Scraping the Barrel



Top 10 tips are everywhere. Who knew that pretty much everything you ever needed to know in life, about any topic, could be boiled down perfectly to 10 tips. Next time you see a Top 10 list, ask yourself which of the following two categories it falls into…

Category 1 – We had to pick the best 10 - Where there were so many incredible suggestions to choose from but we had to stop at 10 to keep it short. It means there are amazing tips you don’t get the privilege of reading and knowing, but having a nice round number of 10 is good, right?

Category 2 – We had to scrape the barrel to get to 10 and the last few are garbage! - There were 3 great suggestions, 3 average ones, two more slightly dubious ones and two more that totally scraped the barrel. Just to get to 10. Because 10 is an actual thing. (Apparently.)

A few years ago I read the Food Standard’s Agency “Top 10 Tips for a healthy diet”. It had the usual suspects about fruit and veg and more water and less salt and less pre-produced products. Number 8 was a bit of a departure though. It said, “Try to be more active. Aim for 150 minutes a week.”

Seriously? They thought that dropping that little nugget in at number 8 on a top 10 list of how to improve your diet was going to make an actual difference? It’s not like a whole fitness industry, education system, government departments, arms-length bodies, councils, sports facilities, clubs and literally billions of pounds of funding weren’t already on the case on that one.

But they needed 10 things and were probably a couple short.

I’m looking forward to the day I see someone say, “Here are our top tips to help you with [thing you are trying to do]. We thought about giving you 10, but chose 7, because we stopped at only the really great ones.”