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30+ Life Skills That Aren’t Taught in School but Largely Affect Our Lives

30+ Life Skills That Aren’t Taught in School but Largely Affect Our Lives

What do you remember learning at school? Algebra? Shakespeare? Chemistry? Baseball? Chances are, your teachers taught you all sorts of useless stuff, without including any actual life skills. But don’t despair – there’s still plenty of time to learn.

So, what exactly are life skills?

Put simply, life skills are the skills that allow us to live a full and happy life. [1] Without good life skills, you might struggle through failure after failure, disappointment after disappointment, wondering why you can’t seem to do anything right.

A study which followed 8000 people for 11 years showed that those with good life skills were healthier, happier and richer. [2]. Those without good life skills were more likely to be depressed, isolated and unhealthy.

Want to maximize your chances of being happy, healthy and wealthy? Check out the huge list of life skills below, along with links to helpful learning resources.

It’s never too late to start improving yourself.

Ways to Excel in Learning

How to master a new language

This is a hugely beneficial skill that can give you the edge in your career, and help you make new friends from around the world.

You Need To Know This Science Of Learning Languages To Perfectly Master A Foreign Language

How to train your brain

Keeping your brain in good shape will help you learn faster and think up novel solutions to tricky problems.

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

How to boost your memory

Wish you could remember more? Spend some time learning clever tricks to boost your memory.

13 Simple Tricks To Improve Your Memory

How to enhance your observation skills

Being able to make good observations helps us solve problems, avoid danger, and draw insight from different situations.

Increase Your Powers of Observation

How to use online resources to learn more

The internet is an amazing tool for education, and many resources are completely free.

25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

How to have fun

Life isn’t all about work. Learn to have fun wherever you are and you’ll and massively boost your health and happiness.

30 Fun Things to Do at Home

Ways to Be Better at Communication

How to negotiate skillfully

Negotiation skills can come in handy when trying to get a higher salary, haggling for a better price at the shops, or dealing with difficult clients. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

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How To Negotiate With People Who Have More Sway Than You

How to talk to a stranger

All friends start off as strangers! Being able to talk to new people without feeling uncomfortable is a great way to make connections in any situation.

How To Start A Conversation With Anyone Without Awkward Silence

How to solve a conflict

People won’t always agree with you, and that’s okay. Being able to peacefully solve conflicts is a great skill for work and relationships.

8 Simple Steps to Resolve Any Conflict Like a Zen Master

How to have an interesting conversation

Good conversation skills can turn dull small talk into a genuine, interesting connection.

Have Mindful Conversation in 9 Easy Steps

How to express yourself clearly

People aren’t going to know what you’re thinking unless you tell them. Learning to express yourself clearly and boldly is a key step on the journey to self-confidence.

8 Effective Ways To Be More Assertive

Ways to Raise Your Mental Toughness

How to stop caring what others think

Life is so much easier when you stop worrying about other peoples’ opinions of you.

6 Steps to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You

How to avoid being manipulated

Not everyone in life has your best interests at heart, and you may find yourself being manipulated by others. Stay strong and stand your ground.

8 Ways To Stop Emotional Manipulation

How to be more resilient

Being resilient means being able to deal with whatever life throws at you, rather than being thrown off course when things don’t go your way.

10 Strategies Resilient People Use To Bounce Back When Life Knocks Them Down

How to deal with change

Change is inevitable, and learning to deal with it means you can embrace the ups and downs of life, enjoying every moment.

4 Ways to Deal with Big Life Changes

How to cope with stress

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If you’re not prepared, stress can build up to unmanageable levels, damaging your mental and physical health. Learn to deal with it in a healthy, productive way.

30 Easy Ways To Beat Stress Quickly

Ways to stay healthy

How to exercise more

Exercise reduces your chance of illness, improves mental health, and can be a lot of fun.

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit

How to sleep better

Sleeping well feels good, keeps you healthy, and ensures you can make the most of every day.

11 Sleep Habits of Successful People

How to eat more fruit and vegetables

Get creative when cooking fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.

Top 10 Creative And Healthy Ways Of Cooking Fruits And Vegetables

How to manage your weight

Staying at a healthy weight is a key part of feeling good and avoiding illness.

8 Highly Effective Weight Loss & Muscle Building Tactics

How to improve your mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health, so make sure you don’t neglect it.

5 Easy Tips To Improve Your Mental Health

Ways to make the best use of time

How to stop wasting time on social media

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, but can easily turn into a time sink. Keep your usage minimal.

Managing Your Social Network Addiction

How to be a morning person

Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are morning people, and you can be too!

Take These 10 Simple Steps To Make You A Morning Person

How to focus and get more done

Good focus is key to getting things done and achieving big goals.

7 Tips To Improve Your Attention Span And Focus Instantly

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How to work faster

Less time working = more time having fun. Learn to work smarter, not harder.

How To Work Faster And Smarter

How to improve your time management

Time management skills are essential to a well-balanced life. No more staying late at work or arriving at meetings way too early.

10 Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skills

Ways to have happy relationships

How to tell someone you love them

Found that special person but aren’t sure how to tell them?

How To Tell Someone You Love Them Subtly Yet Sweetly (100 Ways Provided)

How to manage arguments

Arguments happen in all relationships – it’s how you deal with them that matters.

7 Things Couples Always Fight About (And How To Deal With It)

How to know it’s time to break up

Breaking up isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. Plan ahead to avoid getting hurt.

Breaking Up is Hard to do – 20 Questions to Help You Know When it’s Time to Let go

How to plan a great date

Fun dates make any relationship better – whether it’s your first meeting or you’ve been together for years.

30 Cheap And Amazing Date Ideas For Couples

How to talk about the future with your partner

Planning for the future is an important part of any healthy relationship.

15 Things To Talk About In A Healthy Relationship

Ways to work towards a goal effectively

How to set goals

Creating sensible goals sets you up for success and helps you avoid failure.

How To Set The Right Direction For You Life And Do What You Want Most

How to stay motivated

Those goals aren’t going to achieve themselves. Learn to stay focused and motivated for best results.

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8 Steps To Continuous Self-Motivation

How to stay optimistic

Feeling down because you haven’t hit your goals yet? Learn to stay optimistic about the future.

Become More Optimistic with These Simple Methods

How to avoid burnout

Working too hard can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Make sure you take time out to relax and unwind.

9 Ways To Prevent Burnout

How to stop giving up

You won’t achieve anything if you give up. Learn to keep going, no matter what.

7 Things To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

Ways to have a satisfying career

How to negotiate salary and get what you want

Don’t settle for low pay – learn to get the wage you want and deserve.

How To Negotiate Salary Skilfully Without Being Pushy

How to plan a career change

Feeling stuck in the wrong career? Make a change before it’s too late.

Motivation To Make A Career Change

How to leave a job

Sometimes it’s time to move on. Learn to leave without burning any professional bridges.

5 Critical Steps to Take Before Quitting Your Job For Good

How to start your own business

Fancy being your own boss. Take a leap of faith and become a successful entrepreneur.

17 Steps To Start Your Own Business Even If You’re Working Full Time

How to enjoy work

Life is a million times easier when you enjoy your job, and it’s not hard to learn how.

15 Ways You Can Enjoy The Job You Hate

Are you ready to start learning the life skills that will turn your life from average to amazing? Start with one small goal right now.

Reference

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on February 17, 2021

50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

If you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do, maybe it’s time to check-in with your time management skills.

No one is born to be very good at time management, so that’s okay if you think you’re bad in it. But everyone can learn to boost their productivity and achieve more!

Here are 50 ways to increase productivity and add hours to your day.

1. Set a Timer

Estimate the time you need to tackle different tasks and set a timer for each of your tasks. How you go about this is up to you as there are many different ways. There is the Pomodoro technique where you focus on a task for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break afterwards.

In the event that you have a task that will take much longer than that, you can consider one of the many timer-based apps. One that comes to mind is Clockify. It’s used for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike, however it’s a good way to be setting yourself a timer. It provides reports and you can serve as a project manager of sorts too. Best of all, it’s free.

2. Eliminate All Distractions

Distractions include the phone, email notifications and having multiple web browsers open on the desktop. Just as it’s important to be organized offline, it’s key to have things organized online as well. This free guide End Distractions And Find Your Focus is a good tool to help you. With this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of distractions and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

You can also learn more on how to get rid of all distractions in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

3. Listen to Music That Boosts Productivity

Distractions should be avoided, but sometimes a bit of music in the background can help you focus.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be heavy rock music, but a bit of Beethoven may do you some good.

Here’s a complete guide to help you pick the right music for better productivity: How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

4. Find Meaning in What You Do (And Love What You Do)

Enjoying what you do is the ultimate way to increase your productivity.

If you aren’t sure what you love doing yet, don’t worry. Leo Babauta has some unique ways to help you: How to Find Your Passion

5. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time.

By listing your tasks in order of importance, you can make sure that you finish all of your most important tasks during the day.

Learn a unique technique to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster.

6. Batch Similar Tasks into a Single Batch.

Tasks like blog writing, phone calls, email and errands can be grouped into a single batch. You will save time by completing similar tasks in one session. One way to help you with organizing all of those things is through the app Todoist. It’s an easy and simple way for you to plan out your day, set reminders, and group all of your most important tasks in a convenient spot.

7. Complete Your Most Dreaded Tasks First Thing in the Morning.

Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning.

Many people tend to check emails in the morning because after checking a list of emails, they feel fulfilled. But that’s just an illusion of having achieved more.

Doing simple tasks like checking emails first in the morning is bad for you. Instead, do the difficult tasks because you have more energy in the morning to tackle them!

8. Reward Yourself for Finishing a Big Task

To stay motivated for whatever you do, reward yourself every now and then.

Keep track of your small wins and milestones and celebrate them. So whenever you struggle about your progress, you see how far you’ve come!

Find out more about this 2-Step Approach to Self-Motivation: Track Small Wins and Reward Yourself.

9. Don’t Multitask

Research has shown that multitasking is not productive. If you think you can multitask, think again.

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For optimum productivity, focus on one thing at a time.

10. Step Away from the Computer

The Internet has become one of the number one distraction. To increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible.

I do this a lot when I try to brainstom new ideas and have found it to be very beneficial to simply unplug.

11. Use Focus Tools

Make good use of apps and technology to help you remove distractions.

Here’re 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools to help you stay focused. This way, you’re not distracted by the web, e-mail, or IM.

Also, join the free Fast-Track Class – Overcoming Distraction, and you’ll learn the one simple method to work even when you’re surrounded by distractions. Join the free session now!

12. Just Start

Often times, starting is the hardest part. People tend to wait for the perfect time with perfect condition to start. But there’s no perfect condition.

Once you get going, you will quickly get into a rhythm that could last for hours.

13. Find out Your Productive Hours

Everyone has a certain time of the day in which they are more productive than others. For me, it’s the morning.

Find out when your prime time is for productivity and optimize your work schedule accordingly.

14. Keep a Notebook and Pen on Hand at All Times

This way, you can write down your thoughts, to-dos and ideas at any time. The key is to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Your subconscious mind won’t be reminding you about it every other second. Another consideration is getting the app Evernote. Not only does this save you on ink and paper, Evernote is a convenient place for you to jot down notes and thoughts and then share them with the team. In certain circumstances, this can prove useful if you’re the type of person that has a lot of ideas that you want to share.

15. Write a Blog to Chronicle Your Own Personal Development and Achievements

The blog keeps you accountable and always working towards self improvement and personal growth.

When you write down all the small achievements you’ve been having, you’re also more motivated to move forward.

And you know what, this is how I started Lifehack too! What also helped me in starting Lifehack is WordPress, which allows people to set up a website for free. WordPress has simplified a lot of the process of building a site to the point that virtually anyone can build a website now.

16. Write out a To-Do-List Each Day

I like to plan my day the night before. This way, I can get started on my most important tasks as soon as I wake up. The Full Life Planner is a nice tool to help you organize your days and get things that matter done. Check out the planner here and start to plan your day ahead easily!

Make sure you don’t make any of these common to-do-list mistakes!

17. Write Your Most Important Tasks and To-Dos on a Calendar.

The key to good time management is knowing where to be and what to be doing there at any given time. Effective calendar management goes hand in hand with good task list management.

Learn here How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space.

18. Reflect on Your Productivity Constantly

As you go throughout your day, repeatedly ask yourself:

“Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?”

This one simple question can be an excellent boost to your productivity.

19. Get up Early Before Anyone Else

I know it could be difficult for some to wake up early in the morning but nothing beats a quiet house!

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Here’s How to Start Your Day at 5:00 AM and some Simple Things Early Risers Do to make waking up early easier.

20. Get Plenty of Sleep

When you work online, sleep can become a long lost memory. However, it’s important to get plenty of sleep so that your working hours can be as productive as possible.

Try out this night routine which I highly recommend for productivity: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

21. Exercise

Research has shown that midday exercise boosts productivity and morale in the workplace.

Take a short walk at lunch or do some simple stretches during your break to maximize your productivity.

Here I have some exercises recommendations for you:

22. Outsource as Much as Possible

If you want to achieve more in less time, learn to delegate or outsource work. Here are just a few of the companies that will help you outsource your everyday tasks:

Also, read this guide to learn how to delegate effectively: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

23. Set Some Exciting Goals

Without worthy goals, you will never be motivated to get things done.

Set goals that are challenging and achievable. The best goal setting framework is a SMART goal. That said, there are other tools that can help you out as well. For example, The Dreamers’ Guide To Reaching Your Goal is a great guide to help you set and reach goals effectively. Grab your free guide and learn how to make your goals happen this year!

24. Tell Other People About Your Goals

When you tell others about your goals, you will instantly be held accountable.

25. Listen to Podcasts

Listen to educational podcasts or audio books while you’re driving to work, cleaning the house, exercising, or cooking dinner.

Audio learning has the power to add hours to your day. Not to mention, your cranium is sure to thank you for it.

Some recommendations for you: 11 Podcasts To Inspire Yourself

26. Read David Allen’s best-selling book Getting Things Done

This is one of the most important productivity books you will ever read. Read it, apply the tips in your daily lives and get more things done.

Here’re more great books about productivity too: 35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

27. Learn to Speed Read

When you can read faster, you will read and learn more! Check out these 10 Ways to Increase Your Reading Speed.

You can also make use of the app OutRead to help speed up your reading speed!

28. Learn to Skip When You Read

When you’re reading a book, just read the parts that you need and skip the rest. But you have to read with a purpose.

Learn how to make it work here: How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

29. Focus on Result-Oriented Activities

Pareto’s law (also known as the 80 20 rule) states that 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. This means that 20% of our actions result in 80% of the results.

We must find the 20% that is creating the 80% of our desired outcomes and focus solely on those activities.

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30. Take a Break

You can’t always be working at optimum productivity. Instead, you should shoot for working in short bursts at your most productive times.

31. Start a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

What is polyphasic sleep?

Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily.[1] This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness.

While you can learn more about it here, you’re recommended to take some naps during the day to recharge your energy too.

32. Learn to Say “No”.

We can’t do everything and therefore we must learn when to say no in order to save our sanity.

Learn the Gentle Art of Saying No from Leo Babauta.

33. Go on an Information Diet

Most of the world lives on information overload. We must eliminate mindless Internet surfing.

Stop reading three different newspapers a day and checking your RSS feeds multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.

The key is to limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on. Here’re some simple tips you can try: 10 Simple Productivity Tricks To Manage Overloaded Information

34. Organize Your Office

The piles of paper around your desk can be a huge barrier on your productivity. Optimize your time by organizing your office, setting up a system and dumping the junk.

Check out these 21 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done and 20 Easy Home Office Organization Ideas to Boost Your Productivity.

35. Find a Mentor

By modeling after those who have already achieved success, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.

A good mentor is hard to find, so here’s a guide to help you: What to Look for in a Mentor

36. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

With technology’s help, you can double your work efficiency. Even better, you learn all the shortcuts when using technology, for example keyboard shortcuts.

When you use keyboard shortcut, you gain 64 hours every year!

Not sure what shortcuts to lear? Check out these 22 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Keyboard Ninja.

Besides learning the shortcuts, you can also create keyboard shortcuts with AutoHotKey.

37. Improve Your Typing Speed to Save Time

Do you know you can save 21 days per year just by typing fast?

You don’t really need to take some serious courses to type faster, try these typing games online:

38. Work from Home and Avoid the Daily Commute

If your job is a flexible one, consider working from home. This saves you the commute time and you’ll find yourself more energetic throughout the day as you have saved the long ride.

Take a look at these tips to help you stay productive while working from home:

How to Work from Home and Stay Ultra-Productive

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39. Get Rid of Time Wasters

Common time wasters include Instant Messenger, video games, Flickr, checking your stats 10 times a day, television and extraneous Internet surfing.

Don’t rely on your willpower, make use of some of these useful tools to help you stay focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

40. Plan Your Meals in Advance

Plan out all of your meals a week ahead and make your grocery list accordingly. This allows you to focus on the necessary – saving you time and money. You can also save yourself even more time through a wide variety of apps. One app that I find helpful is Mealime. It’s an app that provides you with a wide selection of recipes and also a convenient spot for your grocery list as well.

Considering the fact that over 4 million users have this app, it goes to show that there is a good selection of meal plans that you can follow and that the app is friendly to use.

41. Cook Your Meals in Bulk

When you cook your meals in bulk, you will have plenty of leftovers. This can avoid having to cook everyday.

Find out more about how to make cooking in bulk works: Once a Month Cooking: Productivity Hack or Overrated Time Suck?

42. Protect Yourself from Unnecessary Phone Time with Caller ID

The minutes you spend on picking up unnecessary phone calls are time wasted. You can prevent that from happening.

Check out this detailed guide how you can deal with those unnecessary phone calls: How To Lose the Useless Items that Weigh Down Your Day – Cellphone Calls

43. Take Shorter Showers

This one may sound silly but it’s actually something I struggle with. I spend up to 30 minutes in the shower. Think of the time I could save simply by speeding up a bit.

44. Save the Trips to Bank by Taking Direct Deposit

Many employers now offer direct deposit. If yours does, then be sure and take advantage of it and save yourself from a number of trips to the bank.

45. Auto Pay Your Bills

How many times have you been worried about whether you missed the bills deadline?

Auto paying your bills will save you time and eliminate late fees and increased interest rates.

46. Shop Online

Whenever possible, avoid going to the store. When you shop online, you can be more focus about what you’re getting.

47. Speed up your Internet With a Broadband Connection

Many people are aware of the slow speed of internet but aren’t doing anything about it. In fact, this is the number one Internet time-saver!

If you must use dial-up, then you can use accelerators like Propel and SlipStream to double or even triple your speed.

48. Keep up the Speed of Your Computer

If you’re a Windows user, use Windows hibernation feature to avoid the slowdown of exiting and restarting Windows.

Or maybe, consider switching to Mac as there’re plenty of Advantages You Probably Don’t Know About Switching To Mac From PC.

49. Turn off the TV

The average American watches more than 4 hours of television every day. Over a 65-year life, that’s 9 years glued to the tube.

For better health and productivity, turn off the TV. Here’re 11 more reasons to tell you to stop watching TV so often.

Turn off the TV and you are sure to get more out of life.

50. Use a Tivo or DVR

This can help you cut an hour-long television show down to just 40 minutes. You can save time while not missing the fun.

So, here’s the ultimate list of techniques you should learn to boost productivity. Pick the techniques that work for you and make them your daily habits. As time goes, you’ll find yourself being a lot more productive.

More Time Management Tips

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1] Medical News Today: What is biphasic and polyphasic sleep?

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