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The 10 Skills in Daily Life

The 10 Skills in Daily Life

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Identify ways in which people demonstrate the 10 skills outside of work.

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what's covered
In this lesson, you will identify ways in which people demonstrate the 10 skills outside of work. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Applying Skills in Daily Living
    1. Productivity
    2. Agility
  2. Comparing Work and Daily Living
    1. Variability
    2. Limiting Distractions

1. Applying Skills in Daily Living

10 Employability Skills

A skill is the ability to do something well. In previous lessons, you saw examples of people using the 10 Skills to improve their work performance. But work isn’t the only place where the skills are useful.

big idea
The 10 Skills can be equally as effective at home or school as they are in the workplace.

Let’s check out two examples of how people apply the 10 Skills outside of work.

term to know

The ability to do something well.
1a. Productivity
Productivity is the ability to strategize and organize to effectively and efficiently manage priorities, time, and materials. Here’s one example from around the home:

Image Idea 1 of 2: image of a woman (named Jordan) or a group of 2-4 friends, men and women, painting a small house


The siding on Jordan’s house is in desperate need of a coat of paint. She plans to start painting the house herself this Saturday. It’s a big project, so she’ll have to work efficiently. An app on her phone tells her the weather should be cool and dry, perfect for painting. Jordan also has three friends lined up to help, each with painting experience. Thinking ahead, she buys professional-grade painting supplies and stages them in the garage: scrapers, caulk, paint, and brushes. Finally, Jordan stocks the kitchen with healthy snacks and chilled water for her helpers.

Productivity is about working efficiently while maintaining quality. Although productivity means different things to different people, we can generally think about it in terms of inputs and outputs. An input might be a resource, such as time, money, or effort. An output is the amount or quality of work getting accomplished. In the example, Jordan feels she will be productive if she and her friends can paint the entire house (the output) in about 8 hours (the input) while doing a quality job.

try it

Imagine yourself working on a project at home or school, or think back to Jordan’s painting project. What are two ways that you could increase your productivity on the project in terms of inputs and outputs?

Here are several ways you might increase your productivity:

  1. Raise the output (or quality of the output) while keeping the input the same.
  2. Lower the input while producing the same output at the same level of quality.
  3. Lower the input and raise the output (or quality of the output).
  4. Raise the input and raise the output.
When we use skills, tools, and strategies to improve our productivity, it helps us accomplish more work or higher quality work with the same or fewer resources. The resources we save, such as time and money, can then be allocated to other areas.

When Jordan planned her painting project, she took steps to maximize quality and productivity. Finding a group of skilled painters reduces the amount of time that Jordan needs to spend on the project and distributes the physical workload. Buying and staging all her painting supplies in advance is another way she saves on time. Finally, using professional-grade materials ensures the job will get done right and last for years.

terms to know

Accomplishing a task with little or no waste.
Something that goes into a task, such as time, money, or effort.
The amount or quality of something produced.
1b. Agility
Agility is the ability to grow, effectively adapt, and recover in a continually changing environment to achieve desired results. Here’s another example from daily living:

Image Idea 2 of 2: image of a male college student (named Lei) sick in bed with textbooks or a laptop nearby; or just an image of Lei studying hard for an exam


Lei is a freshman majoring in sociology. He has a statistics midterm in less than 24 hours, but he is starting to feel ill. At first, Lei thought he might push through and take the exam, but he’s reconsidered. It’s time to see a physician, so he books an online appointment with university health services and discovers he has the flu. To maintain his academic standing, Lei emails his statistics professor to advise him of the situation and is pleased to learn that he can reschedule the midterm without penalty. With the good news, Lei grabs a glass of water, sinks into bed, and texts his roommates to update them on his condition.

We often need to use our agility skill when we least expect it whether we’re at school, work, or home. When unexpected events occur, the first step is to be sure you’re safe and not to panic. These strategies can help lower your anxiety in situations such as Lei’s:

  • Breathe deeply.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Focus on the intricate details of a nearby object.
  • Calmly gather facts about the situation at hand.
  • Picture positive outcomes.
  • Take action to resolve the issue, asking for help as needed.
In the example, Lei was tempted to take his midterm under duress to stay in good academic standing. But then he wisely decided to adapt instead. He used his agility skill to gather facts from his professor and learned he could take the exam using alternative methods. Most importantly, Lei learned that anytime he’s sick, he can stop to take care of himself and reach out for help when he needs it.

When we are agile, we move straight through problems rather than avoiding them. We often uncover solutions that we didn’t know existed. Agility allows us to continually learn, grow, and recover despite the unforeseen events that we encounter each day.

2. Comparing Work and Daily Living

Let’s explore some of the variability that exists when we apply a skill at work compared to applying a skill in daily life.

2a. Variability
You already know the 10 Skills are transferable across situations. This means each fundamental skill doesn’t change, but how you apply that skill generally does because contexts and situations vary widely.

The table below shows just some of the variables that can dictate how we apply a skill at home or work. Can you think of any other variables? Do you identify with any of the examples given?

Variables At home, __________. At work, __________.
goal setting I identify the problems that need solving. My manager identifies most of the problems that need solving.
consequences of a decision My family and I benefit from solutions that I implement. My company, my clients, and society benefits from solutions that I implement.
scope The scope of problems that I encounter in daily living is broad. The scope of problems that I encounter relates to the business and to interactions with coworkers and clients.
relationships to people around you My relationships with those around me are personal. My relationships with those around me are mostly professional.
support systems I have personal connections with those who support me. I have professional connections with those who support me.
environment My environment consists of places where I live, work, and play. My environment is my place of work or places in the community.
technology I must learn technology on my own, unless I hire outside help. My company hires experts who are trained in all aspects of technology.
resources, equipment, and materials I buy the materials I need to solve problems. My company buys most of the materials I need to solve problems.
distractions Distractions are abundant. Distractions are abundant.

2b. Limiting Distractions
When you’re at home, have you ever thought to yourself:

“I really need to get up and get moving.”
“I wish I was making better use of my time right now.”
“Today seems unproductive. I should try to get more done.”

You’re not alone! We’ve all had times when either distractions or leisure activities have pulled us away from tasks we should have been doing. Leisure is defined as time that we have when we are free from work duties. Maybe you enjoy reading, watching television, or participating in sports. Everyone needs “down” time to unwind, clear their thoughts, relax, meditate, connect with others, and regroup. But sometimes too much leisure time can impede our skills development at home, particularly when it comes to the following skills:

  • Taking initiative
  • Being productive
  • Achieving results
  • Growing and adapting
When we’re at work, distractions are usually limited because leisure time makes up only a small portion of the day. We might break for lunch, do stress-reduction exercises, or speak briefly with a coworker. A day on the job is largely free from leisure as we work to get tasks done.

The balance between leisure and work changes when we’re at home. There are still important tasks that need to be accomplished, but the distraction of leisure time is much greater. This is especially true if you work out of your home—the lines between work and home can get blurry. When you find yourself continually tempted by distractions, but you know important things need to get done instead, try these simple tips:

  • Set specific, achievable goals.
  • Make a to-do list.
  • Set regular task reminders.
  • Schedule periods of uninterrupted time for tasks.
  • Clear your work area of clutter.
  • Organize your projects.
  • Do one thing at a time and set time limits.
  • Do the hardest tasks first.
  • Cut down on the time it takes to make a decision.
  • Learn to say no in order to focus on priorities.
  • Keep your emails organized.
  • Turn off social media.
  • Get enough sleep at night.
  • Wake up earlier.
  • Exercise in the morning.
  • Reach out to friends and family for support.
Which productivity tips do you use already to minimize distractions? Why are they effective? Are there additional tips that you might suggest to a friend?

term to know

Time free from work duties.
In this lesson, you learned several ways that people demonstrate the 10 Skills outside the workplace and how they apply the skills in daily living. The 10 Skills are transferable to situations at home and at school. This lesson showed you just two ways that the productivity skill and agility skill can help to sustain or improve quality of life.

When we compare work and daily living, we see there is some variability in how employability skills are applied. An important step in developing some of these skills at home is to limit distractions. This is particularly true when it comes to taking initiative, being productive, and achieving results at home. You can limit distractions and stay on track by following a number of different productivity strategies.

Terms to Know

Accomplishing a task with little or no waste.


Something that goes into a task, such as time, money, or effort.


Time free from work duties.


The amount or quality of something produced.


The ability to do something well.