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David Porkka

Things That are Underrated

Jump ropes — Besides teenage girls and boxers preparing for their next fight, the jump rope is largely ignored by most people. I just picked up a jump rope this week and was humbled by the workout I had after just a few minutes of jumping. If it’s been a few years or a decade since you last jump roped, I highly recommend jumping rope again, you probably won’t regret it.

Outdoor playgrounds — If you’re too embarrassed to start jump roping, you can also get a grueling workout on an outdoor playset. Try doing some pull-ups or dips next time you’re near one and gradually progress to muscle-ups and horizontal ring work.

Walking — While outdoor play sets are great for getting ripped, I’ve found that no form of exercise is more conducive to generating ideas than walking. I walk to think more than I walk to see things or go places. I came up with this list while walking.

Tiny notepads — When walking or not walking, make sure you have something to jot down your good and bad ideas. I like to carry around a waiter notepad that can fit in my pocket. It also comes in handy when I need to look like I know what I’m doing or making people feel important. No one questions someone writing intently on a tiny notepad.

Multicolored pens — If you’re walking with a tiny notepad, you’re also going to need a pen. The problem with pens though is that they’re bound to break. You might feel tempted to carry a backup pen, but that would be ridiculous on a walk around the block. Instead, have the built-in redundancy of five pens in one, and also five different colors.

Big monitors — I just bought a second monitor for my laptop last year and it was one of the best tech-related buying decisions I’ve made. I’ve saved so much time being able to look at multiple windows at the same time that I feel years younger. This comes in super handy when doing web development work, but almost anyone who browses the web will probably find that a larger monitor saves them a lot of time.

Keyboard shortcuts — If you already have a big monitor or dual monitor, the next step you can take to take back the years from your life, would be to learn some keyboard short keys. The keyboard shortcuts vary slightly for mac, windows, and linux systems, so you check out the appropriate shortcuts based on the operating system you're using.

If you have a triple monitor setup, you probably already know most of the shortcuts and can safely disregard this tip.

Harmonicas — If you ever find yourself in a serious situation, but have a harmonica in your pocket, you’ll probably survive. There’s almost no situation that can’t be improved by carrying a harmonica with you.

If you’re going on a camping trip where you need to pack light, yet also jam in the car, signal for help on the trail, and break the windows on your friend’s car underwater after he drove into a lake; a harmonica can come in handy.

I'll keep adding to this list of underrated things. Stay tuned.