Business Insider, Quora>
The world of business has often been referred to in very cold, harsh, unforgiving terms. It is a shark tank. It’s dog-eat-dog. If you can’t take the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. In the late 2000s, life outside of the office has followed suit and become similarly hardcore.
There are many, many books – piles of them – that seek to teach today’s humanoids the tips and tools of how not only to survive, but thrive, in the war zone that is business and life. But, honestly, if we’re so busy running and dog-fighting, how are we ever supposed to read all of that literature? There must be a quicker way to get started on living our best life.
Here are nine essential skills that were pulled from a very intriguing Quora question that pondered: “What are the hardest and most useful skills to learn?”
All of us here are working on honing and improving these skills every day to keep our game faces at their game-iest as we head into the TDB offices. They aren’t easy, and they take hard work, but the benefits begin showing almost immediately.
Our parents told us that sleep was important when we were younger, and we certainly learned the perils of not sleeping enough in those halcyon college days of all-nighters and beer-fests. But it’s not just sleep that’s important; it’s the consistency of our sleep.
Wildly changing bedtimes and wake-up times lead to grogginess, fuzziness, and nothing particularly beneficial. Aim to get enough sleep, and try to stick to a schedule.
Keep Negativity To Yourself
It’s easy to complain; just take a look at any YouTube comment section or Yelp page. What’s more complicated is keeping your bad mood and gripes to yourself. Spreading negativity has a negative effect on those you speak to, and it will brand you as a whiner or complainer. No one wants to work or spend time with one of those.
The old saying goes: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Consider this the gospel truth.
Be Your Own Cheerleader
Believe it or not, how you perceive yourself can actually emanate and be picked up by other people. We have no control over how others perceive us, but we have complete and total control over how we perceive ourselves.
Why would you relinquish control over the one person whose opinions you actually dictate? Don’t be ridiculous. Stay positive. Be your own biggest fan. Your confidence and assuredness will inspire and impress others.
There’s a difference between pitching in, and meddling or micro-managing. Unless you are expressly asked for help in a matter, jumping in to solve a problem you think might be occurring could not only complicate matters, but also upset others involved. Sometimes it truly is best to just mind your own business.
Mind Your Time
This one is a given, yet one of the most difficult skills to master. Ah, the dreaded Time Management skill! People devote full weekend seminars to this one! There is no one tried and true way to become a Time Management Master, so pick the way that works best for you, or ask productive and efficient friends how the heck they do it.
Whether you break down every task you have into bite-sized bits or create a massive to-do list with broad brushstrokes, the simple test for how good you are at managing time is to see if you actually achieve everything you want to on time. Bonus points if you end up with some free time, too!
Stick With It
It is said that consistency is key. This is extremely true. No matter what you are trying to improve upon, or do with yourself, the secret to mastery is doing it every single day. Make habits, train yourself, become a machine of consistency. If you can master yourself and your behavior, you will find the rewards are plentiful.
Try practicing consistency with a small daily task, before tackling larger ones. How about flossing every night like your dentist begs you to, or untying your shoes before you kick them off at the end of the day. Do you have a gym membership gathering dust? Try going once a week, then twice a week, then three times a week. Take baby steps towards the ultimate goal, and remember that your main target is developing the willpower and self-control to do something good for you, even when you’re not in the mood.
One of the greatest human traits is empathy, or, in other words, understanding the feelings of others. This is different from sympathy, which is more self-focused. Truly connect with people and work on empathizing with their plight, be it in a social or business setting. Empathy is something that everyone yearns for when things aren’t going well, so if you can become a trusted source of this rare and invaluable service, you’ll be in a pretty good place.
What did you just say? Can you repeat that please?
Most people are terrible listeners. It’s true. Imagine how awful this is when you consider how important communication is to getting anything done. Work every day on clearing your mind and truly paying attention to what others are saying. Every time you find your brain wandering when someone else’s mouth is moving, take a deep breath and re-focus. The number of misunderstandings in your personal and business life will drop dramatically.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Minding your own business is important, as we mentioned previously. Avoiding complaining is also a smart idea. But, when you find yourself in a jam, you should consider asking for help. Drop your pride and realize that it’s human to need support.
Helping someone makes us feel good about ourselves, and may even open the door to opportunities and ideas that you may never have gotten had you kept to yourself as your head sank further under water. There’s no shame in needing help. In fact, a lot of errors and issues could be avoided in our day-to-day lives if we asked for help a little more!
Those nine skills sound easy, right? Of course, they don’t. Those are a lot of tough skills to begin, let alone see through to completion and perfection day in and day out. But that’s the challenge, isn’t it? That’s the adventure. And the rewards will be huge. We’ve begun our to-do lists already, have you?