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10 Skills That Are Hard To Learn But Can Hugely Benefit You In The Long-Term

10 Skills That Are Hard To Learn But Can Hugely Benefit You In The Long-Term

They say that the best things in life are free, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take time, dedication, and commitment. When it comes to learning important life skills, they are certainly difficult to acquire, but are beneficial to learn. Learning these important life skills will be one of the best investments you could ever make for yourself.

1. Time Management

No matter how many ways you slice it, there will only ever be 24 hours in a day. When you learn time management, you learn to take control of your time, which improves your ability to focus. When your focus is increased, your efficiency is enhanced because you stop losing momentum. You’ll notice that you’ll move through tasks much quicker, making it seem like the workday is flying by. That’s always a plus, right? When you have mastered time management, you will eliminate that awful feeling of not having done enough in your day. You’ll feel more calm, relaxed, and in control of your life. When it comes to making decisions, you’ll be able to carefully examine each option, so you can make the best decision possible.

2. Empathy

Empathy by definition means, “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” People often confuse empathy and sympathy. In fact, they are quite different from one another. Sympathy, for example, is feeling sorry for someone who happened to lose a loved one. An example of empathy could be when someone loses their job; you can decide to ask open-ended questions, and truly seek to feel what that person is feeling in regards to what losing their job really means to them. Empathy is the key to success, and it has the power to transform the way we think, work, and lead. To acquire this skill follow, these Do’s and Don’ts:

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Do’s

  • ask open-ended questions
  • become comfortable with silence
  • ask why often
  • seek stories and emotions.

Don’ts

  • ask leading questions
  • judge
  • assume
  • only hear what you want to

3. Ask for help

This is a big one. A lot of times, we feel like it’s a sign of weakness if we have to ask for help, so we try to do everything all on our own. Truth be told, asking for help is really a sign of strength.

Assumption 1: It’s a sign of weakness. If I can’t do it on my own, I must not know how to do it, or I don’t have the skills or resources to do it.

Assumption 2: Allowing someone else to help me means losing control over the situation.

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Assumption 3: If I receive support then I have to reciprocate. What if I can’t return the favor? What if I don’t want to return the favor?

Assumption 4: If I ask for the support of others, I am burdening them. They are just as busy as I am, so how could they find the time to help out?

Assumption 5: I am the only one that can do it my way. It’s easier and quicker for me to do it than to train or teach someone else to help me.

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When you ask for help you give the opportunity for others to show you their gifts and talents and in turn, you’re more likely to learn something new. It empowers others to shine, and you are then able to see their passions. When you ask for help, it shows that you are imperfect just like everyone else. There is strength in being vulnerable.

4. Consistency

People will set a goal for themselves and because they can be inconsistent, they lose sight of that goal. Or, when we set a goal and we reach it, we sometimes forget that we must remain consistent to keep it. Consistency is very important when it comes to maintaining any kind of success.

5. Listening

Listening is important because it prevents miscommunication. It can make a message more clearly understood and can help reduce the amount of frustration for the speaker. Listening is a skill that is required for all types of communication. Listening is important in personal lives, daily activities, career, and employment environments. Many top employers spend money to ensure that their employees are able to effectively listen.

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6. Mind your own business

This is probably one of the most difficult skills to master. For whatever reason, it is so hard for people to keep their nose out of business that does not concern them. As you learn to be in your own business, you allow others to be in theirs. Do not put your nose where it doesn’t belong, unless you are specifically asked for advice. We often interfere with the business of others because we feel that we may know better. When you mind your own business, you will feel lighter; you’re not in charge of the universe. You will become more at peace just by being concerned with your own life, free from expectations and disappointments.

7. Resist Gossip

I know it’s hard, but it’s important to resist the urge to gossip and listen to others gossip. There’s a lot of mistruth that comes from gossiping and can cause quite a bit of drama. I’m sure we have all been in a situation where we have gossiped about people behind their back. Most of us do it without thought. Learning not to gossip is difficult because then it means we are possibly missing out on some information that we may otherwise not know. By gossiping about others behind their back, we prove that we cannot be trusted. So instead, when you hear someone gossiping about someone to you, you should kindly ask them to talk about something else.

8. Stay present in the moment

This is a hard one. Especially for those of us who overthink everything. We catch ourselves analyzing the past as if we can somehow go back in time to change something we wish we hadn’t done or said. Or, we think about the future so much that we often ruin the present. When you spend so much of your time thinking about things that haven’t even happened yet, you ruin your ability to be able to fully enjoy the present for what it is, and what it’s offering you.

9. Master your thoughts

It’s important to stay in charge of your thoughts. We are products of our past experiences and choices but that does not mean that our past reflects our future. Begin every day with a clean slate. Know that as each day passes, you are growing and changing into the person you’re meant to become.

10. Speak up

One of the greatest fears a lot of us have, is having to speak in front of others. The reasoning behind this varies from person to person, and some of these behaviours can be diagnosed into types of social phobias. However, the main underlying reason is that we fear being judged by those who are watching and listening. By learning to speak in front of others, you give yourself a big confidence boost, and it makes you more and more comfortable around other people. If you want to be a leader, you must learn how to communicate.

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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