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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

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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