Practical Skills (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

Take a look at any highly successful person in history and you'll notice one thing they all have in common:

They are capable individuals who know how to get things done.

But here's the catch:

They haven't simply mastered a skill. Instead, they've focused on honing skills that will add value to their lives.

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So, in order to assist you, I decided to compile a list of skills to learn this year. You have no excuse now that you have more time at home to learn something useful to help you grow!

These abilities are applicable in all aspects of life, from interpersonal to the most profitable. However, regardless of which aspect of your life these skills cover, each of them has the potential to improve your life.

1. Accelerated Reading

Please let me know if this sounds familiar:

You have a presentation tomorrow and are drowning in a mountain of files to read.You decide to skim through the information because you don't have time to read it all. The only issue is that as you speed up your reading, the text loses its meaning.

Almost every reader has the habit of subvocalization, which means that he says the words in his head while reading. This practice has been shown to significantly increase reading time.

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Speed reading alleviates this tendency by allowing readers to skim through the text while comprehending it at faster reading speeds. According to Forbes, the average adult reads at a rate of about 300 words per minute, while speed readers read at a rate of 1500 words per minute.

Consider how much time you could save by not reading the newspaper, doing research for reports, skimming through emails, and reading books.

I'm currently running at around 500 wpm. You can also read this fantastic article on how to speed read if you want to learn more about reading faster: How to Read Faster: 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Reading

2. The Delegation Technique

This is a skill that I believe everyone, especially those in positions of authority, should be able to master.The issue is that many of us try to micromanage tasks and people around us.

But here's why that's a bad idea:

  • Micromanaging consumes all of your mental energy on insignificant tasks.
  • You can free up time and mental space for important tasks by learning to delegate.

Check out my step-by-step guide to mastering the art of delegation: How to Effectively Delegate Tasks (Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Getting Started on an Instrument

  • You might just think of learning to play an instrument as a fun hobby.
  • What if I told you that learning to play an instrument can help you improve your memory and cognitive functions?
  • It has even been shown to delay the onset of dementia.
  • With so many mental and physical advantages, this is undoubtedly one of the best creative skills to learn.

Check out Udemy's music courses to learn how to play any instrument online. However, if you want faster results, I recommend looking for someone in your area who can teach you the instrument you want to learn.

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4. Task Prioritization

Many of us are incapable of prioritizing. But now, more than ever, we need to master this skill in order to increase productivity and output.

I believe that the most common reason people fail to prioritize tasks is a lack of daily planning. Having a to-do list in order of priority can help you increase your daily output and effectiveness.

But things get better…

  • By learning to prioritize, you will be able to let go of many unnecessary tasks that would not have made the priority list.
  • Despite this, you'll realize at the end of the day that you got more done with less effort.
  • Here's the ultimate guide to better prioritizing: How to Become an Expert in Prioritization.

5. Understanding Body Language

People consider information from body language over facial expressions when perceiving emotions, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

This study effectively proves that using the right body language can help you get your message across to people more effectively. As a result, this is one of the most important skills to learn.

Now, “body language” is a broad topic that includes gestures, eye contact, body posture, and much more.

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Try out these 11 body language tricks to improve your own. Keep in mind that improving your body language does not happen overnight. In fact, it is a gradual change that takes months to manifest.

6. Videography Capabilities

Have you noticed how social media behemoths such as Facebook and Instagram have been attempting to push more video content into your feeds? You'd also be aware that brands are now routinely marketing their products and services on YouTube, far more than they used to.

There are a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that video content has been shown to increase user interaction.

Simply put, it's more stimulating, gripping, and entertaining. Every day, people enjoy it and want more of it.

So, by learning videography skills such as shooting, lighting, and editing, you can ride this social media wave and assist yourself or others in producing more video content. Oh, and there's always the chance to make a lot of money with this skill!

If that's something you're interested in, check out these videography skills courses on Skillshare.

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7. Mental Acuity

Did you know that the average person‘s attention span had dropped to about 8 seconds in 2013?

There are a variety of reasons why our attention spans are dwindling so rapidly. However, I attribute our collective loss of attention span to our collective loss of mental clarity.What you need to do is learn how to declutter your brain and discover your purpose, drive, and reason.

You're just a hamster in a wheel if you don't have a goal. And a bad one at that, because research shows that mental fatigue has a significant impact on physical performance as well. So it's about time you get rid of your brain fog.

You can reverse engineer your brain and decide what you really need to focus on if you have mental clarity and defined goals. With that knowledge, you'll be able to determine what requires immediate attention and what can wait.

Do you want to learn more? Here's a link to an article about it: How to Declutter Your Mind in Order to Sharpen Your Mind and Fall Asleep More Easily

8. Laughter in the Classroom

  • What if I told you that being funny is a skill you can learn?
  • Indeed, I believe it is so potent that I decided to include it on this list of skills to learn.

It's almost as if being funny is synonymous with being liked. If you can make people laugh, you will automatically become the center of attention for all of your social groups. This has a number of advantages, including increased social exposure and greater influence among your peers.

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According to research published in the American Psychological Association, humorous speech is better understood and retained.

In simpler terms, if you're funny, people will understand you better.

Another study found that humor boosts workplace camaraderie and productivity.

As a funny guy myself, the best advice I can give you for learning to be funny is to observe people who are good at it. Take note of how they deliver punchlines and pay attention to their timing and tone. You may notice that many of them attempt to make fun of you. Embracing their “weaknesses” is actually a way of demonstrating their self-assurance: How Laughing At Yourself Instantly Makes You More Attractive

Another excellent way to learn humor is to watch quality sitcoms such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S. With time, you'll notice that you're making the same jokes as the characters in these shows.

9. Composing

  • If you came to this list looking for creative skills to learn, take a look at this one. Despite rapid digitization, writing is still one of the most powerful modes of communication.
  • Whether it's an office report, a social media picture caption, or a romantic text, good writing can earn you some valuable brownie points.
  • But don't just think of writing as a necessary communication skill. In fact, one of the most profitable skills to learn is writing.

Take it from me; I make a living off of this skill and frequently teach it to others. Gone are the days when you needed to write a book to make money as a writer. Today, industries such as blogging, social media marketing, and copywriting have opened up a plethora of opportunities for people to earn a living through this skill.

You can improve your copywriting skills by taking this free course. However, if you're looking for a general course to improve your overall writing, check out Arizona State University's online course.

10. acquiring a new language

Learning a language is an excellent way to improve your mental abilities. When you learn a new language, you expose yourself to a completely new set of rules and vocabulary, which forces your brain to work harder.

Learning a new language, in theory, trains your brain to function better. According to research, bilinguals make more rational decisions and have a stronger working memory.

Being bilingual can open up a lot more opportunities in life than you might think. By learning a local language, you will be able to communicate more effectively with the people in that area. This can even lead to a slew of job opportunities for consular officers in the field of translation.

Using a language learning app is one of the simplest ways to learn any language. Here are some good ones we recommend: 9 Intriguing Free Language Learning Apps

11. Carrying On Conversations
Let's be honest:

Nobody likes someone who is difficult to talk to.

In fact, there is nothing worse than conversing with someone who does not know how to hold a healthy discussion.

People who know how to start and carry a conversation are loved by everyone because they are easy to spend time with.

No matter what the situation, such smooth talkers never make others feel awkward and can even say the most cheeky things in the smoothest of ways.

This skill is essential for prevailing in arguments, negotiations, and conversations. Check out these conversation hacks to get along with anyone in any type of conversation if you want to improve this skill.

12. Social Power

Social influence is one of the most important skills to learn for anyone. In fact, some of the most powerful people in history have mastered this skill.

Master practitioners included the late Nelson Mandela and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They would not be regarded as the icons that they are unless they knew how to rally people behind them.

You can try the following methods to positively influence people: 10 Effective Ways to Positively Influence Others

Now, social influence is a complicated topic. So, if you want to work on this skill, I recommend reading books like Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People and Robert Cialdini's Influence: Science and Practice.

13. Taking Charge of Your Creativity

We've all heard that creative people are more innovative and capable of coming up with better solutions. But do you ever feel like your creativity is running out of steam?

If this is the case, you are not alone. In fact, most people's creativity comes in fits and bursts.

Here's the deal:

You can master your creativity so that you never run out of ideas.

As a writer, engineer, and entrepreneur, I understand how frustrating it is to wait for your creative juices to flow. Waiting until you're feeling creative again can waste precious hours… even days! And, let's face it, we don't have time for that.

You can try a variety of approaches to gain control over your creativity. My personal favorite is to devote time to a creative hobby that you enjoy. This could be anything from playing the piano to drawing or singing. Basically, you want to get those creative juices flowing so you can use them elsewhere.

Using Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats Technique to obtain a creative problem-solving approach is a useful tip. According to this method, you should divide your thought process into six thinking styles (or hats) and use only one at a time.

For example, virtually wearing the white hat can imply focusing solely on the financial aspect of a decision. Similarly, the red hat may compel you to consider only the emotional aspect, whereas the black hat may compel you to consider what could potentially go wrong, and so on.

When you don't have the creativity to solve a problem, the Six Thinking Hats Technique can be a lifesaver. Here are 30 more ideas to help you revitalize your creativity.

Final Thoughts

That's all there is to it. I tried to cover everything in this list, from money-making skills to those that can help you gain influence in your social circle.

Before you decide which skill to learn, I'd like you to consider why you're learning it in the first place.

Learning to play an instrument could be a great way to pass the time when you're bored. However, there is no doubt that a skill such as videography could provide a new source of income, while gaining mental clarity could boost your productivity. So, choose the skill you want to learn based on the benefits you seek!

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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.

No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.

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