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How to Open a Can Without Any Tools

How to Open a Can Without Any Tools

A recurring theme in the nightmares of many preppers and zombie apocalypse aficionados is a scenario in which survivors hunker down in their bunkers, surrounded by cans of food that should help them wait out the storm, only to realize that they’ve forgotten to pack a can opener. Quite a frightening thought, isn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be—there’s an easy way to open a can without any handy little implements, and the only thing you need in order to do so is a material that’s found all over the world:

Concrete.

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If you have any canned goods in the house, take a quick look at the cans’ tops for a second. You’ll notice that there are two edges that have been sealed together in order to keep the contents fresh and edible, which is why people generally use a can opener or other sharp blade to pierce through to the tasty contents within.

To get to the delicious niblets inside those cans without any tools, you need to break through that bonded seal, and that can easily be done by rubbing the top of the can over a concrete surface. The way this works is quite simple: if you’ve ever fallen on concrete, you might have ended up with scraped knees, elbows, hands, etc. Why is this? Because concrete generally has a rough texture that is as ideal for opening cans as it is unkind to skin surfaces.

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Opening the Can

To open your can, place it top-side down onto a piece of concrete. This could be a cinder block, a sidewalk, or any other cement surface that happens to be nearby.

Place the palm of your hand on the bottom of the can, apply a fair bit of pressure to it, and then scrape the can back and forth across the concrete surface. Doing so will wear away the seal on your can, but be patient—it’s better to take your time and wear it down slowly than to scrape it too hard, too quickly. You don’t want to end up forcing the seal open and getting concrete dust and grit in your food.

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Once you’ve worn away the seal, all you have to do is squeeze the sides of the can gently and the top should just pop open. If it doesn’t, scrape away at it a little bit more and then try again. I know this sounds almost too simple to be true, but I’ve tried it myself and it does actually work.

Be careful after popping the edges apart as they may have been sharpened by the friction and you probably don’t want to slice your hand open. In situations where you may not have immediate access to medical supplies, getting tuna juice or beef stew into an open cut is an invitation for some nasty infections. Let’s consider this a reminder to ensure that you always have a basic first aid kit in the house: not only can you patch yourself up with its contents, but you can use an alcohol swab to clean off your concrete surface if any canned goods spill out over it. Keeping things as clean as possible will lessen the chance of illness from rotting food particles and cross-contamination.

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If you’re having difficulty visualizing how this could work at all, check out this video. In it, a couple of terribly cool Russian guys (they call themselves “Crazy Russian Hackers”) give a demonstration on this very technique.

Just think of all the people in zombie films and Cold War shelters who could have benefited from knowledge of this technique! Talk about a true life-hack. Although some people may laugh off this technique as being ridiculous or extreme, you really never know when you might be in a situation where it might come in handy.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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