across lines, so select the same color (or lack of color) space on a layer.”

They also stated, “I could basically fill an entire drawing and then go back and fill in the details where the lines touched, so the selected area didn’t reach those crevices.”

“Then, four years later, I learned about increasing or decreasing your selected area by N pixels. I also learned layer clipping for shading (only colors on the occupied space of the layer it’s clipped to) and layer masking.”

8. Dusting 

Redditoleftthestrick informed, “For dusting things like baseboards, windowsills, and picture frames, the best tool is a (clean) paintbrush.”

They continued, “I always used to use a cloth or something explicitly made for dusting, but the paintbrush is much faster and easier.”

They went onto say, “So I keep a cheap 2-inch paintbrush exclusively for dusting now. It also works great on cobwebs.” 

9. Peeing When Wearing a Swimsuit 

Redditor A-D-T-P answered, “We had a pool when I was a kid. I swam at the public pool all winter. So lots of water time.”

They continued, “The worst thing was having to get out and go pee because, as a girl, you’d have to pull your bathing suit down and sit there cold and naked and then have to pull on a cold, wet suit, and it was sticky and icky and awful. So I’d hold it until I absolutely had to go.”

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Finally, they admitted, “It occurred to me as an adult you can just pull the crotch part to the side, and it stays put while you pee.”

Redditor amh8011 replied, “I swam competitively in high school and have been a lifeguard for almost ten years. I learned this last year!”

However, DancingBear2020 asked, “How much longer did it take you to realize you could just pee in the pool?” 

10. Microsoft Snip Tool 

Western_Quarter_7346 VOLUNTEERED, “The Snip Tool on Microsoft. I used to click the print screen and then crop down everything. The Snip Tool is a game changer.”

Another Redditor responded, “Greenshot will blow your mind. Download it!”

11. Collapsing Reddit Threads 

Redditor antivirals_ admitted, “It took me a while to figure out you simply collapse a comment/thread on Reddit by simply tapping not long pressing.”

Another user added, “I learned both that and that you didn’t have to actually open the Reddit link to read the story (you can click on that little gray box under the title).”

They went onto say, “I learned it from my husband…who has been on the site a shorter time than I have. I used to scroll down the page and create a new tab for every interesting link; I’d have a bunch of open tabs.”

12. Phone Spacebar 

FullbordadOG shared, “Write some random word in a text message. Hold the space bar for a second or two. Then, slide your thumb back and forward on the space bar, and the cursor will move. It makes removing one letter in a long, misspelled word easy.”

Redditors discovered that both iPhone and Android models responded to the tip.

13. Nail Clipping 

Another Reddit user, tomyownrhythm, admitted, “When I was a kid, I was terrible at nail clippers. I knew to put my nail in the chompy bit at the end but didn’t realize that the handle/lever folded out.”

They continued, “So I would squeeze really hard until I broke my nail off the blades; this went on for an embarrassing time before my mom saw me and taught me how to open the lever.”

14. iPhone Symbols 

Texan1964- offered, “If you hold down the “0” (zero) button on an iPhone, it will bring up the “°” degree symbol.”

Many users said they had discovered symbols by hitting other random other buttons. 

15. Parchment Paper 

Redditor ethottly shared, “Parchment paper. No more scrubbing off baked-on cheese and sauce. If it goes in the oven, I use parchment paper.”

Cookielunatic98 warned, “Not to be confused with WAX paper! DO NOT use wax paper in your oven. Not unless what you’re trying to do is start a fire!”

Did you know all these quicker ways to complete these tasks? Are there any more you can add to the list?

This article was produced and syndicated by Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi.

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Tim Thomas is a renowned writer and entrepreneur specializing in finance, investing, and money matters. With his extensive knowledge and experience in the financial sector, Tim offers valuable insights into the world of personal finance, stock market trends, and investment strategies.