Ten ways to slightly improve your life without really trying

In The Guardian, there is an article with a list of 100 ways to slightly improve your life (without really trying). I do not agree with all of them (for various reasons), so I decided to pick out the ten I believe provide the greatest marginal gain:

  • Get the lighting right: turn off the overhead one, turn on lots of lamps (but turn off when you leave the room).
  • Eat meat once a week, max. Ideally less.
  • Don’t have Twitter on your phone.
  • Always bring something – wine, flowers – to a dinner/birthday party, even if they say not to.
  • Go to bed earlier – but don’t take your phone with you.
  • Don’t save things for “best”. Wear them – enjoy them.
  • Cook something you’ve never attempted before.
  • Buy a bike and use it. Learn how to fix it, too.
  • Politely decline invitations if you don’t want to go.
  • Make a friend from a different generation.

And here are the ten items from the list that I consider among the worst ways to improve your life:

  • Send a voice note instead of a text; they sound like personal mini podcasts.
  • Buy a cheap blender and use it to finely chop onions (it saves on time and tears).
  • Laugh shamelessly at your own jokes.
  • Learn the names of 10 trees.
  • Always have dessert.
  • Drop your shoulders.
  • Instead of buying a morning coffee, set up a daily transfer of £2 from a current into a savings account and forget about it. Use it to treat yourself to something different later.
  • Sing!
  • Ignore the algorithm – listen to music outside your usual taste.
  • Learn a TikTok dance (but don’t post it on TikTok).