Life Hack

13 Highly Useful Skills You Can Learn in a Minute

13 Highly Useful Skills You Can Learn in a Minute
Image credit: Criss Cross Circus! | Flickr

Everyone loves a good life hack, especially if it's super quick to pick up.

While one minute may not seem like a lot of time to master a useful skill, you'd be surprised just how much you can actually accomplish in 60 seconds or less. 

With the help of a Quora thread on the matter, here are are several handy life skills you can pick up almost instantly:

1. Start everything with 'why?' in mind.

"Always! Not only when it comes to business plans," says user Charles Faraone. "Start with why for every decision impacting on your life, health, and happiness. Ask yourself why you're eating foods that might not be healthy for you. Why you're doing things the way you're doing them. Why you're avoiding doing what you know you should be doing. It's an amazingly simple approach with huge potential payoffs."

2. Save ink when printing.

When printing documents, user Veijay Jain suggests simply changing the text from black to gray. This will make little difference to the quality of what you're printing, and will not only reduce the amount of ink used, but it'll also increase the printing speed. "Needless to say that by using less ink, you will be slowing down the process filling the mother earth with used cartridges, helping our earth remain greener."

3. Stop an impending sneeze.

User Alexander Freiherr offers a few methods for stopping a sneeze. "Squeeze your nose. Catch the part of your nose above the tip and stretch it out as if you are removing your nose out of your face. It should not be painful, but simply stretch out your cartilage, stopping the sneeze.

"Blow your nose. Use tissue and blow your nose when you feel a sneeze coming on. It should clear your sinuses of what caused the sneeze in the first place.

"Pinch your upper lip. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch your upper lip lightly and press it upward toward your nostrils. Your thumb should head toward one nostril and your forefinger toward the other, bunching up your upper lip slightly.

"Use your tongue. Press your tongue behind your two front teeth, where the roof of your mouth meets the gum palate or alveolar ridge. Press hard with your most powerful muscles against your teeth until the tickling sensation dissipates."

4. Build muscle at your desk.

Press your hands together as hard as you can, says user Ashwin D. Kini. You should feel pressure in your pectoral, shoulder, and arm muscles. This kind of isometric exercise requires minimal movement, but strengthens muscles.

5. Save time with computer shortcuts.

User Jhasketan Sahu suggests the following for smoother web browsing:

To open a new Tab: .
To close any open Tab: .
To move from one Tab to another: or.
To reopen a recently closed tab: .
To find specific text in a web page: .
To increase or decrease the size of the text: Hold   and press "+" or "-" respectively.
To open a link in a new tab: Hold and click the link.

6. Easily change text case in Word.

Highlight the text you want to change the case of and press Shift+F3, writes Suvam Behera. Doing this once will convert the highlighted text to all upper case, twice will convert the text to all lowercase, and three times will capitalize the first letter of each word.

7. Never prematurely send an email again.

"When you're writing an email, fill in the addressee last," says David Spencer. "This way, you will never accidentally click and send a premature email."

8. Make anonymous phone calls.

According to an anonymous reader who clearly values his privacy, to make an anonymous phone call on a cell phone in the United States, dial *69, the country code you're calling — if you're calling someone in the US, that's 1 — and then dial the phone number. The call recipient will see a message like "unavailable" or "private number" on his caller ID.

9. Declutter your mind before bed.

"At the end of the day for one minute summarize your day," writes Mihalache Catalin. "What you did, what you could do but didn't because fear or laziness stopped you. Why you did everything in that day. How to improve what you do. Do this always before you sleep and you will have a good night sleep."

10. Always know if you've taken your daily medication.

For medications you take twice a day, user Madhu Mita suggests flipping the bottle upside-down after you take it in the evening and flipping it right-side up after the morning dose.

For medications you take three times a day, place the bottle on the left side of you (you can do this with a bathroom sink or your desk) in the morning, in front of you at noon, and to the right of you after dinner.

"The pattern doesn't matter, as long as you're consistent: move the bottle after you take the dose, and you'll be able to look back later and see if you've taken it."

11. Conserve your smartphone battery.

User Ashok Kumar says whenever you are not using internet on your phone through Wifi, turn your Wifi off. When out of range of a network, your phone continually polls for a network, which drains the battery.

12. Have a more productive day.

"In the morning, when you get to work or school, the first thing you should do is to prioritize your day," writes user David Palank. "Most people start by checking emails or phone calls. However, prioritizing is the most draining on the brain and should be done when your brain is fresh! This is the first step to productivity."

13. Know which side the gas tank is on without getting out of the car.

"If you look at the little gas indicator on your dashboard (instrument cluster), you should see a tiny arrow next to it," says user Bharath Raj. "That arrow actually points to the gas tank (fuel lid) side of your car. Now you'll never forget where it is again!"


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