Unconventional Productivity Tips from Reddit [June 2021 edition]

Welcome to the new edition of the Productivity Tips found on Reddit series. If you want to see more Reddit productivity tips, check out these three posts:

productivity tips reddit

Favourite Productivity Tips from Reddit

This Month

Tip #1: Value your attention as much as Facebook values it.

Link to the original post.

In 2019, Instagram reportedly generated $20 billion in revenue; “an extraordinary success” for a photo-sharing app. That same year, Facebook made $70.9 billion. What exactly is a social networking app like Instagram or Facebook selling to generate such a staggering amount of profit? Attention.

Attention is one of the most valued currencies in this day and age. Use it wisely. Spend it on the things that matter. 

Tip #2: Quirky methods for getting things done.

Link to the original post.

Lots of great examples of quirky things people do to get in a productive mode. Highly recommend checking the comments sections. Here are my favourite:

My strategy is to cross out the task FIRST in my journal notebook BEFORE actually doing them. I hate lying to myself so if I see something crossed out in my notebook, it HAS TO BE done. Works 90% of the time.


I wash my face, hands and desk. I always feel that if everything is clean and fresh, I work much more smoothly and focus more.


Set a timer for 1 hour, take a pen and paper, and go sit somewhere and stare at the wall for an hour. If “oh I’ve gotta go do xyz” thoughts come up, write them down on the paper and then just keep sitting there. Do not get up, check your phone, start doing things, listen to a podcast or music etc. By the end of it you will feel refreshed and ready to get things done. It honestly works. It’s sort of like meditation but don’t put pressure on yourself to feel ‘meditative’.. literally just stare at the wall, you don’t need to do anything fancy. it works


When I’m in a rut and I have an extremely messy room/living space, I’ll have a shower and put some workout gear on. And then I PUT MY SHOES ON.

Putting my shoes on solidifies that I’m not procrastinating and relaxing at home. But rather that I’m ready to go!

Tip #3: Morning routines done differently.

Link to the original post.

A lot of conversations are happening about morning routines in the productivity world. However, I find they often overlook an important part – that these routines should be enjoyable. You should look forward to it. Discussion under this post shows that we are all different and what makes morning routine enjoyable is different for everyone, too. 

These are some answers to the question “What’s the one part of your morning routine that is so valuable, you would never want to change it?”:

1. Morning gratitude – thinking of 3 things I’m grateful for today. It helps the day just seem better and helps me a lot.

2. Making my bed. Small task I can always win. Sometimes I’m out of coffee, sometimes I don’t have time to meditate. Take a bath, etc. I always have time to make the bed. I can always control that.

3. Not looking at my phone right after waking up. It changes everything. You start the day right and that energy carries you throughout the day. 

Making breakfast for my wife. I just enjoy this moment where i can show her how much I love her and help her to get a good start for her day.

Your morning routine does not have to include meditation unless you choose to. Your morning routine doesn’t have to include exercise. Unless you choose to. Relax. It’s your life and you get to decide how to start every day of it, not some self-help book or some guru from the internet. 

Tip #4: Sometimes we buy a thing when what we want is the time to use it. 

Link to the original post.

Sometimes we buy a thing when what we want is the time to use it.

Your time is more important than your things.

Do you want that new bike just because you want to have time to ride it? Do you want to buy that camping gear because you wish to spend more quality time with your family?

There is nothing wrong with buying these items. Just understand the real reason why you are buying these items. And don’t go into debt buying them because it will guarantee that you will continue using your time to pay for these things. Don’t pay with your time for the things you bought hoping you will get more time to use them. 

Tip #5: Drink water (but not too much) to jump out of bed in the morning. 

Link to the original post.

1. Go to bed at least 6 hours before your alarm time, ideally 7-9 hrs. ( obvious but is important)

2. Drink around 500ml of water just before you go to bed ( 300ml for girls)

This feels like cheating because how well it works, not only you’ll stay hydrated all night ( 8 hours is a lot), but when you wake up you’ll need to go to bathroom, like NOW! , no time to snooze.

You need to experiment a bit with the amount of water that works for you, you don’t want to wake up before your alarm because you have to pee

3. Use an old phone or clock as your alarm and put it as far away from the bed as possible.

Like me, you probably have your phone as alarm and that phone is within reach in the morning because using your phone is the last thing you do before sleeping. This means when your alarm goes off in the morning you just reach with your hand and hit the snooze or worse stop the alarm, i can’t count the number of times i did that without even remembering i did…

But if you use an old phone or a clock as your alarm and you put it far away from bed and with max volume, you will have to physically get out of bed to stop it. The fact that you are now already out of bed and have to pee should be enough to ensure that now you will not go back to bed

The part about drinking water is interesting. Drink water but not too much. I should try it.

Tip #6: Take breaks to restore your energy, not to drain it on distractions.

Link to the original post.

You can try using your breaks in a way that actually restores your energy, here are some ideas:

Drink water

Do some light exercise



Close your eyes

If you want to make the most of the hours you spend on your projects, take regular short breaks, but avoid engaging in any activity that sucks you in, such as browsing the internet, using your phone or watching TV.

Yes! I find avoiding checking social media and email between my tasks is a much better way to rest and rejuvenate. Even if it’s just 5 minutes. When I don’t do that and check social media, I don’t feel rested. Because my brain was not resting. It was processing all those pictures and stories from Instagram. It was analyzing them, making a sense of them and storing them in my memory. 

Tip #7: Front-load your yucky feelings. 

Link to the original post.

If you procrastinate, you’re putting off more than your work. You’re putting off the pain. Right?

But doesn’t it always catch up on you?

What you have to do is front-load all those yucky crappy feelings. Go ahead and feel it now so you don’t have to feel it later. And guess what? If you put it off, it gets amplified. Right now you’re dreading doing your homework or writing an article or w/e, but what if you don’t do it? And worse, what if you put that stuff off consistently?

That thing you feel crappy about? That thing you’re dreading? That is exactly the thing you need to do in order to improve your life.

Instead of dreading it, go ahead and embrace it. Embrace the yucky feelings and all. 

This is what I call dealing with resistance. I wrote about it in Why you don’t need another productivity app and How to create and follow your schedule.

Getting comfortable with these negative emotions and choosing to show up for your plan no matter what with the love and care for the future you are what creates an incredible life. 

Don’t be afraid of emotions. First of all, they are not going anywhere if you procrastinate. You don’t feel ecstatic when you actively procrastinate, do you? You still feel that pressure of guilt or shame. So it’s not exactly a pleasurable existence even if you procrastinate. 

Feelings are temporary. They come, they go. They can be changed and created on purpose rather than by default. Btw, this is what I help my clients do. 

At the end of the day, do you want your final words to be “I didn’t do what I wanted to do because I was running away from feeling a negative emotion for few minutes”? I hope not. 

Tip #8: Break down your day. Get back on track in the next quarter. 

Link to the original post.

“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

Check out the comments section for extra inspiration:

I’ve been successful with weight loss with this mindset. Had a meal that wasn’t the best choices, next meal you can make good choices. Kept off 140 pounds for 18 months.


Did you actually have a bad day, or did you have a bad 20 minutes that you’ve been milking all day?

Tip #9: You can trade your time for money but you can never buy your time back. Keep quality of life in mind with all decisions. 

Link to the original post.

This is why we set goals in three areas of life under the Monthly Method:

  1. Career and Growth
  2. Health and Key Relationships
  3. Quality of Life

This makes life a lot more balanced and enjoyable without sacrificing your career goals. 

The less time you have to spend on career goals, the more you need to be disciplined and prioritize your job tasks. 

When you decide that you don’t want to spend 80 hours a week working, it makes you laser-focused on what actually matters in your job. On what moves your career forward. All of a sudden, checking email 20 times a day loses its perceived importance. 

Tip #10: What will your kids really value?

Link to the original post.

I just suddenly imagined all the stuff they did with their lives. They travelled the world together, still, go on a pretty good long vacation every summer, never calculate what they pay for food, books, presents etc. In return, we’ve never been crazy wealthy, thank god we’re doing quite ok but nothing extraordinary. And at that moment I realized that I actually preferred that for them, I would not rather they saved every penny they earned for me and not have lived a full, rich, good life. I suddenly felt so happy for them. It was such a wholesome realization that I wanted to share! 

Oftentimes the best thing we can give to our loved ones is being a living example of what living a good life is. 

bruce lee kids quote


If you liked this June collection of Reddit productivity tips, check out my previous collections:

Many of our readers come from Reddit. Reflecting back on our posts from June, these three posts got the most love from the community. Check them out in case you’ve missed them:

  1. The one question that stops my procrastination
  2. The one question that turns a lazy day around
  3. How to Create and Follow Your Schedule

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