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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
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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.

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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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1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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