12 Impressive Skills You Can Learn In Just One Week!

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In his 2013 TEDx Talk, "The first 20 hours," author and business expert Josh Kaufman talked the myth that learning new skills takes a lot of time. According to him, proficiency is really only 20 hours away!  Divided into two- or three-hour chunks, that's about a week's worth of practice. So, Kaufman argues that that's plenty of time to learn a host of impressive skills. Here are 12 samples of the many skills you can pick from!

1. Learn to play a song on a musical instrument.

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Don’t be afraid of learning a song because music theory is highly complex. You can still spend a week and learn a single song on the ukulele or harmonica without getting lost in theory, if you don’t have time to learn the whole deal.

2. Learn to drive stick shift.

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Automatic transmissions are no doubt easier, but you can’t believe how the ability to shift gears while driving will impress everyone! It's also a useful skill to have if you ever need to drive someone else's car. The actual mechanics of using the clutch and gear shift are straightforward, but you'll probably spend most of your week learning how to time your shifts correctly.

3. Learn to solve a Rubik's cube.

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Some people can solve  Rubik's cubes in less than 10 seconds, and it’s incredibly fun to watch them. However, these speed-cubers will tell you there's nothing all that special about the puzzle. You just need to know a set of algorithms — or turn patterns — that orient pieces of the cube one at a time. Memorizing the order of those turns can be done surprisingly quickly.

A beginner could easily solve a Rubik's cube in less than two minutes over the course of a week!

4. Learn to parallel park.

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We all need to learn to parallel park to get a driver's license, but many of us can't do it well. A week is plenty of time to get used to positioning the car next to the car in front and learning when (and how much) to turn the steering wheel.

5. Learn to cook an amazing dish.

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You may hate cooking, or you may not want to get into that all cooking thing altogether since you don’t have any time. But it’ll feel amazing to cook at least one dish as your go-to.

Many pasta dishes can be pulled off without much difficulty, provided the sauce is well-seasoned and flavorful. Likewise, cooking the perfect steak doesn't always require weeks-long dry aging.

6. Learn the basics of martial arts.

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Self-defense is one of those skills you hope to never use, but it's handy nonetheless. And you won’t believe how much you can learn just from the Internet. Like cooking, protection is a primitive skill that can go a long way toward earning people's respect.

7. Learn to recite multiple digits of pi.

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Impressive skills aren't always practical.

Memory experts remember long strings of words or numbers by "chunking" different batches together. To learn the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter — an irrational number that stretches on forever — spend each day memorizing six or seven numbers after the decimal.

8. Learn to speak the basics of a new language.

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People who speak multiple languages are called polyglots. Matthew Youlden and his brother Michael can speak over a dozen, making them "hyperpolyglots." Recently, they learned to speak conversational Turkish in a week.

The Youldens credit a language learning app called Babbel, lots of flash cards, and Turkish pop culture as the keys to getting familiar with the new tongue.

9. Learn to break an apple with your bare hands.

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Tough as the fruit may be, there's a trick to splitting an apple with no knives or stomping required.

First, remove the stem. Then place your fingertips underneath the apple with the fleshy part of both palms on the top of the apple. Pull up with your fingers and roll your hands out. With a few tries, the apple should split clean in half — no super-strength required.

10. Learn to juggle.

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Even if you seriously doubt your hand-eye coordination, juggling is probably within reach.

The easiest way to get the hang of it within a week is to start with two balls. Practice tossing just two up in the air, first with your right hand and then with your left. Work your way up to tossing a third when the first is at its peak.

Soon you'll be able to put separate tosses into one fluid juggling motion.

11. Learn to write with both hands.

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Ambidexterity, or the ability to perform an action with both hands, isn't that out of reach. Practicing for two hours each day in 15-minute intervals will be helpful. In the first two days, practice drawing a circle with a line through it.

On days three and four, create an upper-case Z and lower-case y. On day five, practice e and b. On day six, move onto l, a, y, e, and z. Then spend day seven writing as much as possible about one topic.

12. Learn to tell a great story.

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Storytelling is a skill just like any other: There are rules to follow and mistakes to avoid to do it successfully.

The greatest storytellers captivate audiences by telling authentic stories that deliver on a promise. The stories have drama and an arc. They go somewhere.

Also important: Good storytellers know when to end.

So, what are you wating for? 🙌🙌

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