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.
Let’s check out two examples of how people apply the 10 Skills outside of work.
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
EXAMPLEThe 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.
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:
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.
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
EXAMPLELei 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:
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.
Let’s explore some of the variability that exists when we apply a skill at work compared to applying a skill in daily life.
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.|
“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:
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: