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Fun, practical and maybe slightly-weird skills you can easily learn under an hour, from whistling to speed-reading

Fun, practical and maybe slightly-weird skills you can easily learn under an hour, from whistling to speed-reading

Lifelong learning

Text: Simran Panaech

Editor: Crystal Lee


The perks of WFH? More time! We now have a couple more hours on our hands since our workspace is just a roll out of bed, and there's no rush hour at lunchtime. With all this extra time, what can we do? How about picking up some cool skills that we can show off the next time we meet people – on House Party or in person? Here are seven easy-to-learn skills we may or may not need. Remember, though: mastering something takes practice.

How to raise an eyebrow

This can come in handy in various situations. Perhaps you need to emphasise your sarcasm or have a secret convo with your best friend about what someone had just said. We road-tested this and it worked: hold one eyebrow down while repeatedly raising the other. Repeat over several days, and voila, you now have a new facial expression.

How to whistle

The ability to whistle is, contrary to some beliefs, not a genetic trait. It's useful when you want someone's attention (read: not catcalling), or when you feel like making music with your lips. The key is to have tighten your puckers and have your tongue placed at the bottom of your mouth.

The video also shows you how to whistle with your fingers but, please, make sure your hands are clean and sanitised. If you do use your fingers, wash them again, vigorously for 20 seconds, with soap and water.

How to tie a tie

There will come a point in your life where you, or someone around you, need to knot up – whether it's for business, a formal event, or a costume party. Smarten up with this practical skill, and someone (maybe yourself) will thank you for it, in time.

How to juggle

What can we say? It's a great party trick, and you'll be star of the show. Remember to keep your elbows in and close to your body, and your eyes on one spot.

How to speed read

Resolved to read more books this year? Memory expert Ron White has a few techniques you can use to up your reading speed. One tip he gave was to stop reading to yourself in your head using "silent speech". Classical music in the background helps, too.

How to sing the alphabet backwards

Why would you need this? Well, how many people do you know that can do this? (Not many, we bet.) Plus, you get a new song to sing when washing your hands for 20 seconds.

How to open a bottle with a lighter

We've all been there: A bucket full of bottled beers with no openers in sight. What now? Grab a lighter, get a good grip on the bottle, use the bottom of the lighter to pry the cap open using the leverage of your fingers. Cheers!

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