13 Skills You Can Master In 10 Minutes Or Less
By Emmie Martin
Most useful skills, such as learning a new language or mastering the art of cooking, can't be conquered in a day.
However, there are several important life skills you can pick up almost instantly, and a recent Quora thread polled users on their favorite ones.
Here are some of the best responses, with a few of our own thrown in.
After all, you never know when you'll need to turn your watch into a compass or Photoshop your vacation pictures.
Learn to change a tire: "It's very straightforward, but it's worth thinking about before you need it. Here's a video." —Ben Mordecai
Identify the freshest strawberries : "Smell them. If they smell like strawberries, buy them; they will taste divine. If they look gorgeous but have no smell, they will have no taste. Simple and foolproof." — Cyndi Perlman Fink
...and oranges : "Pick up the orange or grapefruit. If it feels light, it's not juicy and will taste rather woody. Go through the bin picking the ones that feel heaviest compared to oranges or grapefruits of a similar size. They'll be the tastiest ones." —Karen Opas
Remove tourists from vacation photos : "Set your camera on a tripod. Take a picture about every 10 seconds until you have about 15 shots. Open all the images in Photoshop by going to File > Scripts > Statistics. Choose: 'median' and select the files you took. Photoshop finds what's different in the photos and simply removes it." — Vishal Gala
Learn how to speed read: "The first thing you need to do is eliminate the voice inside your head. Read with your eyes. ONLY. Whatever you do don't use the voice inside your head. As you learn to do this part go ahead and read word by word and go over the lines with your finger. Just work on eliminating the voice. Why? You cannot say words nearly as fast as you can comprehend them ... Since you're reading with your eyes, try reading two or three words at a time, and then move up once you get comfortable." —Raj Rai
Comfortably fit everything in your suitcase: "You can learn the art of packing. Watch the demo." —Carlos Amezquita
...and pack a suit in your carry-on without wrinkling it : "Learn John Chow's clever technique to 'roll the suit' into a cabin-sized suitcase." —Abhiroop Medhekar
Calm nervousness : "Chew gum when you're approaching a situation that would make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping. If we are eating, something in our brain reasons, 'I would not be eating if I were [in] danger. So I'm not in danger.'" — Abhishek A. Singh
Turn your watch into a compass : "Hold your watch horizontally and point it so that the hour hand is facing into the sun. At the center point between the 12 and the hour hand is your north/south line, with north facing away from the sun. So if the hour hand is pointing at 4, for example, the 2 would point towards the south, and the 8 would point towards the north. Just remember, this only works in the Northern Hemisphere; and during Daylight Savings Time you would use the 1 instead of the 12 to determine the center line." — Amarnath Ganesh
Easily insert mathematical symbols and special characters into Word documents : "Insert all your required symbols just on an arbitrary line in the document, for easy access. Open up the configuration for your word processor, and find the auto-correction/auto-replacement settings. Add auto-correction rules for each of your symbols, assigning them a kind of 'command word' that can be easily typed. An example is "/pi" (no quotes), that would auto-correct to the actual Greek character." — Trey Brisbane
Save time with computer shortcuts: When using Chrome on a Mac, ⌘+a selects all; ⌘+c copies; ⌘+x cuts; and ⌘+v pastes. You can also use ⌘+n to open a new window and ⌘+t to open a new tab. See a more comprehensive list of shortcuts here.
Recover when you forget someone's name immediately after meeting them: Ask them to put their number in your phone. It's the best way to get their name without even asking for it. Typically, they will enter both their first and last names, along with their number. It's a great way to stay in touch with them in the future and also to assure you won't forget their name again. Find more techniques to remember names here.