People Share Extremely Useful Skills That Can Be Mastered In Under An Hour
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

There are basic life lessons that are life-saving and cost-effective that we are all intimidated by but, in actuality, they take all of a few minutes to acquire. We all condition ourselves to believe that certain skills in life are just too complex for regular joes to master. The truth is... you do not need an Ivy League degree to learn how to clean out the water heater, clip your pet's nails, or change out a toilet. Who knew? So many of us have been forced to acquire new skills while we've been trapped at home and we're going to be better off for it.

Redditor u/goodspeed19 wanted to know what lessons we should all be learning while stuck in quarantine that will make us more useful in the future by asking..... What's a skill you can learn in 30 minutes to one hour that is extremely useful/cool?

Car Basics....

Work Reaction GIF by EnBWGiphy

Changing the oil on a car. Changing a tire. Most of your basic car maintenance stuff that once learned will save you some money, and that you can fix in less time than it'd take to bring your car to a mechanic.



Knife sharpening, it'll stop you from cutting yourself to the bone by stopping your knife from slipping. Then use the other half of the hour to learn proper knife skills.


It's really amazing how much safer a sharp knife is. It "bites" whatever you're cutting immediately and stays on course almost like it has a mind of its own. As long as your fingers aren't in its path when you begin the slice, you're basically more likely to die of a brain aneurysm than cut yourself.



Lockpicking simple 3 pin locks.


Yes. It's freaking hilarious that people on here can't figure this out on their own.

Think about leaving your bike out with a lock on it vs without. Much more likely to come back to no bike if you don't put a lock.


The Rescue

cat save GIFGiphy

CPR, easy to learn and you could save a life someday ! (just don't do it like Michael and Dwight please).


Man Down

I learnt how to fall in my first judo class. It is really a life saver. My teacher grandpa was a judo 8-dan master, and while he was an 87 year old dude, he fell during a walk. I know it won't be a big deal to you, but at that age, falling is a real threat. He managed to do a Zempo Kaiten Ukemi, which is kind of landing on your shoulder first and rolling through your back and getting up striking the floor to use momentum to stand up, its purpose its to soften and dissipate the fall damage. He got up like nothing happened, but all the bystanders were losing it to an old man doing a front roll in the street. He was unharmed thanks to judo. Learning how to fall can save your life.


by the book....

Read the Boy Scout handbook.

It includes a humongous amount of incredibly useful information, including (but not limited to):

  • Changing a car tire (depending on the edition)
  • Useful knots such as the Bowline and Tautline Hitch
  • How to sharpen a knife
  • How to properly use the toilet when you're outdoors
  • First-aid and triage
  • How to tie a necktie
  • How to set up and take down a tent, along with (most importantly!) where to set it up. It's ridiculous how many times I've been the only person on a campout whose tent wasn't flooded because I paid attention to this section.
  • How to properly clean your dishes when you're outdoors so that you don't get dysentery.
  • How to navigate using a map, compass, landmarks, and the stars
  • How to stay safe when hiking
  • Several different ways to start a fire
  • How to repair gear
  • How to detect, prepare for, and survive inclement weather
  • How to identify various dangerous plants
  • Etc. Etc. ad infinitum. The-Daleks

Keyboard Clips

Some keyboard shortcuts never hurt. Here's the ones I use the most

CTRL + W (Google chrome) = Immediately closes your current tab

CTRL + BACKSPACE = Deletes the last whole word rather than deleting one letter at a time

Click on a hyperlink with the mouse wheel button = Opens the link in another tab

CTRL + SHFT + ESC = Opens up task manager without having to go through the CTRL + ALT + DEL menu

K (YouTube) = pauses YouTube videos

, and . (YouTube) = cycles through frames of a YouTube video when paused

CTRL + N (Google Chrome) = Opens up a new tab immediately

CTRL + SHIFT + N (Google Chrome) = Opens up an incognito tab instantly.


Swipe Fire

Tom Hanks Reaction GIFGiphy

How to make fire using tinder... not the app.. lol.


Grandma Knows

The basics of crochet/knitting. It's quite handy if you want to something original. In the end, the basics are quite simple. With those basics you can make anything. Pillows, stuffed animals/dolls, clothes, wash cloths, pot holders, gloves, hats, scarfs, and more. It can be as quick or slow as you like and as easy or challenging as you like.

Plus it's very mindful, kind if like meditation, and really calming and rewarding as you see your work grow and take form.



A little bit of sign language.



Sewing. Just learning how to straight stitch, whipstitch and ladderstitch can save A LOT of clothing, furniture, toys, etc and it's so easy that you likely will never forget how to do it.



Basic excel or google sheets - it's shocking how many people with office jobs can't use this critical tool.


Or a copier. Especially if its jammed. Most modern copiers have screens that will tell you where the jam is and how to fix it step by step. Some won't go to the next step unless you for sure fixed what needed to be fixed.



just do it spikes GIF by NikeGiphy

Tie your shoes much quicker by learning the Ian Knot.



Regular expressions are a neat skill and they come in handy if you work with computers, especially if you're a programmer or just work with a lot of text. While there are many programmers, not all of them learn it, and they should. Often programmers who don't know it take time writing needless code that can replace with much shorter code.


To Cut An Onion

How to cut an onion all fancy like, and pretty much a lot of knife technique. Takes practice after the initial 'learning' but they're not terribly tricky to remember.


I've been working on this one. Doing it right is taking me much longer than it did doing it wrong! :)

But I figure that it's like learning to type. At first it takes longer to do it the correct way. But once you get it down, you can go SO much faster than you ever could pecking it out with your pointer fingers. 2 months in and I'm still waiting to get faster with the onion.... but I'm sure it will happen. :) (I only chop an onion like once a week).



rubiks cube what GIF by DiggGiphy

You can learn to solve a Rubik's cube in an hour, or maybe two; it's just a matter of memorizing a few short series of turns and when to apply them. The rest is just training your muscle memory.


Save A Life

How bout the Heimlich Maneuver? When you're choking bc of food everybody just hits your back, which may or not help or in some cases worsen things, but the Heimlich Maneuver just gets it done perfectly.


Self taught

Self taught myself how to use editing programs like filmora and Adobe. I'm no where near an expert at them (not dissing on people with the trust skills gained from school or using them on a professional level) but it does allow me to make videos for teaching as well as worksheets for the class.


The Good Hole

I teach my students how to cut a hole in a standard piece of paper big enough to walk through. Not very useful, but my students end betting students outside my class that they can walk through a hole in paper. Easier to share a link then describe without photos, but here ya go!


It's magic...

notorious ryan guzman GIF by The Paley Center for MediaGiphy

Simple magic tricks. There are a bunch you can learn that shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes each.

Use them to make friends and meet people. CPR and fire-making are more important, because they could save you or someone else in an emergency... But you will use magic far more often in every day life.


In the Oven...

Cooking one home cooked meal. I had no idea how easy some meals are to cook, until my dad started to teach me. We prepared a meatloaf AND potatoes in 10 minutes when my dad was on a 15 minute break from work (he works from home). All I had to do after was just put it in the oven.


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