15 Life Skills You Can Learn in 30 Minutes or Less
Have 30 minutes? Great — that's just enough time to master some savvy skills that will improve your life for the long haul. And, really, it's the little things that count the most — from starting a budding music hobby to folding that darned fitted sheet the correct way and beyond. These activities are mostly free — and some can even save you some money!
1. Perfect Hard Boiling Eggs
If you love hard boiled eggs as much as I do, it's worth getting the technique down to a science. So, place a dozen eggs in a pot of cold water, bring to a rolling boil, turn off and remove from heat, and cover for 12 minutes total. That's the secret. Your yolks should be perfectly yellow and firm without being overcooked.
2. Learn How to Pack a Suitcase
Learning how to pack your suitcase more effectively is a great trick to have in your back pocket for the next time you travel. You start by bringing fewer items to begin with, choosing smart, wrinkle-free fabrics, and rolling garments versus folding them.
3. Tie a Bow Tie
As if a regular tie wasn't enough, bow ties present their own unique challenges. Break the process down by splitting your accessory into part A and part B. There are only three major folds involved before you can stand back and adjust for tightness and straightness.
4. Play Basic Guitar
If you have a half hour, you can crank out some of your favorite songs on the guitar. Following a chord chart require a little patience at first, but start by stripping it down and learning the basic chords: A, D, E, C, G. Then, try a song like Bob Dylan's Blowing In the Wind, which is surprisingly fast to pick up.
5. Make the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
There's no right way to make chocolate chip cookies, as we all prefer different tastes and textures. Still, there are a few methods that can elevate this treat, including using more granulated versus brown sugar to achieve different flavor profiles, blending both baking powder and baking soda to get the most spread, and chilling the dough up to 48 hours before baking.
6. Dress to Flatter Your Figure
Dressing for success isn't as difficult as it seems. With a couple handy tips and tricks, you can showcase your best assets before heading to that next big event. A lot of it is confidence, which may take longer than 30 minutes to master, but is always worth cultivating for a better life.
7. Improve Your Posture
You don't need a half hour to stand up straighter, visually lose up to 10 pounds, and improve your overall spine health. All it takes is a set of stretches and commitment to doing them daily. No slouching on this one!
8. Fold a Fitted Sheet
Do you crumple your fitted sheets into a ball versus folding them? Me too. Take some time to try the right method, which involves pulling the stretchy corners together and pushing the fitted edges through until you have a flat rectangle to finish.
9. Streamline Your Grocery List
Simplify your shopping routine and save money by getting smarter about your grocery list. It takes only little time to reset your process, which involves taking better stock of your pantry before heading to the store, making a quick list of meals for the week, and keeping your produce visible so it doesn't go to waste to begin with. (Related: 25 Frugal Items for your Organic Vegan Grocery List)
10. Make DIY Cleaning Products
Gain freedom from the store by blending together your own laundry detergent and creating homemade all-purpose cleaners. Most mix together quick and involve basics you already have on hand, like baking soda, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, castile soap, and drops of essential oils for natural fragrance.
11. Go Without Shampoo
Want shiny, manageable hair without all the chemicals? Try this no-shampoo solution. All you need is baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water. The whole process takes only minutes to learn, but the knowledge lasts a lifetime.
12. Plant Fresh Herbs
I plop some herbs in the ground each year, and by now my garden is exploding. It takes no time at all to harvest them wisely. It's best to pick them early in the day while the plant is still full of moisture. From there, you can use immediately in cooking or dry out (upside down) for up to three weeks before storing in airtight containers. (Related: How to Store Herbs to Make them Last Longer and Taste Better)
13. Use Makeup Better
If a zit pops up or your dark circles make another appearance, it might finally be time to learn some makeup magic to cover them. Contouring has the ability to completely reshape the structure of your face with a few whips of the bronze-covered brush. You can do anything from plumping your lips to leveling out skin tone to drawing in too-thin eyebrows — and each takes only minutes to learn.
14. Great Photo Hanging
We all have a stack of photos begging to be displayed on the wall. Getting them up there can seem intimidating. Break it down by creating a paper template of your frames and taping them to the wall before hammering in your supports. You can rearrange them easily this way before committing to anything, too.
15. Create Non-Toxic Sunblock and Bug Block
Improve your quality of life by making your own sunscreens and bug blocks. Each requires only a few, natural ingredients and nothing more than simple whisking until incorporated. You'll cut your drug store bills and gain a sense of pride from your newfound cleverness.
Got any other quick to learn, but essential skills? Please share in comments!