Five Realistic Micro-skills You Can Learn in Your Spare Time To Significantly Improve Your Life
A few little tips
The days when it took years to understudy a grizzled veteran to learn some world-changing skills are behind us.
Welcome to the brave new world, an era where you could just as easily pick up micro-skills — one small piece at a time — to improve the quality of your life.
And before long, you’d have mastered a few, and with the right combination, those few skills could set you apart from many of your peers. But that’s not all there is to the story.
With some of these micro-skills under your belt, you can even earn some money on the side. Or at least you’ll save some money by not having to pay someone else to do them for you.
I would have generalized this point as photography, but for these two factors.
First, you’d have to pay through your nose for pro-grade cameras and their accessories like lenses, batteries, speed lights, etc. Yes, some could argue entry-level cameras are cheap. And that leads me to the second factor.
Many smartphones come with equipped with (AI) cameras that could rival some entry-level cameras in performance. At the beginner levels, the future is indeed mobile, and everyone wields one these days.
That’s why you’d do yourself a world of good by learning the basics of mobile photography. Some e-commerce startups are fond of taking pictures of their wares with only their smartphones. All you need is good enough lighting and a less-distracting background.
There are also tons of photo editing apps available on mobile, and you can get ahead of the curve by mastering a few of these resources. Get a hang on these basics, and you’re well on your way to maximizing your smartphone’s usage.
Some people are naturally slow readers, and others find it challenging because of some attention deficit they suffer. But experts believe many of us could train ourselves to read faster and retain more information.
I remember when I thought it’d be strange to listen to podcasts at 1.3x speed until I tried. Then it turned out I could still collect just as much information at that speed.
The same goes for reading. (You could make an exception for scientific books or specialist reading materials where you have to verify facts). Over time, this little habit will save you hours, which could translate into more book read.
Some people can’t afford to leave their minds in default mode: it’ll quickly veer off the road and straight into negativity territory. And there’s no telling the harmful effects doing that has had on people.
That’s why you have to master the skill of thinking right. Learn to put a more positive spin on things. Learn to think outside the box rather than dwell on the challenges ahead. Think of ways to make people better.
Of course, if it were as simple as it sounds, everyone would be a master. But it isn’t. And that’s why many people find themselves trapped in the negativity loop. You don’t want to be like them. Get ahead, think right, and watch the quality of your life improve over time.
Growing up in rural Ghana, we had lots of chickens around. And often, I’d see a grown chicken standing on one leg. My young mind couldn’t understand why those birds would try to trick me. When I asked my mum, she told me the chickens were learning how to balance their weight on one leg.
It made little sense to me, but did I know any better? I didn’t realize the importance of balancing until I read this insightful article. Balancing is an underrated skill many could desperately use.
The first time my friends dragged me into a swimming pool — I was barely 17 then — was when the need to learn breath control became painfully clear to me.
With my nostrils burning from the water I’d breathed in, I started taking breath control more seriously.
I’ve noticed that after some exercise or an unplanned physical activity, you’d see people panting for breath. I try as hard as I can to bite my tongue.
When done right, it could be a helpful piece of exercise for your lungs and diaphragm.
Also, breath control techniques will give you a feeling of reassuring calmness, and that’s a sure sign that people can trust you to keep a cool head in such situations.
These are only baby steps
Some of these skills may not suit you, but there are countless others you can learn throughout your life. It’s all about how much time you can make for it and how committed you want to be.
Remember, these are only for your spare time, and you can’t make any of them become another burden on an already bloated schedule. As and when you get the time, pick one up. But you’ll be glad you did.