Boring Advice Repository

This is an ex­ten­sion of a com­ment I made that I can’t find and also a re­quest for ex­am­ples. It seems plau­si­ble that, when giv­ing ad­vice, many peo­ple op­ti­mize for deep­ness or punch­i­ness of the ad­vice rather than for ac­tual prac­ti­cal value. There may be good rea­sons to do this—e.g. ad­vice that sounds deep or punchy might be more likely to be listened to—but as a corol­lary, there could be valuable ad­vice that peo­ple gen­er­ally don’t give be­cause it doesn’t sound deep or punchy. Let’s call this bor­ing ad­vice.

An ex­am­ple that’s been dis­cussed on LW sev­eral times is “make check­lists.” Check­lists are great. We should to­tally make check­lists. But “make check­lists” is not a deep or punchy thing to say. Other ex­am­ples in­clude “google things” and “ex­er­cise.”

I would like peo­ple to use this thread to post other ex­am­ples of bor­ing ad­vice. If you can, provide ev­i­dence and/​or a plau­si­ble ar­gu­ment that your bor­ing ad­vice ac­tu­ally is use­ful, but I would pre­fer that you err on the side of bor­ing but not nec­es­sar­ily use­ful in the name of more thor­oughly search­ing a plau­si­bly un­der-searched part of ad­vices­pace.

Upvotes on ad­vice posted in this thread should be based on your es­ti­mate of the use­ful­ness of the ad­vice; in par­tic­u­lar, please do not vote up ad­vice just be­cause it sounds deep or punchy.